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 the way we build brands 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 I came across when I first start working with my clients. Then I introduced collage and everything changed.

Through the power of collage, Common Exception’s clients were able to have fun without the stress, and overcome their challenges with writing or feelings about not being business minded.

Unlocking Creativity with Collage

The first time I started using collage was to create customer personas. I saw my clients immediately becoming calmer, talking about their problems more honestly, ideas they’d had, who they wanted to reach. They were having fun without the stress. The more I looked into the power of collage for brand-building the more I realised its potential. It’s inclusive, allowing for all sorts of abilities and learning styles. It’s perfect for visual thinkers and if you’re dyslexic. It also stimulates creative thinking, encouraging connections both with people and different thoughts, and it’s a great activity for collaboration. 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. This realisation inspired me to make collage the cornerstone of Common Exception’s approach.

This powerful experience led me to delve deeper into the world of collage and its potential for fostering inclusivity and catering to diverse learning styles.

Dyslexia and Common Exception

Around the same time, my daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. (Although what really happened was the school finally recognised what we had been telling them for years, unfortunately, the reality for most people.) I’d started to seek out people with dyslexia to show my daughter all the different types of jobs they were doing and that not being able to spell didn’t matter as her brain was able to think in new, more creative ways than a neurotypical brain — something that other people should be jealous of. So with her in mind and our amazing neurodiverse community, we’re always working to make sure everything we do is accessible, and looking for new ways to improve.

Collage as a Tool for Mindfulness

Collage for mindfulness is probably what I share most with the Common Exception community and we’ve run a number of events on this. This is partly because I have an unlimited supply of material as I routinely collage for my own wellbeing. 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 helps me connect with myself. Mindfulness is also a core part of Common Exception as I think 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 as it brings both a sense of mindfulness and purpose, allowing space for thoughts and connections without any pressure.

Incorporating Collage into Common Exception’s Brand Identity

We love collage so much it’s incorporated into our identity! Common Exception’s distinctive collage-inspired branding was developed in collaboration with the brilliant graphic designer Laura Purdy. Our collage aesthetic is all about creativity, cutting things up and making something new — exactly what we do!

Inclusive Tools for Brand-Building

Behind the scenes, we’ve been working on making our work accessible in a different way and sharing the experience of working with us for a more affordable rate. Coming soon is our first collection of Inclusive Brand-Building Digital Guides all using collage. We’ll share our process too so if you want to sell something similar you can see what we’ve done.

Want to build a brand?

Book a DIY strategy coaching session or check out our studio work for inspiration.

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