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Florida-Pink Sentiments

What is trustworthiness?

Photo of Leila Woolheater

Written by

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

A Florida-pink lizard looks in a window despite a privacy fence, locked window, and window treatment. But is it really a pink lizard? Trustworthiness in a social media age is also whether we know and trust who and what is watching us. We don’t. For the animated GIF, this was my process. I had my pencils out with a sketchpad and a mini canvas. I filled a page with an arrow then keywords, and then stopped. I thought about this and switched media. I opened a photo that I’d snapped with my phone one weekend. It hadn’t been shared anywhere. To me, that photo represented trust and the illusion of privacy, so I tried to reflect on that. So, from an original photo that I snapped one afternoon, I went through multiple phases of adding filters to literally bend the image into an illusion: complete with poster edges and an iconic pink. I also wanted to reverse the illusion. In cybersecurity, one of the challenges is teaching that there are illusions. The are many examples: your email inbox, apps gathering more than you expect, social media, and when someone runs up and demands access because of something urgent. Unless it’s a test, there may be many illusions that aren’t immediately revealed.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

My concept is a menagerie of animal characters and versatile plots that could create the baseline for some new folklore around what cybersecurity is. This idea grew from my original submission of a Florida-pink lizard GIF through interactions on the platform with Yane Clark and others. Whether it's a presentation slide deck or a storybook land, I'd like to see more relatable kid-friendly visuals with enough zest to engage adults and teens too. For this challenge, I also thought it was important to "hack" the formal visual creation process itself. I wanted to bring in the unexpected. I've worked to step outside more formal visual creation processes, whether that was making one of the characters (and a delicious blackberry hat), up-cycling items from around the kitchen, origami or something else. For me, this challenge is a way to kickstart additional design-related thinking. I'm thinking of creative and other projects beyond this. This could start anything from an awesome pair of acrylic paintings for a friend, to something to make for actual kids, and even how to liven up my note-taking as I continue learning more.

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

I'm looking more deeply into the patterns of cybersecurity visuals. I'm wondering about the difficult decisions that organizations and individuals make. Working on this, I sensed how much more expected it may be to apply a retro green-screen glow, photograph a key, or want to type out some Linux or Nmap commands (maybe instead). It's interesting to try to understand why the imagery is so pervasive while working to do something different. I can also see how even my contribution to the challenge echoes threads of memory: stories of the Anansi the trickster (seen as a spider), traditional depictions of the lizard from Zuni art that I saw in my childhood, Durer’s rhinoceros in a research paper that I wrote about the concept of the menagerie in Western culture for my undergrad degree, and perhaps even the flamingo imagery in Florida. So, the sketching process also helped me question my own identity in a different way.

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

I’m inspired to dig into deeper patterns and context. In the last year, I’ve continued learning more. I leveled up to CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst+ certification. The more I keep learning the more I understand that cybersecurity is huge.‌ I’ve started making content that synthesizes more than one subject, such as the following article and photo:

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

This is an opportunity for me to grow as a visual storyteller while reflecting on cybersecurity visuals. I jumped at the opportunity to participate in this community-focused initiative that merges cybersecurity, art, and positive messages.

Website(s) |

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

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

What best describes you?

  • Other

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City

Tampa Bay Area (in an unincorporated community)

Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • United States of America

Attachments (1)


Photo (with some of my abstract art): An abstracted peafowl feather is being "phished" with a safety pin and a bit of excess stitches pulled from a garment. The featured "feather" is built out of tags from tea that have been painted in blues, greens, and purples. A bit of neon paper has some punched out circles and is what supports a mirrored patch that represents an eye of the feather.


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Leila: Thanks for the reference to Wikepedia. Now I understand the lizard's place in the drawing! I guess being from the Southwest desert and so far away from your part of the world and ecological things going on there, I was just completely out of the loop. Always glad to be educated.

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