Derek Hess, an artist who has created countless album covers for artists like Pink Floyd and promo flyers for live rock shows in the 1980s, has been raising awareness about mental illness via his award-winning, autobiographical documentary, Forced Perspective (2016).
In May, Derek honored Mental Health Awareness Month with the release of his new book, 31 Days In May: A Visual Journey – a collection of images showcasing his ongoing battle with Dual Diagnosis, a term for those who struggle with both mental illness and substance abuse. Since these images were originally shared on social media, what started off as self-exploration quickly turned into a personal journey for many dealing with their own mental health and addiction issues.
In addition to releasing his book, Derek has gone on tour in May to bring awareness to mental health issues. Each day, he will visit a different non-traditional location – such as high schools, universities, bookstores, mental health organizations, hospitals, concert venues, libraries and shops – to take part in 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 they visit. He also has a GoFundMe up right now that allows people to donate to tour funding as well as mental health charity organizations at gofundme.com/31daysinmay
“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
31 Days In May Tour Dates:
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
For more, visit derekhess.com.