Easing Pandemic-Related Stressors with a Steady Dose of Mixed Media Art Collage |
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Mixed media art collage in progress by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Easing Pandemic-Related Stressors with a Steady Dose of Mixed Media Art Collage

These 528,000,000 headline results on Google all prove my point.

Which is that if you’re one of the countless women severely affected and displaced by the pandemic in terms of employment, work/life balances, finances, child care, and more, then I don’t need to tell you how absolutely stressful at times it can be (and has been) to be juggling so much, both at home and at/for work, on a day-to-pandemic-day basis.

Mixed media art collage in progress by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Unfinished and in-progress mixed media art collage by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Mixed media collage illustration, using oil pastels and vintage book pages, handcrafted by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Partial close up on mixed media collage illustration. Created using oil pastels and vintage book pages. Handcrafted by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson.

So the collage rub is this

I won’t dive into the messy details but I would like to point out that to deal with the stressors of pandemic life, I’ve leaned quite heavily on mixed media art collage. While others hit the gym or workout to destress (and honestly, I know I should as well!), my without-fail, 100% go-to, insanity-saving outlet has been collage.

For me, there’s something deeply therapeutic about collaging.

Perhaps it’s the assembly and creative process of making something beautiful from scraps of old papers or discarded papers.

Or the sustainable process of handcrafting something uniquely one-of-a-kind from all kinds of second-hand textiles and unwanted materials.

Maybe it’s the longtime graphic designer inside of me rebelliously revolting against the constant demand for pixel perfection and computer-based artworks.

I don’t know.

It could be a combo of all the above 🙂 but overall, whatever the reason, I’m so *grateful* to have discovered mixed media collage as it’s provided me a creative and soothing outlet to destress and manage through daily pressures.

The next step

In an effort to keep this post short and sweet, I’ll just stay that after collaging my way through the past 20+ pandemic and socially distanced months, along with their corresponding financial and employment challenges, has inspired me to self-publish some of my artworks.

The process of self-publishing has thrust me into deep graphic design and publication layout mode for digital ebook and print hardback formats.

Plus, the onboarding process for digital publishing via Amazon Kindle and other non-Amazon publishers has been eye-opening, exciting, and given me something productive to look forward to.

Mixed media art collage in its initial stages

This is a mixed media art collage in its very initial stages

#Grateful for collage

In between all the job hunting and interviews, and amidst the multitude of household/kids/finance jugglings, I manage to squeeze in hefty doses of art collage and self publishing every single week.

The constant pairing of art collage and self publishing effort has revitalized my love for visual expression and communication design, which has been an unexpected but exhilarating side effect.

Mostly, collage has taught me that even when life is torn and tattered:

  • you can still make something new by rearranging or refreshening the old, and
  • you can mix and match from things that, at first, don’t make seem to make much sense in joining together to ultimately to create completely brand new ideas or take something into an entirely unexpected — and refreshing — direction.

More to come 🙏🏽🤍

~ Mayra


Photo credits: ©Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

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