Adam Chmielwwski of Bożebor Tattoo Studio engaged on Chris Groot’s outer-space sleeve. Picture by Conner Goetz | For The Gazette
Bożebor is Adam and Olivia Chmielewski’s new tattoo studio at 800 Pike Road in Lemont, the place the couple are bringing their distinctive imaginative and prescient of abstract-expressionist tattooing to Centre County.
A multi-medium artist by commerce, Adam Chmielewski, 35, studied on the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Wonderful Arts in Wroclaw in his native Poland earlier than graduating in 2011 with a grasp’s diploma in portray.
After commencement, Chmielewski dabbled in different mediums, together with drawing, graphic design and 3D picket sculpture, earlier than discovering his present creative ardour 5 years later.
“My pal got here and mentioned to strive (tattooing), and there was nothing I might say towards that concept,” Chmielewski mentioned, “and I simply received hooked.”
Chmielewski’s present model, he mentioned, is impressed by American summary expressionist painters like Basquiat and Rothko, in addition to realism.
“Abstraction, for me, has at all times been probably the most vital issues to come back ahead in artwork,” Chmielewski mentioned.
Based on Chmielewski, balancing between these two seemingly disparate kinds presents “the widest vary of outcomes that may come out and shock me.”
Olivia Chmielewski, 22, a senior high quality arts main in drawing and portray at Penn State, first met Adam in a pub whereas finding out overseas in Olsztyn, Poland, in 2018.
“On our first date we went ice skating,” Chmielewski mentioned, “and since we’re each artists we simply instantly hit it off.”
The couple received married on July 5, 2021, and now reside along with their husky-shepherd service canine, Blue, in Lemont.
Chmielewski initially moved to the U.S. to be nearer to Olivia, and to pursue his tattoo profession. He labored at Leaf and Arrow Tattoo in York after which Catharsis Tattoo Gallery in Tyrone earlier than taking the plunge on the studio.
“It was simply the perfect concept, since I labored for a 12 months in Europe and she or he was finding out right here,” Adam Chmielewski mentioned, “so it was onerous for us to be separated.”
One of many major joys of proudly owning your personal studio is the extent of artistic freedom it presents in comparison with working underneath another person, in response to Adam Chmielewski.
“It’s all on my phrases,” Chmielewski mentioned. “It’s good to have a zone the place you’re in command of each component so if one thing is nice you may be pleased with your self, but when one thing goes unhealthy it’s on you.”
Deliberately, Bożebor is a tattoo studio, not a tattoo store.
Chmielewski mentioned that this distinction is central to its dedication to the high quality arts side of tattooing, instead of accepting any concept a possible shopper proposes.
“We’re extra cautious on what we’re doing. Lots of people we have now to inform ’we’re not gonna do that or we’re not gonna try this,’” Chmielewski mentioned.
Based on Olivia Chmielewski, artists in tattoo outlets might not have the identical degree of autonomy over what proposals they settle for, which may restrict their artistic potential.
“My imaginative and prescient is that tattoo artists will (be capable to) develop their very own distinctive model and go down that path,” Adam Chmielewski mentioned, “and that might make them higher outcomes as an artist and ultimately for the shoppers.”
At the moment, Adam handles the tattooing, and Olivia manages the scheduling and day-to-day affairs of the studio, however plans to start tattooing as soon as she graduates this summer season.
Whereas most tattoo artists historically full an apprenticeship underneath one other artist earlier than engaged on their very own, Chmielewski is assured that her artwork expertise and husband’s tutelage will assist her efficiently switch to this new medium.
“She’s going to skip all that,” Adam Chmielewski mentioned. “I by no means had an apprenticeship. I used to be at all times an anomaly since I used to be an expert artist lengthy earlier than beginning (tattooing).”
Based on Chmielewski, this strategy is extra widespread in Europe, the place college students at artwork academies will begin tattooing after commencement, versus the same old American apprenticeship route.
“I’m additionally fairly interested by summary expressionism, as a result of it offers probably the most emotion with out limitations,” Olivia Chmielewski mentioned.
She additionally pulls inspiration from her formal arts training and mentioned she enjoys abstracting components from extra conventional kinds.
“I believe it simply comes right down to having enjoyable. You let the brushes let you know what they need to do,” Chmielewski mentioned.
The Chmielewskis hope to include their high quality arts background into each side of their new studio.
“We have now plans to ask (tattoo artists) right here from Europe, individuals who do totally different kinds that no person else does,” Adam Chmielewski mentioned.
Along with these visitor spots, Chmielewski mentioned he plans to make use of his studio as an artwork gallery to focus on the work of different native artists, in addition to their European contemporaries.
Chris Groot, 32, who was born in Frederick, Maryland, however grew up in Amsterdam, first met Adam Chmielewski after seeing his work on-line.
“After I first met (Chmielewski) he got here throughout as very acquainted. He’s reliable,” Groot mentioned.
Groot first received tattooed by Chmielewski when he labored in York, and later adopted him to Tyrone.
Now, Groot is working with Chmielewski to design an outer-space-inspired sleeve tattoo that includes rockets, satellites and planets.
“It’s a giant dedication,” Groot mentioned, “I actually like his model so we simply linked immediately. That’s why I caught with Adam and got here all the best way up right here to get it completed.”
Whereas finishing Groot’s extraterrestrial sleeve can be a large accomplishment, Chmielewski has excessive hopes for Bożebor’s future tasks.
“My favourite piece is sooner or later,” Chmielewski mentioned, “I at all times stay up for those which might be ready to be finished.”