Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Kathleen Sleboda

Third Advisor

Ryan Waller


Before I knew about design, I knew about desire. A desire for the new, the beautiful, the promising. A desire that lives on a surplus of surfaces. On packaging, social media, on websites. A desire that makes the job of a graphic designer an object of desire itself. A practice that prioritizes aesthetics over meaning. Expectations over reality.

In Graphic Desire, I complicate the ways that desire affects both designers and consumers. Caught up in our own need for creative fulfillment, we often overlook our impact as the arbiters of desire. Under capitalism, we create work that over-promises a better life while the market continues to make this vision less and less accessible.

In Graphic Desire, I reorient my relationship with the insatiable force of desire. I try to slow down and work backwards from what I want to why I want. What I make to why I make. I reflect on my process in small publications. I retool branded forms — identity, packaging, flyers, websites — to expose and question the marketing techniques that capitalize off our needs and wants. I give form to narratives that interpolate between the perspectives of a consumer and designer driven by the superficial. I confront my own role in constructing desire through self-awareness, humor, and collaboration. Participant and critic, I find the charm of graphic design not in the outcomes but through the agency of making.



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