03/14/2014 07:01 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Pauline Marois 'looks beautiful' in a hijab, artist says

Countless campaign posters in Montreal have been vandalized and covered in graffiti since the start of the campaign season, but one Montreal artist is using Photoshop instead of spray paint to get her message across.

The image has been making the rounds on social media this past week. Marina Totino admits she's the artist behind the Photoshopped image that shows Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois in a hijab.

"I don't think there's anything disrespectful about what I've done. All I've added was one piece of clothing over her head, and I feel like she still looks beautiful in it," Totino says.

The 20-year-old creative-arts student and aspiring photographer says she's hoping the image prompts voters to think carefully before they go to the polls on April 7.

Totino says she wanted to send a message about the PQ's controversial secular charter, which would see public employees barred from wearing overtly religious clothing, such as the hijab.

"I'm hoping people will start to realize, in my opinion anyways, how ridiculous the charter of values is," Totino says.

Sending a visual message

Totino says she was drawn to the power of the (Photoshop) paintbrush over the pen.

She says she wanted to go beyond a simple Facebook status or tweet about the secular charter.

"I think it's more valuable when it's in a picture ... it's right in front of you and without having to write an entire article about it, it's in one frame."

A peaceful approach

So far, Totino says the feedback has been mostly positive. One comment on Instagram criticized her for being disrespectful, but Totino says that was never her intention.

"I feel as though the other vandalism that has been going on, on these electoral posters, has been disrespectful. A lot of people are going out of their way to draw on the actual posters ... but I'd rather take a much more peaceful approach and Photoshop something on [Marois]," Totino says.