As I said in an earlier post, the first thing I decide before commissioning an illustration is whether it should be conceptual, literal, emotional or decorative. Adam Niklewicz is one of my go-to artists for conceptual illustrations, especially when I need a topic stripped down to its essential elements.
For the article “Loving What Is,” I needed an image to convey the idea of accepting our lives as they are, rather than what we think they could or should be. In addition to sending him the article, I nudged him in a general direction — as I often do — by tossing out the phrase “staying calm in a chaotic world.” Adam gave me some great sketches that all relate to that idea (above).
We loved the one with the guy under the umbrella, and only asked that Adam change the figure so that he is reaching his hand out, to indicate that he is evaluating the situation (below left). The final art (below right) had just the optimistic tone we were looking for.
Thanks to Adam for providing us with another lovely image!