Kevin Graham Schmidt BFA Thesis Spring 2011
I hurt: Therefore, I am. A thank-you letter to the universe
My thesis is a reaction to popular romantic tropes which treat love, attachment, and ownership as interchangeable examples of the same thing. These tropes have been embedded in the modern cultural psyche, and turn up in literature, comics, movies, and music. My emphatic protest of the love stories which harbor these tropes culminated in the first 25 pages of a graphic novel set in a non-Tolkienian fantasy world. However, it wasn’t until this project was well under-way that I could bring myself to admit that my revulsion for love stories had prompted me to write one of my own.
Why did love stories bother me so much? Why did I feel the need to work through my irrational hatred and scathing embarrassment to make one myself? I defined and shaped this question by locating the seat of my own shame, and then I explored what outside forces that had implanted and enforced it in me. A brief foray into culturally enforced shaming tactics against certain kinds of self-expression was made. This led to a personal assertion on the positive consequences of heartbreak, and a three month quest to break my own limits and fears. With this project, I endeavored to grow out where the seams burst open so I could assume the shape of a human being capable of more.