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Jordan Wesolek + BKB Artist Collaboration

Jordan Wesolek, one of our Team Members at BKB Chicago, has been pursing a life of art, design, and travel. You may be familiar with his prominent piece in the retail space at BKB Chicago or his custom-made posters and postcards. We sat down with Jordan to learn a little more about the thinking behind his work and what he’s been up to. Our latest artist collaboration product — this army green tweed wool 5-panel hat —  is now available at all BKB locations. Make sure to snag one before they’re all gone. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

How did you get into art and design?

It’s in my blood, my mother is an artist (check out  for some dope hand drawn greeting cards). I grew up drawing and creating. You know, hand turkeys, macaroni designs, popsicle stick fortresses. However, drawing took the forefront. Space and dinosaurs were, and still are, my thing but I don’t draw those as much as I used too. Now it’s about bringing a dreamy sunset or mountscape to people. I try to create a feeling of solitude that brings introspection. Everyone can always do more work on themselves.

How and why did you choose this style of art? 

I chose stippling because of the process and patience it can take. It’s crazy boring sometimes and I get really distracted, making thousands of dots isn’t always the most fun thing to do. It is really rewarding when the piece comes together though.

What drives you to design and create art?

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world for extended periods of time and through those adventures I snag some inspiration. The Patagonian Andes of Chile and Argentina as well as the volcanoes and waterfalls of Iceland have been the source of drive lately. Recently, I got back from a month long stay in Reykjavik where the focus was gigging and drawing; I am still drawing from that high.

It looks like your personal art collided with your professional life at BKB. What was that like?

It’s been rad! So many opportunities as an artist have presented themselves by me simply asking to do stuff. Painting murals in the lobby and collaborating with coworkers to provide some music for yoga classes have been the overlap, it’s so fun!

What’s your long term goal as an artist?

Connecting with people and have it take me to new places would be pretty cool. I really would like to support myself as an artist, working remotely as some sort of designer would be the dream. Being nomadic, you know. I’d love to chill in Bavaria for a bit, then head back down in Patagonia with porters, maybe kick it with some sherpas in Nepal all the while drawing mountains and campsites while learning to tattoo people for a living.

Do you have any advice for emerging artist?

Just ask people to do the things you want to do, and do it face to face if possible. Be relentless in the pursuit of your goals, no one is going to give you want. Help others when you can and collaborate when opportunities come about.

You’re a climber and an artist. Do you see any parallels? And if so, what are they?

Patience, for sure. Improving takes time and practice. Growing pains as and artist and climber are best buds, trying new techniques and refining the ones you have is a constant throughout both lifestyles.

Who inspires you?

I could drone on and on in response to this question, but I’ll try to keep it short. Anyone who is doing what they want to do. The people that aren’t afraid to go against what is the expected, they do what they believe in (not talking about violence or harm to another, just an FYI). I am speaking in terms of those who quit the job they hate, travel the world until they run out of money, chose a path of uncertainty because it’s exciting, or work the 9-5 they love. I dig the carefree people that do what they want without letting lack of security change their mind. That’s inspiring, people living exactly how they want too.

How can people learn more about you?

You can find me on Instagram at . I am currently working on a website – , you can find my email there.

Any shoutouts?

Thank you to Sarah and Kris for hooking me up with some retail opportunities. Podz, for having my back on all my projects and travels. Claire and David, for making Flow to the Beat a thing. Abo and Luo, for being dope musicians and helping create the atmosphere for Flow To The Beat. My boy, Erik, for hardstyling with me in hot dog costumes every chance we get. Bee Paper Company (check them out!) for providing me with free sketchbooks. And everyone who has been supportive of the things I’ve done, whether it’s prints you’ve purchased, yoga classes attended, or high fives for reasons I don’t know – thank you!!!

Interested in doing an artist collaboration with BKB? Email us at [email protected]!



Caleb Freese + BKB Artist Collaboration

Caleb Freese, BKB’s Climbing Education Manager and one of BKB’s very first team members, doubles as a designer, artist, illustrator, and muralist. You may be familiar with his murals and artwork from the entryways of BKB’s in every city. His work sits behind the front desk in Gowanus, along the entry hallway in Somerville, in the retail area in Chicago, and lining the front windows of Queensbridge. This winter, we partnered up with Caleb on a new medium, wearable art and apparel. Learn more about the project as we ask Caleb more about it here and make sure to swing by any of our locations to check out the sports bra and leggings before they’re gone for good (it’s a limited run!).

What’s the motivation or inspiration behind the use of urban environments and natural textures in your latest work?

In this series it’s pretty much all natural textures, flowers and plants drawn from my adventures biking, backpacking and climbing outdoors.  I believe the mix between urban environment and the natural elements (flowers and cities) happens when people wear them around the city. So the wearer provides the contrast.

How do you translate your artwork to apparel and/or wearable art?

I do pattern work in my existing art and most of my work is able to be silk screened, so it can live on whatever medium.

Will we be seeing you work in more mediums in the future?

Hopefully, doing a project with laser etching currently, would love to do more of that.  Also designed a series of beer cans for a local brooklyn brewery, so yes.

I also do lots of dog drawings: .

Where can people learn more about you and your art?

My instagram: or website

Anything else you’d like to call out?

I think art should be fun, approachable and playful.  Love this project because it does all of that with a burst of color.

Interested in doing an artist collaboration with BKB? Email us at [email protected]!

Supporting Women and Giving Back

This month we’ve partnered with Dignity Matters, a non-profit organization that collects and supplies feminine hygiene products and underwear to women and girls who are homeless or otherwise in need, in order to help them stay healthy, regain self-confidence, and live with basic dignity.

sam steinman-brooklyn boulders-personal training

Introducing Sam Steinman – BKB Personal Trainer & Climbing Coach

Sam Steinman joined the BKB personal training family recently as an experienced climber and trainer with a passion for biomechanics (seriously he has a degree in it). Growing up in Malibu, Sam capitalized on the thousands of unclimbed routes there and is credited with numerous first ascents in the Santa Monica Mountains, Joshua Tree, and the Sierra’s. He is an ultra-marathoner, a nationally ranked surfer, and an avid ice climber. Oh and did we mention he’s also super friendly? He wanted to make sure we added that.

How to Appreciate your Belaytionship for Valentine’s Day

When rope climbing, your most crucial relationship is the one you have with your belay partner. Trust and communication are crucial. Your wellbeing is quite literally in the other person’s hands, and if you’re lead climbing, there’s a likely possibility that one person’s butt will end up in the other’s face.

Once you find a good belay partner and establish a “belaytionship,” it makes all the difference in your climbing. Finding a good belay partner doesn’t mean that you can’t climb with other people, but it’s nice to have someone dependable that you enjoy and trust. As you make plans with your significant other, with friends, or even with Netflix this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget about the person on the other end of your rope. Here are some ways to show your belaytionship love and appreciation.

 

  1. Always, always, always check your partner.

This isn’t really a Valentine’s appreciation suggestion as much as a good practice. Regardless of whether it’s your first time or five hundredth time climbing, if you want to be a good climbing partner, always double check knots and gear before you head up the wall or crag. It’s way too easy to settle into a comfortable pattern and assume that your partner did everything right before hopping on a climb, but nothing will ruin your belaytionship faster than a preventable injury.

 

  1. Treat your belay partner with a gear gift.

Don’t overthink it.  A small gift of appreciation goes a long way. Does your partner always borrow your ATC or chalk bag? Gifting gear to your friend will decrease wear on your own gear AND remind them of you each time they use it.  

 

  1. Do something other than climb with them.

If you spend several hours a week climbing with your belay partner, hopefully you enjoy spending time with them. Show your appreciation for them as a person as well as a climber by making plans outside of the facility. You can grab post-climb drinks or go to a yoga class that can help you train for #sends.

Whether your belaytionship is with your best friend, some guy from work, or even your significant other, make sure you give them a shoutout and help them feel appreciated Valentine’s Day and everyday. 

Words: Anne Cruz, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

Edits: Jen Werner, Brooklyn Boulders Queensbridge

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