El Cajon illustrator Jess Perna goes back to his drawing roots with adult coloring book

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Jess Perna is not new to the scene when it comes to graphic illustrations in any form. With his first commission at the age of 11, Perna drew his way through life. Since earning his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, the work under his belt spreads through major corporations and government entities that are household names. His large repertoire of clients keeps Perna busy on deadlines continuously. From children’s books to gallery shows, his work passes the boundaries of any one label and he has earned many awards in the field due to his work.

Jess Perna is not new to the scene when it comes to graphic illustrations in any form. With his first commission at the age of 11, Perna drew his way through life. Since earning his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, the work under his belt spreads through major corporations and government entities that are household names. His large repertoire of clients keeps Perna busy on deadlines continuously. From children’s books to gallery shows, his work passes the boundaries of any one label and he has earned many awards in the field due to his work. But he found something about a year ago that led him to take on a personal project. Something fun, interesting and beneficial. He discovered the oncoming trend of adult coloring books.

His first book, now available, “Adult Coloring Book Variety Posters #1” is an intricate and exquisite works of art on high quality 12” x 18” poster paper, making it available for about any type of medium the colorist might use. With a diverse collection of 26 posters, Perna utilizes various styles, bringing an eclectic collection suitable for framing and lovable to a wide range of audience. With this first book it took him about 20 hours per page. “I really pushed myself, and spent many hours studying wardrobe, cities and found all the attributes to create the page,” he said.

Self published in El Cajon, his book is a result of his constant desire to return to art that is interesting and fun. And this book, although it took a year to complete with overtime, nights and weekend hours, is the first in a series Perna said he hopes “people love coloring as much as he loved drawing it.”

“I started drawing when I was five. I don’t think two weeks have gone by in my entire life where I don’t get anxious, or feel like I’m going through withdrawals if I don’t draw,” he said.

Perna said book is filled with totally different themes. He wanted maximum variety, when lot of artist focus on one type of genre.

“I thought it would be more interesting for the person doing the coloring, as well as myself, to break it up and let my imagination run,” he said. “Most of the reason I do any kind of artwork is because it looks like fun. People use these for stress relief and relaxation and I thought it would be cool because of the way people are stressed out these days. Do my little part as an artist. I’m donating some proceeds to vets, because I can’t think of who needs more stress relief than they do “

With a few weeks of deadlines first, Perna will starting working on book two.

“I think this one will do really well and I already have a whole list for the next one. I’m going to do this continuously. Ultimately, I’d like to put out three to four adult coloring books a year,” he said.

Perna said the paper is quality enough to be used with markers, colored pencils, water colors, and of course—crayons. He has signed each piece of art and left place for the colorist to sign.

This book is pure entertainment. Illustrations will take you to far away places, a step back in time, a place of pure fantasy, and some of the beautiful things in our world today. 

This book is recommended for ages 8 and up. With its fine details on each piece, a colorist could be entertained for hours with the complexity of his drawings. And with no specific genre, this is a book that an entire family can enjoy and work on together.

This book can be purchased at Pernapublishing.com.

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