After spending years working as a professional graphic designer, I struggled somewhat with the transition to graduate school. It was strange going from client-driven work to completely openended creative freedom. I began using my sketchbooks as a place to document ideas, collage, sketch, and reflect. This was a safe place for me to experiment. My sketchbooks were very personal – full of incomplete designs and random thoughts. I used to say that showing someone my sketchbook felt like being naked in front of them: completely exposed.
In effort to get over this, I started sharing my sketchbooks with more individuals, and I eventually scanned them and put them online at issuu.com/mdee. While, this exercise enabled me to begin getting over my fears of imperfection (by making my flaws public) my creations were still sketchbooks, and I wanted to break the bounds of their safety.
This process led me to the idea of creating individualized postcards that I would mail to strangers. The format of a card enabled me to move outside of the sketchbook – and the decision to mail them to strangers helped to me relinquish control over my work. Simply by putting a piece through the mail, I risked it being “ruined.” And by sending the works to people I didn’t know, I didn’t have a real way of tracking to see if the cards ever made it to their final destination.