Self Love through Collage

Sarah Rondon

Sarah lives in Rockland County, New York. The best part of art journaling for Sarah is that it’s just for her. She can be as free as she wants in the pages and there’s no right or wrong. Her art journals have become more than just a way to try new supplies and techniques, but a way for her to document the phases of her life.

 This lesson was originally released in the Season of Kindness. It holds so much value for the Season of Worthiness that – for the first time ever – we are republishing a tutorial. 

Hi, Sarah here! I’m so excited to share this tutorial with you all. Kindness is a great way to warm up and really learn to embrace our unique qualities and individual art styles. With Season of Kindness and the focus of being more kind to others and ourselves, this tutorial will guide you through a creative exercise to help stop the negative self-talk.


You will need your journal, paper, paint, brushes, scissors, collage material, adhesive, and a pen.

I used sketch paper for my painted paper because I knew it would be thin enough to tear easily. It holds acrylic paint well, but I wouldn’t recommend it for watercolor or ink. For wetter mediums try mixed media paper. It will still be easy to tear but can take more liquid.

Feel free to switch out acrylic for your favorite paint. You can make some beautiful paper using watercolor or inks or even colored pens and markers. The new Create by Category search is a great way to explore background tutorials from previous Seasons. You can find some wonderful ones if you would like extra inspiration or need a starting place.

Though I used matte medium for my adhesive, a glue stick or even a tape runner would work well too. I just wanted to seal the collage elements to the page, but use what you are comfortable with.


During the video you will see me:

  • Paint my own collage paper with acrylic paint
  • Cut out a few heart shapes in a variety of sizes
  • Tear one of those hearts into pieces while admitting to hurtful things I and others have said to me
  • Make a background in my “distinctive style”
  • Glue the heart into the journal while reaffirming and acknowledging my unique qualities
  • Add some finishing elements/layers and write out a loving reminder to myself


While creating this spread, there were a few design principles I tried to keep in mind. Most notable are balance and scale, which I used because I had cut out such a large heart. I used the smaller hearts to add more visual weight to the rest of the spread. With scale, my goal was to balance the large heart by trying to make the smaller hearts add up to the same amount of space. This way, the visual weight looks balanced even when the hearts are spread throughout.

I went with asymmetrical balance so that I could also apply the design principle of rhythm/movement. This is so that your eyes keep moving all over the spread instead of just settling in one or two areas. As the artist, you have total control over how the eye moves across a page. It might help to play around with placement before adhering everything down. One tip is to glance away from your spread and then when you look back at it, quickly recognize where your eye goes first. Is where your eye when first the focus you want it to be?

Action Steps


Take some time to recognize your self talk patterns. Try replacing negative comments with positive ones in the moment.


Create at least three painted papers to give yourself a nice variety to choose from.


If you have, send leftover pieces of painted papers to Get Messy friends with a kind note.