Kristina Smith
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Excellence Award Winner
Medical Illustration

Medical Illustration improves lives as a mode of visual communication enhancing medical education and health care around the world.

Medical illustration is the art of bringing visual clarity to complex ideas. I will often find myself researching for hours to learn everything I can about what I’m illustrating so I can fully grasp what needs to be included and how best to emphasize important structures. I view my drawing process as three steps. In the beginning sketches it’s like a little kid that has limitless potential and I guide it along. Then it turns into an awkward teenager and I question why I even brought it into this world. Finally it’s a fully rendered adult and I have to send it out into the world. It’s a little sad to be finished, but also a great triumph. I truly love medical illustration. It gives me the opportunity to constantly learn about science, grow as an artist, and to visually help other people.

What is your most memorable

experience at KCAD?

My most memorable experience at KCAD has been a collection of memories spending time with amazing people. KCAD and the Medical Illustration program have given me the opportunity to interact with some truly great artists and medical professionals on a daily basis. I have countless great memories on the third floor with my fellow students and Illustration professors, sitting cluttered around each other’s computers offering ideas to bring the best out of every illustration. I also have numerous great memories learning about the beauty and complexity of the human body at MSU’s Secchia Center, with the exceptional doctors guiding us to further our knowledge. Each person here has helped me grow as an artist and made my time at KCAD very memorable.

What are your most

notable accomplishments?

  • Working with Michigan State University to document the musculoskeletal anatomy of alpacas

  • Michigan Taxidermist Association wildlife art competition 2019 First Place Professional Division

  • Transfer Student Academic Achievement Scholarship

  • Vice President and Secretary of the Medial Illustration Club 2019-2021

  • Student member of the Association of Medical Illustrators

  • Multiple semesters recognized on the President’s List

  • Recipient of the 2021 Medical Illustration Excellence Award