CINCINATTI, Ohio — These days, adults coloring is all the rage, so Headshrinker’s Press (HSP) and artist Gaspare Orrico are putting the rage … into coloring!
With the release of the “Monstera Menegerie” coloring book Feb. 1, Orrico brings you 30 hand-drawn illustrations of abominations never before seen. You decide how these grotesque abominations should come to life with the color palette of your imagination.
“I take great pleasure in drawing monsters. It helps to exorcise my nightmares,” the 38-year-old Italian artist said. “I want to create realistic illustrations that could evoke emotions.”
Gaspare’s pencils and inks are just as unique as he is. Born in Cosenza, Italy, Gaspare is currently residing in an Italian village called Marano Marchesato near Cosenza, in Calabria. He has been sketching and drawing since childhood. He
also holds a degree in medieval history, is an avid bass player, lover of comics and a Neil Gaiman fan.
Hooks, beaks horns, claws, fangs and more. You name it. Orrico conjures creatures from the dark corners of his mind and brings them to life on every page. He said the idea came to him while vacationing in Sicily a few years ago.
“During my stay I liked to relax and sketch monsters on my moleskin tablet. With this book, I tried to do a challenging experience to test myself with something new and unique,” Orrico said.
Orrico’s books comes at the right time. Coloring as a form of art therapy for adults has taken off. According to a January 2016 report on CNN.com, “… Art therapy is a mental health profession in which the process of making and creating artwork is used to ‘explore feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety and increase self-esteem.’”
“Gaspare’s book really excited us when we first got wind of it,” said Nichi Hawkins, co-publisher at HSP. “We started looking at these amazing drawings and thought, ‘Wow. He’s really got something here.”
Orrico knew it as well and found Headshrinker’s to help him publish it. “I was searching for an independent publishing house that was looking to promote new artist,” he said.
The “Monstera Menegerie” coloring book is 64-pages with a full color cover and available for $7.00 at http://headshrinkerspress.com/?post_type=product&p=7194. A digital print-it-yourself edition is also available for 99 cents. HSP also kicked off a coloring contest using Orricos images on the Facebook page and in a separate blog post.