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Baby Don’t Hurt Me: Valentine’s Day Lightning Round

By SAIC

Valentine’s Day is perhaps the most personal holiday — Christmas gathers the whole family, Halloween gathers all of the candy, but Valentine’s Day is intimate. You celebrate one-on-one, and the gifts given often have deeper meaning than anything else you may give that year. Recently, Valentine’s Day has also become a celebration of not only the love you give your partner(s), but also the love you should give yourself. 

In advance of the day of love, we asked five School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) students the same three questions about the holiday, love, and, of course, chocolate. Hey, it may not be Halloween, but don’t deny yourself that caramel-filled heart-shaped chocolate. You deserve it. 

Photograph by Sam Donnell.

Topher Futrell | BFAAE 2022, Arts Education

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

That’s a Friday, right? I have a day off on Friday, so I’ll probably be watching movies with my friends as usual. I guess my boys will be my Valentines!

What’s the best classic Valentine’s Day gift? 

I think the best gift is time spent. I’m sure they chocolate, candy, and flowers are good and all, but nah. Time spent outranks any of that.

What’s the most powerful act of love you’ve ever witnessed?

Every single night, my parents have a beer together; they collect beers, so they’ll have one of those, and they’ll clink bottles and drink. It’s that consistent thoughtfulness when it comes to someone else. That’s powerful to see.

Photograph by Sam Donnell.

Sophia Shin | BFA 2022, Comics and Art Therapy

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Since my boyfriend and I just had our anniversary, we just wanted to do something small and personal.

What’s the best classic Valentine’s Day gift? 

If someone could replicate that chocolate beetle scene from “Coraline,” that would be my ideal Valentine’s gift.

What’s the most powerful act of love you’ve ever witnessed?

When I fight with my boyfriend, I really appreciate that even in the middle of that he cares about my well-being. Even if we argue late at night, his first concern is to make sure I get home safe.

Photograph by Sam Donnell.

Jalen Mathis | BFA 2022, Film, Video, New Media & Animation

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Yes! Valentine’s Day I’ll be spending with my partner. We might go with a group to see “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The evening, I’ll be spending with my other partner. Oh, and I’ll be fitting DnD in there as well. 

What’s the best classic Valentine’s Day gift? 

I honestly like roses, or flowers in general. My partner gave me a flower when they first asked me out, so I really appreciate the symbolism behind it.

What’s the most powerful act of love you’ve ever witnessed?

The clearest act that I’ve seen was an argument, actually, between my parents. And it was the moment that one of my parents realized they were wrong, and had to learn from the conversation. It’s that willingness to change.

Photograph by Sam Donnell.

Annabelle Sigmond | BFA 2020, Fashion

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

Yes. I’m part of the alumni council for After School Matters, so I’m working an event with Hebru Brantley and James Harden. After that, my boyfriend and I are going to attempt a DIY wine and paint night.

What’s the best classic Valentine’s Day gift? 

I think the ideal Valentine’s gift is something homemade; something that has a lot of time put into it. I think those are the best to give and to get.

What’s the most powerful act of love you’ve ever witnessed?

Grand gestures of love for me are when you go above and beyond for someone. My boyfriend offered once to put himself in debt to help me with college payments. It’s doing things that you would never do, within reason of course, but going out of your way to cater to someone else.

Photograph by Sam Donnell.

Leana Yonan | BFA 2020, Animation and Comics

Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day?

I do, yeah! My partner and I, we both love breakfast food, so we’re going to a diner, and then after class we’re staying in and watching “The Princess Bride.”

What’s the best classic Valentine’s Day gift? 

If I have a cute insider with someone, like an inside joke, I’d love to get them something that relates to that. Just something personal. Or chocolate, of course.

What’s the most powerful act of love you’ve ever witnessed?

There was this one time where I was really sick, and my boyfriend went and asked everyone if they knew good ways to treat the flu. Love is when people try to do everything they can and more.

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