Yesterday, TIME unveiled their latest magazine cover, showing an incredible depiction of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, created by artist John Mavroudis. The San Franciscan knew that he would cause a wave of controversy by getting involved in the highly politicized debate over Ford’s allegations and testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but has since come forward to explain the purpose behind it, and to explain the ripple effect he has witnessed since.
As reported by USA Today, Mavroudis decided to use Ford’s own words from during her testimony last week at the Senate hearing to create the image, with the illustration showing her with her eyes closed and her right hand raised as she was sworn in. The result is Ford’s own voice creating her image on the cover.
“This particular process is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, but with an infinite number of possibilities,” TIME reported Mavroudis as saying. “I started with an image of Ford and then drew the words in where they might be appropriate. The memory quotes would be attached to her forehead area, and the quotes about wanting to help I placed on her hand. The hand could be seen as welcoming, but also deflecting. It’s a fascinating process to watch the face take shape, while hoping that you’ve captured the essence.”
TIME has used this technique of typography before, back in 2012 with images of then-President Barack Obama and opponent Mitt Romney with statements from their respective campaigns.
Just hours after the magazine cover was revealed, Mavroudis received an email on Thursday morning from a woman who had seen it. She explained that on Wednesday night she had been listening to her husband question Ford’s testimony because of the many years that have passed since her assault. The woman then told her husband that she herself had been a victim of sexual assault several years ago, something he had never known.
“In a very bad situation, that’s one of the best things since Christine Blasey Ford’s case has come to light, the fact other women are feeling free to tell their stories,” Mavroudis said. “I was on the BART train coming into work when I read it and I was like, ‘Oh my God.'”
The artist also explained that he made a pointed effort to use Ford’s more emotive and accusatory language when it came to the words he used in the image.
“I think it speaks to a moment in our country’s history. I’m conscious of that when I’m doing it. We wanted the focus to be on the trauma of whatever she went through and the courage it took for her to come up there.”