Earlier this month Malika Favre had the honour of contributing her 5th New Yorker Cover (6th if you count the infamous unused Hillary). We thought it would be interesting to show some of her roughs and unused concepts and asked Malika to share her process:
"A month ago Francoise Mouly, art director for the New Yorker covers, asked me to work on ideas for an upcoming issue about Women in the tech industry. The brief as always was very open but also became a real challenge as soon as I started researching the subject. I went through all the articles that came out lately about women’s sharing their experience working in the tech industry starting with Susan Fowler describing her time at Uber and software engineer James Damore’s shocking manifesto. The more I was reading, the more depressed I was getting about the gender gap in that industry and how archaic the whole situation was.
I was lucky enough in my career as a designer never to work in an environment but unfortunately I feel I was the exception rather than the rule. I started thinking about sexual harassment and more generally toxic environments for women but very quickly decided that what the worlds need right now it something positive and forward thinking rather than an image showing the current state of the industry. My previous NY cover about female surgeons was a prime example of the impact that a positive image can have on people out there.
So I started sketching various ideas, most of which were showing women as the central hero but always keeping a second layer of narrative. The woman with the AR glasses for example is shown almost as a superhero but also stands in an almost defensive position, the girl coder sitting in the dark in another sketch is at the centre of the story but the overall mood also conveys a slight feeling of loneliness. The last sketch I did was the one with the little girls playing hopskotch. I believe that the situation won’t be sorted for my generation but I have hope for the next generation of girls so I started sketching a hopeful future. I chose a game that was usually associated to girl’s and gave it a twist, a hidden story that would change his meaning and get the point across. Today more and more girls are learning how to code and I want to believe they will change the face of this industry."