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by Natalie Bannerman

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see – #Inktober

#Inktober marks an entire month of art and illustrations: its thirty-one days of thirty-one ink drawings taking place throughout October. It was started back in 2009 by Jay Parker an Illustrator based in Utah as a “challenge to improve my inking skills and develop positive drawing habits.” Since then it has grown into a global online event attracting thousands of participants including some of the most talented artists in the industry.

But don’t be discouraged from taking part the in the annual event, its not just for professionals. The rules are simple, you need only create a drawing in ink, post it online, hashtag it with #inktober or #inktober2016 and repeat for the entire thirty-one days.

So through my scouring of social media and the various artists taking part this year I happened to come across Shawn Coss. Now he has chosen a very unique theme for his series of #Inktober drawings: mental health. All created in his signature dark, creepy and macabre style of illustration, Shawn brings to life these very serious issues with a sobering tone ideal for the subject at hand. Many have even commented in finding comfort in his work, making them feel understood.

But Shawn is just one of many gifted artists taking part this year. Pop in #Intober into your search engine and you might make a new discovery of your own.

Now while some have taken to Facebook and Twitter to express their dislike of Shawns work in this collection, I for one found it refreshing to see such an accurate representation of a very real problem. After all mental health is not all hearts and flowers anyway.