illustration of circular scribles with the uppercase letter K in the middle

Kirsten DeZeeuw

Media Arts and Design

Welcome to SMAD

SMAD majors at James Madison University have the best of so many worlds. Standing for the School of Media Arts and Design, this program trains creatives in four concentrations; journalism, creative advertising, interactive media, and digital video and cinema.

I concentrated in creative advertising as a way to stay connected to my love of art and design, and to pursue my dream of working in a creative and collaborative environment. In addition to my concentration, I also had the opportunity to round out my skillset by taking classes from the other concentrations like News Reporting and Writing, Interactive Design, and Media Law. Featured on this site are a few of the projects I completed in some of my favorite SMAD classes.

Graphic Design

Working for the Jackie Gordan Campaign for Congress

I had the pleasure of being an intern for a congressional campaign during the election of 2020. I this position, my primary duties were to create promotional graphics for campaign events, and to engage in meaningful conversations with voters.

All of these graphics were hand illustrated in Adobe Illustrator. Working for the campaign I learned more about the inner workings of a political campaign, and how to effectively engage audiences over digital platforms.

Slice of Kindness

2D illustration graphic by Kirsten DeZeeuw advertising a pizza pie donation event to fuel front-line workers.

This graphic was used on the campaign's Mobilize website to promote a community outreach event the campaign was hosting. The campaign was collecting orders of pizza pies that were then donated to local firefighters and EMT workers to help fuel those putting themselves at risk on the front lines.

Join the Effort

2D illustration graphic by Kirsten DeZeeuw of a hand holding a cell phone receiving a call. Graphic is advertising a phone bank event.

What better way to recruit volunteers who are comfortable talking to voters over the phone than on social media? This graphic was created to advertise the phone and text banks the campaign volunteers participated in to connect with voters in the area.

Early Voting in Wyandansch

2D illustration graphic by Kirsten DeZeeuw of woman standing in townsquare advertising an early voting event.

When a town as beautiful as Wyandansch, New York hosts an early voting event in the town square, it would practically be a crime not to mimic its charming architecture! This graphic takes the cake for the most complicated illustration I completed in my internship, but it was well worth the effort to help raise awareness about how voting can be easy and accessible.

Web Design with HTML and CSS

Second semester senior year I decided to challenge myself by enrolling in SMAD 307- Interactive Design I. This course is a part of the interactive media concentration the SMAD program offers, and while I had very limited HTML experiene to start with, I was ready for the task.

Dr. Anderson taught me how to hand code websites HTML and CSS grid via the text editing application Brackets. After just one semester of classes, I went from a complete novice to making my own websites- a skill I am very thankful for and had a lot of fun learning. Thank you Dr. Anderson!

Portfolio Site

Screenshot of the top section of this portfolio website.

This website was hand coded in brackets to be a space to display a sample of my work. The multi-panel approach was a fun new process I was introduced to for this project that sets it apart from other sites I had created earlier this semester.

Tourism Website

Screenshot of starter site class project that you gave me really kind feedback on

The objective of this project was to put our newly-learned coding skills to the test. I constructed a tourism website for Harrisonburg that features the downtown area, James Madison University, other nearby activitys, and a small collection of my photography portfolio.

Fine Art

The world through my lens

Like many others before me, I grew fond of art from a young age. Even though it wasn't in the cards for me to go to art school, I made sure to continue to cultivate my skills into adulthood by declaring an art minor here at JMU.

My artistic preferences and style has changed dramatically over time, and at this point in time I find myself gravitating toward black and white film photography and charcoal drawings. Here is a small collection of my fine art work.

Jump to:

Film Photography

- Before the Descent

Collage and Montage

- Nightmares and Daydreams

Film Photography

Into the Darkroom

When I declared an art minor at JMU, I never dreamed I would become so invested in film photography. Having grown up in a digital world, I enjoyed how film photography blends the systematic science of working with chemicals with the art of experimentation to perfect combination of settings that will create an ideal enlargement.

Before the Descent

Being a second semester senior, I decided to take the scuba diving elective here at JMU to try the sport out and see if I wanted to pursue getting certified. While it was a little scary at times, it didn’t take long to fall in love with the sport and the community that accompanies it.

Soon I found myself wanting to document this new hobby I found during the golden hours of my time here at JMU. I wanted to document the methodical nature of the preparation for this activity, so I used my 35mm camera to take pictures of this process with both the students’ and the instructors’ permission. Once the negatives were enlarged, I scanned them in and placed the images in chronological order.

Photo of air cylindars laying on the ground in a row. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw


35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Image of the backs of thee people's legs as they observe a demonstration in the pool. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw


35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Image of two divers demonstrating a skill in the water. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw


35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Close up film photograph of diver preparing their boyancy contorl device. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw

"BCD Prep"

35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Close up photo of someone putting on their boyancy control device. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw

"Gearing Up".

35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Film photograph of diver entering water from seated position. Photo by Kirsten DeZeeuw

"Seated Entry"

35mm film on glossy paper. 2021.

Collage and Montage

Nightmares and Daydreams

This is one of my favorite series I have completely in university. Last semester I took a collage and montage class that was taught by one of my favorite professors. I had a hard time with the course content at first because collage style art is so outside of my own personal style, but after wrestling with the style, I produced some of my favorite works to date.

This project was an exploration into the many strange, bizarre, and vivid dreams/memories I have from my childhood, and was created by hand painting each background, and then digitally montaging the images onto the composition.

Montage of woman's head in profile view with animal eyes pasted on it. Art by Kirsten DeZeeuw.

"Piggy Eyes"

Digital Montage, 2021.

Montage of little girl crying at figure emerging from ceiling. Art by Kirsten DeZeeuw.

"Ceiling Man"

Digital Montage, 2021.

Montage of a injured worms receiving medical attention. Art by Kirsten DeZeeuw.

"Worm Hospital"

Digital Montage, 2021.

Montage of unicorns sharpening their horns on pavemnet. Art by Kirsten DeZeeuw.

"How Potholes are Made"

Digital Montage, 2021.