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I am exploring the cybersecurity expert as a protector, defender and warrior in the digital world, with nods to historic representations.

Photo of Samantha Slade
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

For this sketch, I wanted to explore a knight protecting data. The walls to the dungeon she is standing out of are made out of pixelated brick, with a heavy gate keeping whatever is inside in there. I didn't pull it off, but you can see in the moodboard, I have an image of lots of computer windows open and a cavernous hallway. The feeling that I wanted to go for was endless data into oblivion. So even if you can't see it due to the gate, that is what is behind this door. I wanted the knight outside to be confident and dignified, guarding the gate with a sense of justice.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

Last night in karate, I was learning the 12 count staff, which I am sure influenced this one. Here, I have a battle between light and dark. The man to the left has the same colors in his clothing as the rising sun... so they're on the same side. I was trying to make the sun have rays made of a computer network... so the sun here could really be the energy source for the cyber world. I would finish this out to have kind of a printed feeling to the colors, which I thought could be a nice juxtaposition to the nods to the digital world in the sky, is having the digital illustration have nods to the physical world.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

Digital constructs (networks, data, etc.) is really hard to draw with a human hand.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I am a designer based in Philadelphia. Most of my career has been in higher ed or nonprofits, in all sorts of technology, communications and design capacities. I am inspired by the missions of the people that I work with, and I love drawing when I can for work... because then I'm getting paid to draw! I maintain an active painting studio, and as a finishing touch to illustrations, I really enjoy layering in photographs of some of my fine art work to create richer textures. In my free time, I dance, walk in the woods and go see a lot of rock n roll.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

Attached to the above is an illustration I did for my work's magazine for a new program in Cybersecurity. I drew this knight standing on data, as a nod to the Cyber Sentinels grant we had received. We also did some advertising referring to "cyber warriors" and I loved this warrior concept because it marries ancient disciplines and techniques with the modern world. I thought this was a great opportunity to iterate on the concept.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator affiliated with an organization.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City


Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Hello Samantha Slade  Happy to see your contribution to the Cybersecurity challenge. Love the way you've brought the idea to life through this sequence. How would you consider pushing this idea further? We've had a large number of very interesting creations, have you had a chance to browse other submissions? There's a very interesting conversation around cybersecurity going on!