My Medal of Merit, awarded to me by President Ronald Reagan for my work on the Republican Presidential Task Force.
Congresswoman Susan Molinari (R, Staten Island) played a major role in my career She gave me the opportunity to design for Congress, The Speaker of The House and later The President of the United States.
In November 1997 he worked with his good friend, Greer Johnson, Mickey Mantle’s agent in designing an exquisite catalog for the now famous “Mickey Mantle Auction.” For a solid two weeks, Frank’s work was being shown daily on National television which included a feature on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The newspapers then caught on and his work was published in every major newspaper from New York to Los Angeles. Frank also designed and produced an entertaining special audio/video presentation that was shown during the “LIVE” event at the Southgate Tower Hotel in New York City. In recent years, this Mickey Mantle Auction catalog has become a very sort after collectible and has fetched up to $700.00 a copy on Ebay.
His success was repeated in 1998 when he was again contracted to design all of the promotional material for the sale of Babe Ruth’s first home run baseball at Yankee Stadium. To promote the sale he designed the “Legends” baseball which featured a custom logo on one panel and a facsimile of Ruth’s signature on the sweet spot of the ball. This promotional campaign commenced with a press conference held at the All-Star Café in Times Square. The “Limited Edition” baseball and the 230 page book was shown nationwide on every television network. His work and photographs once again were published in ESPN Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine. Later that same year he was contacted by Michael Jordan’s agent to produce work for a book project on Michael Jordan’s life. Frank obliged and Jordan credited him in the book. Frank's achievements are not just limited to professional sports. Bruce Wendell, the Senior Vice President for Capitol Records, was impressed by Frank’s work, and his overall knowledge of the record industry. The two got together to produce special promotional material for some of his elite group of clients. Around the same time, a well known and prestigious New York City design group, contracted Frank to work on two very high profile projects. The first was the rock ‘n; roll book for VH1 entitled “The Midnight Special.” Chmielewski’s major contribution was the elaborate design and striking colors that perfectly capture the spirit of the 1970’s. The next project was to design a celebrity makeover book for the famed celebrity impersonator, Devon Cass. Cass himself oversaw every stage of the book. He was grateful for the long hours, and intricate work that Frank extended. The book simply titled “Double Take” was declared a best seller immediately after its release, and Cass was in the middle of his worldwide book tour when he appeared on “Oprah.” The book was showcased by Oprah herself, and Cass expressed his thanks to Frank on national television. That was an unforgettable moment!
Frank Chmielewski is from New York. His solid work ethics has earned him high praise and the respect in the Sports and Entertainment communities both here and abroad. In the early part of his career, he made a name for himself designing a variety of projects for celebrities such as Sting, Steven Segal, “Broadway” Joe Namath and Robin Leech just to mention a few. When his friend and fellow Staten Islander, Congresswoman Susan Molinari took office, she opened the doors of the political arena for him. In addition to doing Congresswoman Molinari’s projects he was soon creating artwork for the N.Y.P.D., the Office of the Mayor of N.Y.C. as well as other political figures including then House Speaker Newt Gingrich and The White House.
When Frank moved his family to California he opened his Adworks33 Design Studio. From his California home, he continued to design monthly advertisements for more than a dozen different companies, and also assisted in the redesign of two magazines. Business fell off after the attacks of 911, and a new plan was set into motion...
Feeling the need to share his knowledge and techniques, he accepted a position as Department Head of the Graphic Design Department of the Institute of Technology in Sacramento, CA. As a seasoned pro he quickly saw inadequacies in the schools curriculum, and campaigned for change. The California accrediting body approved the revisions, and a new curriculum was adapted. It was around this same time he formed DeregraphX, a Multimedia Design Studio. One of DeregraphX's first projects was being contacted by a local Sacramento radio station to convert their analog tapes, and produce re-mastered digital recordings suitable for broadcasting. In February he produced a series of radio shows for the 40th Anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America. Recordings from his private collection were used to enhance the shows content. The end result was a brilliant success!
American Memorabilia, a Las Vegas Auction House, made him an offer to relocate to Nevada as their new Creative Director. One of the first things to do was a complete redesign of their current catalog and to redirect their print advertising to digital advertisements and mass emails to registered bidders. American Memorabilia was primarily dealing in sports memorabilia. Sports was approximately 95% of their business with 3% to Entertainment and 2% miscellaneous. As Creative Director, Frank brought on additional staff writers, built a state-of-the-art photo studio with two photographers, and two graphic designers. With a fully staffed creative department, he executed his plan and spearheaded a multi-million dollar Music and Entertainment division, which specialized in rare records, musical instruments, documents, autographs, and stage & screen worn attire. This new department surpassed all expectations.
All of a sudden the tables had turned, the original 8 page catalog now was upward of 120 pages and only the finest pieces were chosen and the store room was cluttered with some really nice pieces, but not of the caliper for the catalog. Seeing this and completely opposed to selling through Ebay, Frank presented a very interesting solution. That was to make an automated auction system that would require minimum labor. Since all of the items brought in were tagged and photographed anyway, he thought it wouldn't be such a major undertaking for the staff to give it a quick description and code it into the system. After some brainstorming with the web developers and the team, AMI Amerinet Auctions, an interactive, automated online auction system was launched. Amerinet successfully generated an additional 2 million dollars monthly, with minimum staff effort and participation.
Frank's life-long hobby and obsession to obtain the most complete Beatles collection of rare recordings, and performances did not go unnoticed. He was asked by Tony Bramwell, former Road Manager for The Beatles, and CEO of their Apple Records Ltd. for some rare radio performances for his own radio show on the BBC. This collaboration led to a lasting friendship and more opportunities. Recently, Frank had the unique privilege to work on all of The Beatles promotional films thatTony Bramwellhad produced over the years. He assembled a number of DVD’s that are featured at all of Tony's public appearance and seminars. Frank also designed a few projects with former Baseball “Hit King” Pete Rose. Pete asked Frank to produce a series of Glicee’s for his personal collection and public appearances. Inspired by the photographs from The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965, Frank produced his celebrated “Paul, Yesterday and Today at Shea.” A very Limited Edition run was produced, one of which is on display at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland.
He has long been the personal agent for Rock Photographer, Philip Kamin. Philip became ill a few years back and his collected works fell into obscurity. Through Frank’s aggressive promotion of the man and his works, the Kamin collection is now very well known. He also represents singer/songwriter, Bobby Whitlock, who along with Eric Clapton, formed the legendary rock supergroup, Derek and The Dominoes.
Frank Chmielewski is a multi-talented artist that possesses the unique quality of relating to people. As an Art Director he embraces new projects with an excitement that is contagious to those working under him. In the studio he is a professional who gives no less than 100 percent of himself. He is not happy unless he oversees every stage of production until a projects completion.
Currently he is employed as Creative Director for Holehi Golf Media of Las Vegas. Prior to this he work for the Drake Automotive Group, and his illustrations (adapted from the original Mustang and Shelby logos of the 1960’s) have been used to produce countless new items for these vintage automobiles. He also produced wonderful and eye catching packaging for many of the company’s newest products, designed captivating advertisements, cutting edge communication graphics.
He once penned in his sketch pad: “life has meaning, when one has a purpose larger than one’s self.” I’m not sure if he wrote this line or heard it somewhere, but I do know it is the way he works and lives.
Outside of work he was volunteering his talents and time in aiding refugees from Poland and other Eastern European countries that escaped communist opression, persecution, and poverty and ended up broke and homeless on the streets of New York City. His charitable work was recognized by a local New York newspaper and he was named “Citizen of the Year." He was the youngest nominee to actually receive the award. He was also presented with a “Letter of Merit” from the New York Assembly and, honored with a “Proclamation” from Borough President of Staten Island, Guy V. Molinari.
The night I received the Citizen of the Year award (left to right: Emily LiGreci, businesswoman of the year, myself, War World II Hero, Captain Sigmund Salacinski, Cecilia Polanski, Editor of The Polish American World Publication.
My volunteer work began to gain notice on a whole new level. This work was so rewarding in so many ways. It really felt good to wake up in the morning, knowing that you did something that completely changed someones life for the better! I thank God everyday!
I received two SEMA Media Awards in November 2012
A rare opportunity presented itself when Frank was contracted to photograph Howdy Doody, the popular marionette from the 1950’s television program. Digital photography was brand new and this was the first project done digitally. Photos from this session were published Nationwide in USA Today. The Howdy Doody marionette that was auctioned here was known as “Photo Doody.” The marionette was sold for an astounding $100,000.00. The following summer Frank was again contracted to photograph the other three Howdy marionettes as well as the entire cast of marionettes from the show. Frank was the last to photograph the entire collection of Marionettes for NBC, whilst Buffalo Bob Smith was still alive. The final shoot was done in Connecticut, at the original workshop where each marionette was made.