On this month's cover: Parvati Magazine April/May 2019: Courage - Darcy Belanger

On This Month’s Cover – April/May 2019

This month’s cover was the most challenging and yet easiest design I’ve completed for Parvati Magazine. Within hours of hearing the devastating news of Darcy’s passing, Parvati knew this issue should be dedicated to Darcy. I immediately began going through pictures of him and came across one he sent me a few weeks prior. Darcy had asked that his picture on Parvati.org be updated to this one. His face was full of light.

As I placed the gleaming image of Darcy onto the blank canvas of the new issue, I pivoted from staring at Darcy’s face to looking out the window in silence, and then back to Darcy. I allowed all of the emotions about him and his tragic passing to arise within me. I’d constantly bring my gaze back to Darcy’s face and then I would attempt to clear my mind completely. Ideas, from wherever they manifest, often come during these moments.

As I looked at Darcy and considered what he had been so passionately working towards, it became clear—Darcy was MAPS. He needed to be encapsulated within a circle. A circle was used for the MAPS logo as a symbol of the earth, and that’s what Darcy should be within as well. From there I wanted to replace some of the earthly textures from the original photo, and give a white graphic treatment to his clothes, which gave him a pure and heavenly look.

While I tried to focus on my screen through watery eyes, the thought “flowers” came up. I thought, “What do I do with flowers?” The answer was, “Surround him with them.” Of course. Flowers are beautiful and are completely receptive to the sun. Without their knowing, much like Darcy, they warm the hearts of people who see them. They represent the beauty and blossoming of Darcy’s soul. They are life.

But it wasn’t enough. As I looked at the cover with a ring of lush flowers surrounding Darcy, something was missing—there was more to this story. In his commitment and dedication to MAPS, Darcy was going through a transformation. Butterflies. Darcy moved from task to task, person to person, with both strategic focus and warm-hearted lightness. He became a butterfly.

Looking back at it now, I see that his metamorphosis has inspired more of us to have the courage to awaken. And from this comes the iridescent hummingbird that flies free above Darcy—free to roam from flower to flower and quickly ascend to heights that a butterfly simply cannot reach.

The night before we found out about the tragedy, I was working on what would be Darcy’s last video. He took it at the airport in Washington en route to Kenya. I realised I had been editing it while he was boarding the plane from Ethiopia to Kenya. I remember watching the footage, looking at him and thinking, “Awww, I love Darcy. He looks so happy and bright. He‘s really sparkling.” I sent the video links to the team at 1:32 a.m.… just a few minutes before Darcy’s flight took off.

Darcy, you were, and always will be, an inspiration and a beacon of courage and light. Thank you for all of the support and heartfelt dedication you gave. You will forever live in my heart and mind and be part of the heartbeat of the planet.

by Adam Nathan, Art Director, Parvati Magazine