For years now, local graphic artist Derek Hess has been raising awareness about mental illness and has talked about his struggles with alcoholism and bipolar disorder.
Next month, Hess will honor Mental Health Awareness Month with the release of his new book, 31 Days in May: A Visual Journey
. The book includes a series of images that “look at the link between creativity and mental health as told through Hess's artwork.” Topics include loneliness, relationships, depression and suicide. The 150-page book includes more than 120 Hess images, some never before published, and features a foreword by Dr. Joseph Calabrese, director of the Mood Disorders Program at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
His 31 Days in May Tour will feature book signings, screenings of the documentary Forced Perspective
and organized talks. A portion of all book sales on the tour will be donated to the mental health or addiction awareness organization of the venue's choice in each city.
Hess has set up a GoFundMe campaign
; a portion of all proceeds raised will go to the Hope for the Day and Mental Health America organizations.
The tour comes to town to stop at the Derek Hess gallery on May 18. It also includes a stop at Gypsy Tattoo in Findlay on May 31.