Karolina Kubikowska is a Polish illustrator and tattoo designer who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. This is her second colouring book, the first called Po drugiej stronie snu which translates to 'The Other Side of Sleep'.
Karolina's illustrative style is indeed very dreamlike and abstract with a gothic flavour which I love. Ticket to Dreams is extremely dark and mysterious with sketchy artwork that makes heavy use of black/shadows to enhance the subject matter. This peculiar technique has an otherworldly feel which leaves you unsure if this is a book of conceptual fantasy or nightmarish hallucinations. Either way it truly is a work of art, like a portfolio of the craziest imagery you might experience in a deep sleep. Don't get me wrong, it's also very beautiful and I actually love it more & more as I keep looking.
There are moths with human eyes on their wings, houses surrounded by tentacles, giant teacups holding castles inside and demons who are responsible for insomnia. As well as all this eeriness there is also some lovely portraits of girls and animals surrounded by flowers, plants & nature. The book also has a story running through it (in English) which explains a little about what is happening as you journey through, as if you are the person experiencing it.
Not only are the drawings stunning in their own way but the production quality of the book is second to none as well. The book is very thick (almost 2cm) and has a wide spiral binding making it super easy to manipulate whether you're colouring on your knees or on the train. The paper is actually a thick cardstock which takes all materials without buckling or bleeding (alcohol markers will show through slightly on the back but will not bleed onto the next page). The pages are double-sided but Karolina has included 3 single-sided designs at the back of the book, as well as a test page for your materials.
Ticket to Dreams can currently be bought here on Karolina's website. The price of 1 book plus shipping to the is £16.54 / $28.20. Most foreign colouring books work out at around this price so it may sound expensive but the quality really is worth it.
Overall this book is not one that will suit every colourist but will appeal to those who like to colour something a bit interpretive and out of the norm. Here are my coloured pages so far.