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Freedom - What Does it Mean For You?


I guess the first question is, what does freedom mean to you? A great way of determining this is with the journaling process. How to go about it?

Begin by flicking through some magazines or picture books and cut out any words or images that spring to mind that suggest freedom to you. This of course is different for everyone. While for me an aeroplane or the open road might do it, for someone else it might be a beautiful rain forest or the luxury of a hot stone massage.

Freedom collage
What does freedom mean for you? Here are some of the things that speak to me of freedom.

After you have done this look out for the opposite kind of images. Is there anything that represents oppression to you. For some that might be a picture of a communist flag or even a modern office filled with cubicles. Or you could create your own by combining several pictures i.e. how might you represent the decaying freedom of speech that we are experiencing all over the world, something that was once thought to be an inalienable democratic right/freedom.

So you are going to create two double page spreads in your journal, one on freedom and the other on oppression. It is often helpful to clarify what polar opposites mean to you, because by doing so it helps you understand how much you value certain things in life. Oftentimes, it is not until we lose something, like our free speech, that we begin to appreciate how much we took that thing for granted and how much we actually value it.

Oppression collage journal page
My Opression page - things that are the opposite of freedom in my eyes.

After you have done these two exercises, think about your art in the same way. How much freedom do you have to pursue your artistic goals and dreams? Then journal about why that isn't happening. What is stopping you? And then create a page that suggests ways you might move forward. Do any of the images or words you used in your first spread, crop up again here?

NEXT WEEK: Book Review: A Survival Guide For Artists

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