Local Artist & Business Owner: Michael Cullen, Lichen & Moss Part I

I had the great pleasure of getting to meet Mike about a year ago. I walked into his shop at the Rust Belt in Ferndale, MI one afternoon shopping with my mom. I ended up getting a little home decor piece that Mike had made for my home. I used it for my Bear and Diesel wall. (my four legged kids)

After hanging and making my wall of my photos from a UP camping trip and admiring the sign Mike had made, I thought about having him make a sign for my business. Mike came up with a great concept and built a sign for my office. He had the great idea of building the sign with depth and having it light up.


It didn’t take too long after the building of my sign for Mike and I to start working together for me to photograph his project builds. The work that Mike does ranges so much from smaller pieces to larger installation custom pieces. Mike is incredibly talented and has such an eye for building beautiful pieces. He crafts wood pieces in addition to using other materials like metal. He is one of the most gifted artists I have ever met.


Seeing an artist like Mike in action is pretty fascinating. Watching him approach a project and dive in knowing what the process he needs to do to get the final result is impressive. Like any great artist, I think he works within the ability of the materials and shapes them the way he wants the final piece to look. Knowing he has the final result already pictured in his mind, is a testiment to his skill.


There are more projects I am extremely excited about working on coming up for Mike. He is doing a whole room of custom pieces for a client. I’ve been photographing the individual pieces as he is building them and then when the final room comes together I will be capturing that for him. So more to come from this amazing artist.

Here’s what Mike had to say about me photographing his work.
“After seeing them (the photos) I realize how important they are…And you are uber talented”

A shared respect for our individual crafts makes us a great working team. There’s no greater feeling than an artist paying compliments to another artsit in my book :)

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