HI, MY NAME IS… John Weecks.
I LIVE IN PEORIA AND I LOVE IT BECAUSE… of the climate in the wintertime. When I moved out here it was during a winter snowstorm on the East Coast where I lived at the time, so Arizona was a welcomed reprieve.
A TYPICAL DAY IN MY LIFE INCLUDES… being in the workshop creating pieces of art, making wood carvings, restoring furniture, whatever comes my way. Every day is different, and I occasionally teach community workshops at retirement communities through their activities departments, give technique demonstrations at tradeshows like the Desert Woodcarvers expos, or visit clients’ houses to help them customize, upgrade, or repair their one-of-a-kind art furniture.
MY FAMILY IS… the most important thing in my life and that’s what the world revolves around. After a long day in the studio, just seeing my family’s smiling faces gives me a renewed sense of purpose and energy. Their sheer joy and enthusiasm for my artistic pursuits keep me motivated. I have had the pleasure to work with my son Dan for his company, Weecks Productions, as the art director, for almost a decade. Dan has created quite the media empire providing live streaming services for life events like funerals and bar/bat mitzvahs, and event photography, and has built out a roster of government contracts over the years. Working side-by-side in a creative role with him has been a wonderful experience and is much better than butting heads during his teenage years!
ONE THING I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IS… my dogs. Our dogs have always been like family to us. I’ve lost count of all the cherished pets we’ve had over the years, but each one has held a special place in my heart.
MY FAVORITE MOVIE I COULD NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING AND WHY… would probably be “Young Frankenstein.” It’s just such a wonderful parody of the original Mary Shelley story done in black and white and it’s just a classic.
WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, I WANTED TO BE… an artist. My first woodcarving was kind of a Boy Scout manual. When I was probably 12 years old, I had just gotten a pocket knife with a very sharp blade. Within about two hours, I had managed to cut my finger to the bone and was rushed to the doctor’s. So that was my first experience at carving.
THE SONG I WOULD SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT IS… that would be a ‘no.’ I don’t do karaoke. The closest I might ever get is “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”
THE ONE PERSON WHO MOTIVATES ME IS… my wife, Debbie. She has been an invaluable source of support and motivation throughout my artistic career. Even after all these years together, she still inspires me to push myself creatively. I can always count on her honest feedback on works in progress. She has a great eye and will point out areas I can refine or details I may have overlooked, and her expertise as an attorney helps with the business side when they’re completed. Debbie also reminds me to stay true to my own vision. When I start doubting myself or wavering from my intentions for a piece, she stays on my case to tune out any outside expectations and follow my instincts.
THE LAST THING THAT MADE ME LAUGH OUT LOUD WAS… this morning. I was watching a video on gold leafing, and they said not to touch the gold leafing because there’s oil on your hands. But at the same time, the guy was using steel wool which has oil in it to preserve the metal from rusting. That’s pretty niche and definitely artist humor but was a good chuckle.
THE PERFECT DAY IS… one with cool temperatures, hot coffee, and a nice dinner. A gentle breeze and clear skies can set the ideal backdrop for a leisurely stroll with my dogs, yard work, or starting a plein air painting.
MY FAVORITE LOCAL NONPROFIT IS… Reframe to Reform (reframetoreform.org). It was started during the pandemic by Callie, a licensed master social worker in the Valley who isn’t even 30 years old yet! R2R is tackling the huge issue of mass incarceration in this country and changing the conversation and public understanding. Its mission is to promote a society where those who face incarceration can be heard, valued, and understood. Society has often told us that these individuals mattered as children, but they are here to say that these individuals still matter today even as adults. Incarceration does not denote an individual’s self-worth but is often the snapshot of the worst moment of peoples’ lives, which dictates their and their families’ entire future.
MY LIFE IS… ideal.
THE BEST GIFT I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… my son, Dan.
MY DREAM VACATION WOULD BE… going back to Austria to visit family would be my dream vacation. Visiting Austria is a profoundly meaningful experience for me. I was born in a small town south of Graz, Austria, and still have close family members there. So returning to Austria would allow me to reconnect with my roots. Exploring the streets I roamed as a child and the countryside where my ancestors lived fills me with nostalgia.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED IS… do what you like to do, and don’t take life for granted! This is a theme consistent throughout my artwork and is a theme which has shaped much of what I create.