Unlocking Creativity: Collage as a Tool for Creative Entrepreneurs

From fostering inclusivity to sparking new insights, discover how the power of collage inspired our founder Louisa Tan and revolutionised how we work at Common Exception.
Collage pieces in red, blue, green, yellow and black, on top of text reading 'out of the ordinary.
What if words aren’t your thing? Or talking about your business — or even what you want to do — makes you feel stressed? Or trying to write a business plan or brand strategy feels too much like school? These were some of the challenges my clients were facing. Then I introduced collage and everything changed. Through the power of collage, we were able to have fun without the stress, and start to overcome challenges with writing or feelings about not being business minded.

Unlocking Creativity with Collage

The first time I started using collage I immediately saw a change in my clients. We were creating customer personas and I could see them becoming calmer, talking about their problems more honestly, ideas they’d had, and who they wanted to reach. I could also see them making connections between different thoughts and new ideas starting to emerge. The more I looked into the power of collage, the more I realised its potential. This realisation inspired me to make collage the cornerstone of Common Exception’s approach, and consider other non-conventional experiences that might draw us together.

Dyslexia and Common Exception

Around the same time, my daughter was finally diagnosed with dyslexia. I’d started seeking out people with dyslexia to show her all the different types of jobs they were doing. While some things were more difficult for her, I could also see her superpower and she was able to think in new, more creative ways than a neurotypical person. I realised how great collage was as a tool if you were neurodiverse as it’s inclusive, allowing for all sorts of abilities and learning styles, and perfect for visual thinkers or people who need something fun to stay focused. I also realised if we used collage, clients could have a brand strategy that might look a little different but would give you the same results, or maybe even better, as words on a page.

Collage is Good for your Brain

There’s increasing evidence in the field of neuroscience that doing something creative is good for your brain. It positively affects brain wave patterns, emotions and the nervous system. It’s even better when you do it in a group! “Collective Effervescence” is a term used by French sociologist Émile Durkheim to describe the feeling of connection when we do something as a group. We’ve found this too at our events and in our Community Meetups, both online and in person. Everyone feels transformed and more connected to both themselves and the people around them. Most importantly, you don’t have to be an artist or be good with words. All you need to do is cut and stick, and go with the flow.

Collage as a Tool for Mindfulness

Collage for mindfulness is probably what we share most with the Common Exception community and we’ve run several events on this. For me, collage soothes my busy mind and has been part of my healing journey. Having suffered from trauma, taking time out to have fun and play with shapes and textures, creates a sense of calm and connects my body and feelings. Mindfulness is also a core part of Common Exception as it’s almost impossible to run a business without the person behind it being in a good place. Collage helps create the right mindset for being a boss, allowing for a sense of mindfulness and purpose, and space for thoughts and connections to happen.

Inclusive Tools for Brand-Building

Behind the scenes, we’ve been working on making our work accessible in a different way. Coming soon is our first collection of Brand Building Guides all using the power of collage. We’ll share our process too, so you can see what we’ve done if you want to sell something similar.

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