Do you love all things pretty and collecting magazine pictures? Maybe you use your old magazines for art journaling or to make vision boards? If you are anything like me, you have an ever-growing pile of magazine clippings! There’s nothing quite as calming and therapeutic as looking through an old magazine to find beautiful pictures that inspire creativity.
With all this visual inspiration comes clutter and chaos though. So how’s a creative girl going to organize this mess?! Over the years, I tried so many different methods, basically driving myself crazy, to find the “perfect” solution. Tweaking what works and what doesn’t work, I have a system that’s pretty simple and it works for me–but just like anything you need to develop a system that works for you and your creative needs.
ORGANIZE WITH INTENTION/ CATEGORIES:
Before I start ripping out images, I set an “intention” on a topic or an area of my life I want to focus on–this could be career, relationships, weight-loss, beauty, and so forth. (I either mentally affirm or write my intention in my notebook). It may sound silly to do this but it helps me focus and not get too distracted. Plus, its fun!
Next, I grab my magazines and start to look through them. I rip out anything that appeals to me. If I set an intention on more than one topic at a time (like relationships & career), I create two separate piles. Then, I put my magazine clippings in a plastic folder. You can label your folders with categories too. This is especially useful if you like making vision boards–visual inspiration toward your ideal life.
Categories could include:
- Personal Growth/ Education
- Work/ Career
- Creative Self-Expression
- Lifestyle/ Possessions
- Leisure/ Travel
- House/ Home Decor.
- Health/ Fitness/ Beauty
If you travel and collage on the go, maybe a binder might be better for you. You can organize your clippings by category in the plastic folders with the three-hole punch. I have those too and they are awesome! These folders are amazing because they are see-through and have a snap closure unlike, filing folders or manila envelopes.
I use a gigantic, decorative storage box too, it’s kind of a catch-all system. It’s not organized by any means. I put all my magazine clippings in the box as is, these pictures are usually images I randomly tear out of magazines with no intention–images I like or could use in my art or journal at some point. I store my labeled, plastic folders in there as well.
ORGANIZE BY COLLAGE ELEMENTS:
Try using a three-drawer plastic bin for organizing. You can keep this on your desk or put it in your craft closet. I keep mine in the closet and remove the drawers as needed. I developed this method after taking an online, art journaling workshop by Kelly Kilmer. Her journaling style uses these collage elements. I also use the background category to create borders for my Teesha Moore inspired journaling. If you aren’t familiar with these artists be sure to check them out! They are fabulous!
This organizing method uses three categories:
Background: Anything with patterns, texture, or color. I find a lot of fun, vibrant backgrounds from model’s clothes and/or purses. You can use old maps, old book pages, music sheets, and so on.
Focal: Any type of image that catches your eye or think you could use in your art journal or vision board. Pictures of models, faces, eyes, lips, illustrations, bugs, flowers, clothing, animals, food, and so forth.
Words: Words, phrases, letters, and numbers. (If you want, you can separate the letters alphabetically). Maybe organize the letters and numbers using baseball card holder sheets? That’s more work than I would like to do though.
ORGANIZE BY PROJECT:
If I am working on a specific journal or project, let’s say, my homemade Teesha Moore journal, I will keep the journal and collage elements in a plastic pin together. I might have plastic folders inside to help organize the collage supplies. This makes it super easy to work on knowing all my collage pieces and journal are in one spot.
With all these ideas, I hope you feel inspired to organize all your magazine scraps! Remember, simplicity leaves more room for creativity! Try not to over-complicate this. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, make sure to share them with us!