Here is what I came up with:
I used the cardboard backing of a scrapbook paper stack for the base. I adhered a couple pretty scrapbook papers to this with some gel medium (great for collages). One paper was rainbow colored and the other had repeated text that said "You Rock." Though neither are visible in the final piece, they helped inspire me during the creation. That's the beauty of collage....building up layers and sometimes adding or removing sections to add depth and dimension.
The instructions were to use words from magazines, so I spent a few minutes quickly flipping through several magazines and snipping words or ripping out pages. I didn't over-think this, but let it become an intuitive process. Certain words jumped out, and most were related to the idea of a fresh start but also creativity.
I took the whimsical image of the laughing model with flowers in her hair from a folder of magazine pics I had saved specifically for art journaling. I think she was originally part of a Clinique ad. It was gratifying to finally use this fun pic in an art piece. I attached these words and pics with gel medium and allowed it to dry. The super heavy gel medium added texture to the piece.
Then I got out my acrylics (tubes and craft paint) and began adding color. I made it bright and bold, using orange and turquoise as the main colors with pops of pink. The orange is very motivating and energetic to me, and I love using it often in my work. I loved adding the large paintbrushes from a Dick Blick sales flyer laying around. After the paint dried, I added some more color. Then I went over portions with a white paint marker. Finally, I outlined certain letters and elements with a gel pen. I am very happy with the results.
Here are some phrases in the piece, and an explanation of why I added them: