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  • Writer's pictureBridget

Making a vision board

Hey my little leaf buddies! I hope you are doing well!

I’ve been working really hard lately and sometimes the harder I work- the more I tend to forget what I’m really aiming for! So I decided that I would create a vision board that depicts the direction I’m trying to go in my career and illustration.

A vision board is essentially a collection of images and words that reflect a dream or goal you have. The idea is the more you focus on what you want, the more attention you give it and steps you take to make it happen. Now- I’m not spruiking the secret or ‘manifestation!’ But I really do believe the more you focus on something, the more likely it is to become a reality.

In relation to your goals and dreams- I think vision boards can help us bring these ideas into our sphere and make us better notice and create opportunities that can help make them a reality.

I’ve made many-a vision board over the years. A lot of them have just been pretty pictures I’ve found in magazines stuck on a giant piece of cardboard with no real thought or intention.

However in my art therapy course, I realised just how special and important they can be. I had the pleasure of doing a placement at a retreat for people experiencing mental illness and on the last day everyone had the chance to create a vision board for what the wanted their lives to look like. This seemingly simple task had people crying, excited, and hopeful for the future. We also heard countless positive stories about how people had created vision boards in the past, and it really helped them focus on what they wanted.

So I think there is something quite special about the process and intention behind them!

Now instead of just jumping in with a stack of magazines, scissors and glue sticks, I think it’s important to have a basic goal and structure in mind when creating a vision board. Otherwise I know I just tend to look at all the pretty pictures and cut out things I like- but don’t necessarily align with the goal I have. There really are no rules though and you can do whatever you like- because its your vision board!

But I’ve written some basic steps and a structure if you want to follow along to help you get started:

You will need:

  • Magazines

  • A large piece of paper or cardboard

  • Scissors

  • Glue stick

  • Printer and paper if you choose to print your own pictures

  • Pencils and pens to write little notes and doodles

1) Determine your vision/ goal.

What is it you want to make your vision board about? Maybe grab some paper and a pen and jot down some ideas that come to mind. It could be a goal for your career, a financial goal, your dream of having a massive mansion or a pony. Doesn’t matter if it seems silly- its your vision board and you can put whatever you want on it!

Mine is a career goal. I want to to be a self employed, self sufficient illustrator/ children’s book illustrator.

Yours might be you want to write a book or you want to open up your own cafe.

Once you have a goal its much easier to find pictures that reflect that goal.

2) Find images

I generally source my images 2 ways. In magazines and on the internet which I then print off.

I find it easier to get the main bulk of your images off the internet because you can really target the kinds of images that speak to your goal.

I thought about my goal of being a self employed illustrator and what things tied into that and did a few Pinterest searches.

Things like children’s book stores that I want to see my books in. Different illustrators I admired and look up to. Also market stall set ups I like for when I start doing markets again.

I saved them all into a folder and then printed them out. I did this by placing the images together on an A4 canvas in photoshop. Though initially I realised I printed them out too small so then had to go back and make the images larger. You probably want larger images so you can see them better on your vision board.

I found that my images landed into 4 different categories

  • Children’s books

  • Artists I admire and look up to

  • Studio spaces/ creative shops

  • Market stall displays

The children’s book images I chose were some generic ones with some book shelves showcasing children’s books, book shops and a child reading. I also printed the logos of Penguin books and Scholastic because I would love to be able to work with them and get published by them one day!

And I also printed out the cover of my book Wizard shark because I would love to see it in the book stores and getting read by billions of kids!

For artists I admire I had:

  • Lost and found by Oliver Jeffers. I love his books and the fact he’s an author, illustrator and artist is just so cool and something I hope to be one day!

  • I have two images of Adam Walker-Parker’s illustrations. I just think his work is fantastic and beautiful in every way! I would love to get a consistency in my style like his.

  • I have an image of Sophie Beer in her studio. Sophie is an Australian Illustrator who has illustrated heaps of books and worked with some awesome people such as the Big Issue. Her style is super bright and fun and I pretty much just want to be her.

  • I have a picture of some wooden earrings from Pixie Nut and Co who is an amazing Australian artist who makes beautiful bespoke earrings, scarves, and prints. Her style is beautiful and earthy and I really like her consistency with her products. Everything looks like it works together and belongs which is something I’m aiming for with my stuff at the moment. I am also looking into getting my own wooden earrings made up so hers are a great inspiration.

  • And lastly Jocelyn Proust who is another Australian artist who just makes the most beautiful surface designs. Her work is so popular and amazing that she has collections in spotlight, Big W and Australia Post! I would love to have a reach like that and collections in a big store!

My big hairy audacious goal is to one day have my own shop/ studio space where I can sell my products, do workshops and use as a studio space. So I printed out some images of cool studio shop set ups how they have displayed their items and even a kids craft workshop!

And lastly I really want to up my market game. I literally just have one table and some boxes for my cards so getting a gazebo and having an actual nice looking set up would be so great to aim towards! So I printed some pics of some nice sets ups for inspiration.

The second way to find images is through magazines or newspapers. So if you have a stack of old magazines you don’t read anymore- get those scissors ready! Feel free to go out and buy some magazines if you don’t have any handy. I find it easier if you have some magazines that kind of align with what you want to achieve. I used to have a monthly subscription to the Collective which is a magazines about creative entrepreneurs so they worked well for my business/ illustration goal.

Then just go through them and cut out quotes, images and coloured pictures that speak to you!

I also picked a lot of nice coloured patterns to add behind the images.

3) Sort and arrange your images on your paper/ cardboard

Next is the fun part! Arranging your images onto the paper. I chose an A2 piece of paper. Its plenty big enough and I have a whole pad of it so it worked well! You can use whatever you have around the house- or go to your local craft store or newsagent and pick up a nice big piece of cardboard!

I like to start arranging my images in the themes I picked around the corners first. For example, all of the children’s illustration images in the top right corner, market stalls in the bottom right etc.

I get most of the big images down first- and then I pop the cute little images and quotes on top to fill in the gaps.

Once you’re happy with it its time to start sticking!

4) Gluing down your images

This part can be a bit tricky, especially if you have layered and overlapped a lot of images over each other! I kind of try to do it in segments and move those images off the paper and place them roughly in the same order to the side of the paper so I don’t forget where they go!

You can also take a picture of your vision board before you start gluing them for reference of where everything goes.

Then get gluing! I find it can get a bit messy and always end up with glue all over my hands!

5) Putting your vision board somewhere you can see it every day.

Once you’ve finished your masterpiece- make sure you stick it up somewhere you can see it every day so it can act like your constant reminder of your goals for the future!

I stuck mine up in our office above my work computer.

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed reading this and are inspired to make your own vision board and steps towards achieving your dreams and goals!

Let me know if you create one and what you put on it! :)

Lots of love, hugs and Warm fuzzies,


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