Here’s the Most Uncomfortable and Important Collection of Mental Health Illustrations You’ll Ever See

#INKtober only comes once a year. This ink artist is making headlines with his approach, featuring these beautifully scary images of various mental health disorders.

Shaw Coss is a 33-year-old professional artist from Akron, Ohio. He’s one of many ink artists participating in this year’s #INKtober, a drawing challenge to do an ink drawing every day for the month of October.

Last year, Coss used his dark drawing style to tackle the characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. But with the help of fans and a good friend, Coss settled this year on illustrating various mental health disorders.

Here are just a few of his beautifully painful illustrations:




“I have a medical background that has given me some firsthand experiences with some of the more severe and dangerous illnesses and disorders, but I myself am not formally diagnosed with any illness,” Coss explained. He then went on to emphasize that there are far too many people who suffer in silence as a result of cases that go undiagnosed.


For the project, Coss researches each condition for over an hour before condensing the symptoms and reality of each illness into one singular image.

He also takes suggestions and recommendations from his fans as a way to accurately and fully capture the suffering of each one.

Read Next On To Save A Life
More Than 500,000 Scars Cover Her Body—Dr. Phil Helps Woman Fight Through the Trauma That Haunts Her


Once he’s prepared, Coss typically draws the piece and streams it via Facebook Live to better connect with his 82,000+ followers.

Attention Deficit Disorder – day 19 inktober. Rants and inks

Posted by Shawn Coss – Artist on Tuesday, October 18, 2016

He says the response to his #INKtober drawings has been overwhelming.


“People from all over the world have reached out to me to let me know how much the art means to them, and it’s overwhelming hearing some of the heart breaking stories they tell me.”


On November 1, Coss is announcing information about the collection of illness book, which is expected to be a way for fans to get their hands on his #INKtober prints. He hopes to have the book made available for Mental Health Awareness month in May.

Until then, all of Coss’ INKtober illustrations will be available for purchase on his website at the end of the month.

For more information, or to see other work from Shawn Coss, check out his Facebook Page.

Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

Get stories that matter straight in your inbox!

Your privacy matters to us.