Shehzil Malik – On Creating “Ms. Marvel” Posters & More
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the…
When you are selected to create the official poster for “Ms. Marvel,” you are put on the map of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Pakistani artist and illustrator Shehzil Malik experienced just that and has been winning praise for her awesome work.
She leads a studio that works on social impact projects through digital art, publications, textile, and public art. Her work has been featured in CNN, DW, BBC, and Forbes with clients including Sony Music, Penguin Random House, Oxfam, New York Times, GIZ, and Google. Shehzil Malik focuses her work on human rights, feminism, and South Asian identity.
We got a chance to chat with her and get all the deets. Check out the exclusive interview right here:
DissDash: How did you get the opportunity to design the poster for “Ms. Marvel”?
Shehzil Malik: The connection to Marvel comes from the Pakistani director of “Ms. Marvel,” Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who introduced them to my work. Marvel asked to use some of my artworks to represent Kamala Khan’s heritage as a Muslim/Pakistani-American superhero. The poster is designed by Marvel; the original artworks that they’ve collaged in the background are by me.
DissDash: Are you a Marvel fan?
Malik: Yes! I’m a fan of comics as a medium, and Marvel played a big part in the art I was exposed to as a kid!
DissDash: How was the red carpet experience in LA for the premiere of “Ms. Marvel”?
Malik: Very cool! I was asked to draw on the red carpet alongside another artist, Alexa Holland, and we had a great time! I also had my best friend as my plus-one so it was pretty amazing to experience the premiere with her. It was a very beautiful, South Asian red carpet in the heart of Hollywood that felt very special to be part of!
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DissDash: You are known for your hard-hitting visuals – what inspired you to take the path of ‘rebel art’?
Malik: I tend to use art as a way to process events, thoughts, and feelings- esp when it’s related to causes that affect women and minorities. The politically motivated/ feminist art does become a way to protest against injustice or to create empathy for voices you may not normally hear from.
DissDash: Who is your greatest supporter?
Malik: I get the most strength from my friends and younger sister who I trust to be both honest and kind to me.
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DissDash: What is the best response you have gotten to date for your artwork?
Malik: Whenever women reach out to say they can relate to the art, or that the words helped them work through similar questions, or if I see the art in someone’s personal space and becoming a part of their lives- it always makes me very happy. It’s especially touching when mothers get affirming artworks like “Brown is Beautiful” for their daughters.
DissDash: What is your dream project?
Malik: I don’t have anything specific in mind- but to work on a project with animation and music to tell a South Asian / Pakistani spec-fic narrative would be amazing!
DissDash: What message would you like to give to all the aspiring South Asian illustrators?
Malik: I think this is a great time to be telling our stories! I’m so excited to see what the next generation of illustrators and storytellers will bring to light- there are so many characters, experiences and richness that is yet to be explored from the region! I think the world is finally ready for it.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.