Updated: Oct 25
The Three of Pentacles represents learning, apprenticeship, and studying.
The Rider-Waite tarot shows a young man working on a part of a cathedral. There are two architects there as well, who are holding the plans for the building's design. The intricate engravings and the beauty of the interior show that all three people are highly skilled.
All in all, this card represents collaboration and teamwork.
I chose to change the setting of this card to something that fits my graphic novel, "The Book of Joel," better. As such, I went with an abstract representation of Malka's love for the arts. I took cues from Alfons Mucha's famous Art Nouveau paintings, since I've always felt that Art Nouveau fits Malka well (also, the Art Nouveau movement ended when she was a teen circa 1914, so it would have a large impact on her).
Malka's holding a paintbrush and a palette behind her, showing her love for self-expression. She uses art as a way to interpret the world around her. In particular, she takes an interest in using art to explore human psychology, particularly people who catch her interest (Joel, of course, is one of them!).
As for teamwork, the original idea for this was to show her friends' smiling faces behind her, but it was too distracting. As such, the themes of teamwork and collaboration are implied through Malka's interest in using art to explore the mental landscapes of other people (and her own).