Our first major assignment in the Right Brain Business Plan course was to create a vision board. We were tasked with cutting out images that represented the overview of our company, our business values, the products and services we offer, our target market, our creative cohorts and supporters, our financial dream, and anything else we wanted to add.
The fun part, aside from following our intuition and cutting apart magazines, was creating our vision board in any format we desired. It could be a large poster, a book, a cube, a deck of cards. Anything.
I decided to make what I call a Vision Accordion Book.
The Book’s Exterior
To make a Vision Accordion Book, you need an old hardbound book that you’ll tear apart. A year ago, in preparing for my trip to France, the thought of tearing the covers off an old book sent chills up my spine. It seemed sacrilegious to deface an old book. This year, however, I had absolutely no qualms about ripping apart an old book.
I searched my studio and found a book that I used in a collage class several years ago. Nothing of value inside this book.
Using a sharp box cutter, I sliced along the front and back spine of the book until it was loose enough and I could pull off the covers.
These will become the Vision Accordion Book covers. At this point these covers are now called book board.
You can cover the book board with fabric or paper. I choose a fabric that I bought in Revel, France because it was during my time in France when I realized that I wanted to teach art workshops. Workshops and retreats are the focus of my business plan.
I cut the fabric about 1″ larger than the book board. Glue the fabric onto the front of each book board, flip the book board over, and carefully fold and glue the edges of the fabric, one edge at a time, onto the insides of the book board. After the book board is covered and the glue is dry, glue a contrasting sheet of paper (solid color, decorative, your choice) on the inside of each book board.
Note: The paper on the inside of the book board is going to be covered by the accordion fold pages of your book. So don’t agonize over using fancy paper or paper with text because you won’t see a lot of it once you glue in your accordion fold pages.
I decided to use large sheets of watercolor paper for the book’s pages. I can’t tell you the weight of the paper because I bought it years ago (when I took that collage course I mentioned earlier.) I wanted my pages to be 5″ wide by 8″ long. I measured the paper accordingly and cut the paper. And when I tell you there is no such thing as a straight line, believe me. Even with a ruler and a pencil line on the paper my cutting is a little wobbly.
I cut two strips of paper and glued them together to form a really long piece. Then I started accordion folding. I measured and scored the paper with a bone folder every 5″ and then folded the paper. I flipped the paper over for every other fold to ensure the pages would accordion correctly. (There are simpler ways to make an accordion fold. But because I needed a specific width for each page this was the approach I used.)
Since this is a Vision Accordion Book, I needed lots of images to glue onto the inside pages. This is a fun task and almost always results in an overabundance of images. I spent a few hours on different days going through Martha Stewart Living, Yoga Journal, Shambala, Women’s Day, and MORE magazines.
The tendency, when choosing images for your vision board or book, is to tear out pictures of things you like, things you want to have, places you’d like to visit, etc. Often we do this without any conscious thought about our intention for the vision board. And this means we may miss the very image that we’re really looking for. Martha Beck recently wrote an article on vision boards that you might enjoy. Check it out here.
Here are all the images I cut out and spread out onto a table in my studio.
Looks a bit overwhelming doesn’t it?
From here I sorted the pictures into various categories: Company overview and values, products and services, wealth and abundance, target market and creative cohorts and supporters. And then I sorted the piles again, removing images that didn’t quite resonate with me and the intention of this book.
Vision in Action
Once I sorted the images and felt good with my choices, I started to lay them out on each page, one at a time. I spent over 3 hours trimming, laying out and gluing down the images. Then I glued the first and last page to the front and back book boards.
And viola! My Vision Accordion Book was complete.
The first two pages explain the overview of my business.
Pages 3 & 4 show my business values and the products and services I’ll offer.
Pages 4 & 5 explain more about my business and my vision for wealth and abundance.
Page 4 above also has a picture that I glued to the top of the page. Siddharta sits in the “No Fear” muhdra. The image folds over the page when the book is closed. The page 4 picture comes from a Soul Card I made a while back. It signified how I felt at the time “facing the unknown” and how many of us feel during a time of change and transition. When I found the picture of Siddharta in the “No Fear” muhdra, it only seemed appropriate to add him to this picture. I’m moving ahead without fear.
Finally, pages 6 & 7 represent my creative cohorts and supporters and my target market. Here is a shout-out to those people who are supporting me in this adventure, who offer words of advice and suggestions. As the small print under your pictures states “I can succeed by getting support.”
There you have it. My Vision Accordion Book. At some later point during this class, I’ll add some envelopes to the back sides of these pages for notes and goals. I’d also like to go back and soften the edges of the pictures with oil pastels. For now, however, it feels complete.