America is known for its fast pace lifestyle, working hard, being the best, and keeping a smile on your face all the while. An idealized culture has formed and it’s being impressed on people at a young age due to the rise in social media. Teens and young adults, ages 13-25, are in a pivotal stage of life for self-discovery, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes, but pressure to present themselves as perfect, and already having everything figured out, is like a devil on their shoulder. Expressing that they feel sad, angry, or confused is barely an option because it is impressed on them that those feelings are not ideal. For my thesis, I researched to answer the question, how does the pressure of only presenting the ideal version of oneself, cause teens and young adults to refrain from outwardly expressing their emotions in a healthy way?
In my teen years, I experienced a pressure of being an idealized version of myself. It affected my emotions and my actions greatly. After holding in all my emotions for a long period of time, I would break, and everything would spiral out of me in absolute emotional madness. I found I could never get myself to verbally express my struggles and emotions. I believe that subconsciously I was telling myself that I could not act sad, or angry, or confused because the ideal version of myself did not act that way. I then started expressing my feelings in writing and art. Writing and doodling how I felt, sometimes in the form of letters to myself or whoever inflicted these strong emotions in me, allowed me to get emotions off my chest, but still in a private way.
I again noticed I was holding in my emotions in a similar way as I did in high school. This time I decided to put these emotions into a screenprinting piece. I made a greeting-style card that included a passive cover, then when opened, a hard-hitting and to-the-point caption. Creating this card allowed me to get my emotions out on the subject, as well as, put a different light on the situation. I am now able to show off something I made because of these emotions, instead of wallowing in them, so I created an experience like this for others.
Greeting cards are used as a form of expression, usually in regards to congratulating or recognizing a milestone for someone. Mind Full takes this medium and flips it into a modem of expressing your individual emotions. Mind Full is here to create a visionary space and activity where individuals can take their emotions and put them into a greeting-style card. The finished product of these cards is intended to be the perfect card that you need to receive at the moment. I designed five of my own cards to inspire others to express their emotions in a similar way. Providing a make-your-own kit to give people a starting point and establishing a positive atmosphere, community, and space for conversations on emotion expression and creativity.