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In The Workshop
If you like the movie “Midnight in Paris” you will love Bomo Art. Entering the little shop at Régiposta street in Budapest you’ll immediately get the feeling of being ripped out from the present and taken back to the beginning of the 20th century. Surrounded by the scent of paper and leather, looking at the handmade diaries, calendars, post cards, and wrapping papers with their unique designs evoking the times where handwritten letters were not a unique but the most common way of communication you’ll inevitably feel the urge to take a pen and write. Something. A card to your friends, some notes or even to start a diary. Something where you can use Bomo Art’s products. Károly Boldizsár, the owner of Bomo Art showed us around his little empire.
Can you briefly describe yourself and Bomo Art?
I’ve been in love with paper since I was a child, and after a series of events I ended up in the printing business as a professional. I founded my company in 1997 and opened a little shop in Régiposta street in 2001. Since then our success is unbroken. As a design planner I create the patterns for our products such as diaries, calendars, wrapping papers, post cards, furthermore, we also have praxinoscopes and kaleidoscopes. There is a small team of about 8 people behind myself.
You have a shop on Régiposta Street, an online shop and several retail partners all over the world. Where do your customers come from and why do you think they love Bomo Art products?
Our customers represent many diverse groups from young to old, from school children to pensioners, serious business people and visionary artists. I believe they are convinced by the permanent impeccable quality of our products, the nice design and the unique style they can rely on. We never follow the mainstream, we want to convey our own individual image.
That is why we are also beloved abroad, the famous department store Fortnum and Mason at Piccadilly street in London sells our products and people can find us on the Christkindlmarkt (Christmas markets) as well as Easter markets in Vienna. Moreover, we receive orders from the Benelux states, Scandinavia as well as from the US, Japan and even from Australia.
What inspires you for the design of your products?
I get inspiration from all kinds of places I visit, first of all in Budapest. I often search for ideas in libraries, on antique markets or from old post cards.
My favorite design is the one with the balloons. Can you show us your favorite one?
Yes, the Balloons are many people’s favorite. I couldn’t tell you which is my favorite. Recently we concentrate more on the larger designs that are more elaborated and detailed. On the other hand I often try out old designs combined with new materials, new types of leather etc. this can refresh it and give it a completely new style.
With what kind of printing and finishing techniques and machines do you work with at the Bomo Art Atelier?
We work with offset printing, only the films for praxinoscopes are digital. In our atelier there is a manual cutting machine, plate shears and a plating machine, we use classical bookbinding techniques.
Why should in your opinion, people “push aside their keyboard, pick up their pen and instead of a virtual message write a few lines” ?
Receiving a post card from a friend is much more personal than a virtual greeting or an e-mail. Nowadays, if we open our non-virtual letter box we find only invoices, flyers and advertisements. It is, however, a heartwarming feeling when among the flyers there is a handwritten letter or post card waiting for us. I have the feeling that hand writing has it’s renaissance, it is important for people. I also like to send post cards when I am on holidays.
The designs of your products are numerous - among them several map designs, Art Deco motives, still lives and exotic animals. However, there is one thing they have in common: They all have a distinctive style and remind me of some good old time in the past. If you could travel back in time, like in the movie “Midnight in Paris”, in which decade would you like to live or spend some time?
I would love to go back to the 19th century or beginning of the 20th. At those times people had different attitudes towards each other and the objects. If they bought something it wasn’t meant for a few days or months. Quality dominated over quantity and people preferred long lasting products over disposable ones. Our intention is to convey this philosophy to our customers offering them first quality products with special designs evoking these “good old times”.
Do you personally keep a journal?
Yes, I have a calendar with leather cover which I use on a daily basis. Besides that, I often leave messages for my colleagues on paper in the atelier.
What is your favorite paper to write on?
I like the papers from Munken, papers with watermark, embossed and chamois papers.
Many of your designs are inspired by Budapest and its beautiful places. Can you recommend some of your favorite places in Budapest to our readers?
I enjoy taking a walk in the downtown looking at the beautiful old buildings which inspire me. One of my favorite places is the Paris Court (Párizsi Udvar), which is an art nouveau shopping arcade with cafés and shops, as well as the Citadella on the Gellért Hill in Buda from where you have a beautiful view onto the city.
What are your plans for the future?
My focus is to maintain our quality, refine our appearance and still this year I’d like to come up with 3-4 new patterns in our own well-known individual style.
We are already looking forward to the new designs and would like to thank Mr. Boldizsár for the interesting interview!
For those of you who are not in Budapest but can’t wait to buy one of the beautiful Bomo Art products, visit their online shop. Currently you can also find Bomo Art at the Easter Market at Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna.
Photo courtesy of Bomo Art | Interview by S. Palasti.