Two years ago, Bryant Nichols began a daily exercise he continues to this day: He makes one 3-D illustration from start to finish. Nichols, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Cincinnati who counts Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe among his clients, says that he typically executes the ritual without a concept in mind. But his work suggests otherwise: its tactile forms, contorted into vibrant, expressive shapes, all but burst with emotion. Nichols’s diverse subject matter is united by a meticulous attention to detail, allowing his creations to convey a kind of beauty anyone can recognize. This inclusivity might stem from his personal history: Born in South Korea, he was adopted at age 3 and grew up in Loveland, Ohio, where few people looked like him. “My work is a way to send something out into the world without having my race be a part of that standing out,” he says.