I did this as a personal project and for no other reason than to create a visual story. I had this idea in my head for months, to the point it was keeping me awake at night until I created it, so once I had some time between projects I hit the ground running. The concept was to take symbols that represent cultural issues in the USA and create them out of burnt wood.
So, I shot some burned logs in the studio and then match the lighting, texture, and camera in CGI using MODO to create the sculptures. Then, of course, I used Photoshop to blend it all together and add the little finishing touches.
I never talk politics on social media (or even with friends) as it usually leads to a heated discussion, hurt feelings, and a few “F” bombs. So, I decided to convey my thoughts through images. Whether you are liberal or conservative, we can all agree there are some major problems facing our country right now. Everything from government corruption, broken justice system, religion (or lack thereof), poor diet and nutrition, the shock value “look at me” YouTube generation, and how we have all become desensitized and almost apathetic in our response to hate crimes and mass shootings.
I’m not here to get on a soap box and say who is right or wrong, but to invoke a sense of urgency to make a change before it’s beyond repair. The images use a visual metaphor of a living tree being cut down, disassembled into logs, and burned to the point where it has little to no value.
I am a big believer that commercial artists need to take time out to do personal work and explore creative thought. These projects usually define who I am as an artist and helps develop my “style”. This can also be a great time to collaborate with other artists that have the same visual aesthetics or a style that you connect with, some of my most rewarding work as come from working with another artist.
About Mike Campau
Mike Campau has over 15 years of experience creating powerful imagery for large brands and their high-profile agencies. 10-way strips, layer masks, polygons and creating something from nothing are his “thing”. His specialty – hybrid imagery (photography mixed with Cgi). See more of his works at Behance or his website.