When it comes to the creative process, there are forces at work that must be recognized. Whether they be the capital ‘S’ self, the act of procrastination, getting the process started, practicing creative autonomy, and more. This adventurer interviews brilliant minds to get to the bottom of these said forces and to truly understand the effect mental health has on the creative process. More than just question and response, delve into the adventurer’s inner thoughts as they process the answers from fellow creatives.

Design from Despair thesis book (PDF) »

Journey from Despair guided journal (PDF) »

Jasmine Platt is a graphic design graduate from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her practice includes watercolor and collage while appreciating the digital arts talents trusted upon her. Jasmine’s thesis work focuses on mental health and how it affects the design process. She interviewed several creatives, asking various questions that center around mental health and the design process.

What Might Be
by Jasmine Platt

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
Ever so often it slips into chaos…
And finds instead in a bind.

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
The heartache and pain, companied by struggle and disarray.
And surmounting lullabies.

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
Thick with imposture syndromes
That is stagnant no matter how hard I’ve tried.

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
When fortune smiles upon me
And I can leave this world behind.

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
From pain and devastation
To where my stars have all aligned.

Can you guess what’s on my mind?
Of   w h a t   m i g h t   b e …
To be set free from this world I have designed.


(AI song reference: “Art of Life -3rd Movement-” by X Japan)



My thesis book, Unfinished: Communicating Grief and Healing Through Handmade Textiles, documents my research into the historical and contemporary work that links grief, healing, textiles, and design, and thereby emphasizes the value of sharing space for quiet creation and community among those who have experienced grief similar to my own, allowing room for the unfinished and imperfect, and expanding the materials and techniques we think of as graphic design.

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Material is ubiquitous. It’s everywhere and it’s everything, almost as if the word has become meaningless. The kind of material that I’ve explored in this thesis is the kind with a magical essence, charged with human touch, presence, and mystery—the kind that stirs curiosity, creates questions, and encourages us to keep seeking.

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Artists and designers on the introvert spectrum are often misrepresented and misunderstood. This experience begins during an introvert’s formative academic years, continues through their career journey, and is also reflected in their practice.

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This thesis has been the medicine that has broken down and will continually break down the phlegm that obstructed the life-giving oxygen needed for me to breathe. This work has stretched and pulled me in many directions. I wanted to know my roots. I wanted to know how far I could travel into the archives. I wanted to know if I could do something as simple as locate my ancestors’ names beyond the second generation. Within this wading, I have learned many things about the exploration of lineage and documentation. This synthesis has spoken to the slivers of hope and the gaping holes in the history of America’s true builders. It is a work that speaks about my experience during this discovery and expresses it through the visuals as I attempted to fill the gaps of my familial past.

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Reconsidering the designer as one among many in a creative and collaborative network of active participants full of agency and potential.

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Imagine a world that celebrates our differences, tears down walls, welcomes outsiders, and stimulates collaborative encouragement—this is the revolution—this is Ignite Designers.

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Observations about living and designing in a world of clashing expectations.

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