As a professional photographer you often get the opportunity to work with some very unique, talented individuals and companies. The relationships both professionally and personally that form from these projects are usually very strong and enduring.


 

Presenting The Art of CJ Draden

I met CJ Draden in 2013 while shooting a Comic Convention in Charlotte, NC. When I saw his work I fell in love with it, so much that I returned the following day with a bunch of lighting gear to shot an amazing sculpture he made of Pinocchio. CJ's real life Pinocchio was created using all found materials from road sides, fields, and left overs from other projects. The sculpture would go on to become the real life focal point of CJ's first graphic novel -The Wooden Heart-.

In an shocking turn of events CJ received an unexpected endorsement by comic creator legend and icon Stan Lee for his work. As a show of thanks to Lift-Off you can see two of the images created by Lift-Off featured in the book, A gesture I am forever thankful to CJ for. Below are a few images captured during that first chance meeting.

Sculpting is only one of CJ's talents, he is probably best know for his Glass Art Work. He uses glass as a medium to paint on with his own brew of inks and paints, of which he then scratches, brushes, and gouges the inks and paint to further refine the image to his vision. He manages to turn this clear "canvas" into some the most intriguing forms I have ever seen. He finds inspiration for pieces in anything from comic books and video games, to movies and his own internal imagination.  Using the glass pieces as a  negative he creates prints of the art work that you can purchase. Below are a few of his most popular pieces.

CJ is already working on his next story - Atlas - which is sure to impress! Just look at some the images I captured of the Tetrahedral Hour Glass he has constructed for the story, it stands about two feet tall and weights in at almost 15lbs.

Please take a moment to visit CJ's store and view some of his work, you will not be be sorry you did and you might even find yourself ordering some of his work to display in your home or office...