The Art of Visioning: Create Your 2015 Vision Board

Contributed by Branan Freeman, Esalen Institute Residential Education Department

Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved exploring collage and photomontage. There’s something really freeing and exciting about selecting pictures, images, and words that reflect my inner desires and landscapes, and pasting them together to create a new world of possibility.

A few years ago, I decided to use this exercise as a way to celebrate a new chapter in my life and made a “Vision Board.”  Putting ideas onto paper helps to crystalize a vision, and there are many times in life when making a Vision Board could support personal growth: the start of a relationship, the beginning of a new year, or the commencement of a ritual or routine, just to name a few.

I usually place my completed Vision Board on my dresser at home, a location where I can see it daily and be reminded of the messages and dreams for my future. When the day comes that I look at the images and think to myself, “I have new ideas now,” I remove my Vision Board and store it away, like a trusted journal or a special card, an element of a time gone by. There always exists an invitation to create a new Vision Board!

Materials for Creating a Vision Board:

  • Magazines that you’re willing to cut up
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Backing board (an old manila folder works great)


  1. Think about some hopes, dreams, and goals that you desire for the New Year and write them down.
  2. Flip through a magazine and notice the images that attract your attention. Are there certain themes? In my case, I noticed the piece of arugula and remembered that I wanted to plant a good garden this year, so I tore out that page and incorporated it into my collage. I am also connected to the owl, so having her there anchors my vision and helps me to trust guidance. Maybe you see words that call to you. These can be parts of advertising slogans or headlines. “Shine strong” means a lot to me when I paste it over a deep orange moon and a bouquet of flowers. It reminds me of the power I possess within and of my ability to beam out my passion and creativity.
  3. Cut out the words and images that speak to you.
  4. Start arranging the images and words on your board. Try placing things in new locations to play around with how it makes you feel when certain images are in closer proximity to each other.
  5. Remember, your Vision Board is your personalized process. The important thing is to give yourself permission to play with imagery and words, and weave your vision for your life in 2015.


Branan Freeman is an artist and art educator working at Esalen Institute in the Residential Education Department. She loves the sacred land of Big Sur and explores imagery connected to the trees and wildlife in her artwork. You can see more of her  original creations on her website:


We offer a rich and varied integral learning environment devoted to cultivating deep change in self and society.


Experience twenty-seven acres of Pacific coastline paradise.


Make a difference and leave a legacy by becoming a Friend of Esalen.


A global network of seekers devoted to the belief that we are all capable of the extraordinary.


Stay connected. Keep your Esalen experience alive, online or in person.

Campus Renewal

Join us on the journey of Renewal.