Internationally renowned artist Derek Hess understands first hand that people such as himself are in a unique position to start important dialogues about intimate universal struggles. For years, Hess has been raising awareness about a subject very close to him, mental illness – even going public about his struggle with alcoholism and bipolar disorder (often categorized as Dual Diagnosis) and releasing an award-winning, autobiographical documentary, Forced Perspective (2016). Forced Perspective showcases the evolution of a celebrated artist and his effect on music and culture while highlighting the link between creativity and mental illness.
In May, Hess will continue the discussion about mental illness by honoring Mental Health Awareness Month with the release of his new book, 31 Days In May: A Visual Journey. In May of 2017, Hess posted a daily image to his social media outlets that showcased his ongoing battle with bipolar disorder and substance abuse. What started off as self-exploration quickly turned into a personal journey for many dealing with their own mental health and addiction issues.
These images have been assembled into 31 Days In May: A Visual Journey – a look at the link between creativity and mental health as told through Hess’s artwork. Topics such as loneliness, relationships, depression and suicide are beautifully and painfully depicted throughout this book with the hope that it not only helps alleviate some of the stigma surrounding mental illness, but also helps to educate readers.
31 Days In May is over 150 pages, hardbound, and contains over 120 Derek Hess images, some never before published, with a foreword by Dr. Joseph Calabrese, Director of the Mood Disorders Program at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
In conjunction with the release of 31 Days In May, Derek Hess is pleased to announce the “31 Days In May Tour”, visiting approximately 20-30 different locations across the United States this May – Mental Health Awareness month. Derek will be doing book signings, screenings of 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 that we visit.
During the “31 Days In May Tour”, Hess will forgo the high end gallery setting he’s used to and focus on non-traditional locations such as high schools, universities, bookstores, mental health organizations, libraries and shops.
You can help Derek Hess bring the “31 Days In May Tour” to the masses by contributing to the 31 Days In May Book & Tour GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/31daysinmayA portion of all proceeds from GoFundMe will go to the Hope For The Day and Mental Health America organizations.
31 Days In May Tour Dates:
4/20 – 4/22 – Columbus, OH @ Hell City Tattoo – Book Signing
5/1 – Phoenix, AZ @ FilmBar – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/2 – San Diego, CA @ Eden Tattoo – Book Signing
5/3 – Los Angeles, CA @ Incognito Tattoo – Book Signing
5/4 – Clemente, CA @ San Clemente Tattoo – Book Signing
5/9 – Fort Myers, FL @ Howl Gallery/Tattoo – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/10 – Orlando, FL @ Rise Above Tattoo – Book Signing
5/11 – Winston-Salem, NC @ Delurk Gallery – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/16 – Syracuse, NY @ Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/18 – Cleveland, OH @ Derek Hess Gallery – Book Signing & Gallery Show
5/20 – Fremont, NE @ The Pioneer Theater – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/21 – Cedar Rapids, IA @ Next Page Books – Book Signing
5/22 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown & Arts Bar – Film Screening, Q&A, Book Signing
5/30 – Chicago, IL @ Galerie F – Book Signing
5/31 – Findlay, OH @ Gypsy Tattoo – Book Signing
Artist praise for 31 Days In May:
“As someone who spent decades in the grip of alcoholism-induced depression, I deeply identify with the striking imagery and vigorously-honest writing contained within Derek Hess‘s “31 Days In May.” As a musician, writer, and photographer, I have used the artistic process as an attempt to both express and understand myself in the moment of creation – often times, these moments are very unpleasant. Hess’s work in this book shows a man willing to face the darkest part of his nature in an effort to move forward and heal. Furthermore, by sharing his process so openly, he hopes to help others do the same. I can think of no higher calling for an artist.” – Photographer and Lamb of God vocalist D. Randall Blythe
“Working with Derek was a pleasure and an honor. I’ve been a fan of his twisted reality for a long time – or non-reality! I remember sending him music and he just went to town with images that came back, as if the music helped draw them!” – Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee
About Derek Hess:
Artist Derek Hess’s work has been recognized in both the music and art world for more than 20 years. Hess began creating promo flyers for live rock shows in Cleveland, OH in the 1980s. These flyers soon gained the attention of a multitude of national and local bands and are part of the permanent collections of the Grammy Museum, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Louvre in Paris.
In addition to countless album covers and gallery shows all over the world, he has been featured on TLC, MTV, Fuse, VH1, Alternative Press, Newsweek and Juxtapoz to name a few. The award-winning documentary, Forced Perspective – chronicling his art, life and struggles with mental illness and substance abuse – was recently released internationally through Gravitas Ventures and Redbull TV.
Derek Hess online: