Have you ever created a collage from one of your dreams?

“Winged Elephant” collage by Clare Johnson

Collages help us to explore our unconscious imagery, emotions, fears and desires. With the help of this artistic process, we can gain insight into our dreams. I have been creating collage art from my dreams for nearly 25 years. In the beginning I did it because I felt there was no other way to express the vivid, magical worlds and strange, conscious people and animals I was encountering in my lucid dreams.

When you create a dream collage, you often slip into a creative trance that is dreamlike and deep. In this creative trance, you reach for your inner images and feelings and bring them out into the world where you can examine them, reshape them, and juxtapose them with other images. In doing so, you recreate your dream. You piece life, emotions, and dreams together and what you come up with can be incredibly meaningful on the personal level.

Collages often arise in series, as dreams themselves do, and when you look back at your work over years, you can chart your own preoccupations, emotional milestones, and leaps of consciousness. Above all, dream collaging honours the connection between our conscious selves and the mysterious, wise depths of our inner selves. In a multitude of surprising ways, dream collages can reveal the soul.

It is a fascinating process, and one that is beautifully documented and examined in art therapist Johanna Vedral’s new book, Collage Dream Writing. Reading this book is a pleasure for its clarity, insight, and the wonderful collages that illuminate its pages throughout. At the start of Collage Dream Writing, Johnana Vedral says:

“Dream images show us what we need in order to be happy on the emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels. Dream images show us what we fear and what we must change to be able to live a truly mindful life.”

Flow writing is a big theme in the book. Vedral emphasises that the dream writing process is not about interpreting imagery. We write “from the depths of our soul” in order to advance on an inner journey of discovery.

The book covers topics such as the language of images, steps in the collage-creating process, and how collage works within psychotherapeutic settings and for spiritual growth. One wonderful exercise is the Vision Board, where you create a picture of the life you want.

“Dreaming” collage by Johanna Vedral

Collage Dream Writing is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with creative writing and collage. Whether you’re an artist or someone with vivid dreams that you’d like to explore, or a therapist keen to deepen your knowledge of therapeutic creative processes, this book provides a wonderful map into the heart of dreaming and creative expression.

So far only available in German (despite the English title!), this book will be translated into English in ebook form soon and will so reach a wider audience, as it thoroughly deserves to. Its full title is Collage Dream Writing: Geschichten aus der Tiefe Schreiben (Writing stories from the depths). Are you intrigued? Find out more on Johanna Vedral’s site. The English page of her site is here.