Shaun Weeks is a “beertender” at Dry Ground Brewing and also a very talented graphic artist. He describes his art as a mix between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a Tiffany lamp! He and his wife have a precious two-year-old, Ariadne! Shaun suggests never snapping your fingers or clapping your hands to get a server’s attention. iMeet Shaun…just don’t make him try to pick a favorite TV show!
Welcome to iMeet, Shaun. Let’s get started with a some fun facts about your childhood...
For the most part, I grew up in La Center and went to school at Ballard County. My mother was very adamant about traveling as much as possible, so I was fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in my youth. In the summers, she took my brother and me to Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and California, where we worked as cowhands at a cattle camp. We got to ride and camp in beautiful country, see the mountains and plains, and have a lot of experiences we wouldn’t have had back home in Kentucky. It was important to my mom to show us that there was much more out there than what we knew.
Once I graduated high school, I went to Murray State University, where I studied art and graphic design.
Tell us about the loves of your life...
I moved to Paducah after my time at Murray State, and I am very fortunate to have met Emily Suhrheinrich, soon after I moved. She is the best partner anyone could ever ask for - supportive, patient, funny, generous, and so lovely inside and out. Together, we have the most beautiful daughter, Ariadne Grey Weeks.
Ari just turned two and a half and has a huge personality. She loves robots, dinosaurs, princesses, and kitties. She’s starting to get the hang of the whole alphabet thing.
Fiddle (aka Kitty) is our fur baby, and as a cat she does a pretty good job tolerating all of the toddler hugs and squeezes she gets daily.
Tell us how you and your wife met...
Well, we met through a mutual friend. One night after work, he invited me to hang out at what was once Fat Moe's. He said he was meeting a girl there and needed me to be his "wingman," since the girl he was meeting there had a friend. When I arrived at the bar, I met my friend and the girl he was hanging out with – but her friend was nowhere to be seen. It seemed like everyone was thinking about leaving to go home – then Emily (the friend) appeared out of thin air. She had been outside on the phone, but as she re-joined us, I noticed she just had this aura of confidence and immediately took charge of the conversation. Everything she was saying had me grinning from ear to ear.
We hit it off right out of the gate, and from that encounter we became friends and we slowly grew closer and closer. And here we are now, ten years later, five years married!
You are a ‘beertender’ at Dry Ground...tell us more about your position...
Well, I am the newbie here at Dry Ground. I have only have been here for about four months, but already I feel so at home. I work with such great people, and they have welcomed me with open arms. Mainly, I pour beer and explain our different types - but I also lend my artistic background to any projects that they need me for.
Recently, I drew the Coke Plant for a t-shirt design that is sold here at Dry Ground and Mellow Mushroom. I’m also working on the shield logo for our new upcoming hazy IPA, Dollie the Mule. Pretty regularly, I also am known to decorate our signboard for local bands and events.
Where have you worked before DGB?
After I left Murray, Flamingo Row was my first job in Paducah. I worked there for almost ten years, starting as a fry cook and working my way up to front-of-the-house manager. I have always had a passion for local food, and I learned so much from my experiences there.
As I mentioned above, I used to work with my mother out in Colorado at a cattle allotment. (An allotment where a group of local ranchers pool their cattle in a large herd.) I helped my mom herd cattle along with a group of other cowboys. My duties usually required me to get up early before everyone else to cook breakfast. We spent all day riding, tending fences, branding and tending to the cattle, and sleeping under the stars.
You are also a digital artist. When did you get into digital art?
I got into digital art around the age of 16. One of my good friends gave me a copy of Adobe Photoshop, and he let me play around with it. I was hooked – I taught myself how to do all these cool tricks. It was a lot cheaper than wasting paper, so I dove into it head first.
Once I started studying it at Murray State, I quickly realized that I had barely been just the surface of all of the potential skills I could learn.
You can check out my art on my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/
Tell us about your inspirations and art...
Most of my inspirations come from my childhood. I remember all the vivid colors and stylized drawings that made up that Saturday morning block of cartoons. X-Men and Batman the Animated Series had such fantastic art that captivated me as a child. Those animated shows then got me into comic books, another source of inspiration. Later on in life, I fell in love with art nouveau, particularly with Alphonse Mucha. So, I guess right now my style is trying to blend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with a Tiffany lamp.
Are you enjoying the cold temps or are you ready for spring?
Man, I am so on the fence with this one. I love the winter - I would rather be cold than hot any day. But having a toddler right now, I feel so cooped up when it is freezing outside. We are used to spending a lot of time outside the rest of the year – swinging, sliding, swimming, walking or hiking, and we miss that in winter. There are only so many times we can dance to Baby Shark. So for the first time ever, I am ready for spring.
Favorite tv show? Explain.
I’m gonna borrow my wife’s answer for this one. Anytime she’s asked a question like that, she jokes, what is your favorite vital organ? It’s so hard to pick just one and forget about the others. Television is so good right now, and I’m into so many shows! It’s hard to narrow down, but the best answer I can think of is Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The original or the reboot - Joel, Mike or Jonah, they’re all good.
We all love to make fun of aspects of movies, and watching people do it so well is so rewarding and hysterical. Plus, you get to see some classic movie gems. Some of my favorites include Pumaman and Prince of Space.
Favorite album of all time?
First with the TV show question and now this? You're killing me, Smalls! It is honestly a toss-up between Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill, and The Clash’s London Calling. I have listened to both those albums countless times, and each of them hold a lot of nostalgia that other albums cannot replicate.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Be with my family, whether it is with my daughter or those few occasions that my wife and I are both off of work at the same time! On those even rare occasions that I’m home alone and my daughter is asleep, I usually like to work on my art projects, and play the occasional video game if I don’t feel inspired. Most of the time I like to sketch while I watch something I have seen time and time again. Probably Bob's Burgers or Venture Bros.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
After working in the service industry for so long, someone clapping their hands or snapping their fingers to get my attention. It’s just rude and unnecessary - it actually makes me want to come to you less. A simple hand raise or a wave is all it takes - pass it on!
Would you rather eat pizza every day for the rest of your life or never eat pizza again?
Pizza every day for sure. A pizza can be whatever you want it to be. Want a hamburger? Boom, hamburger pizza. Want a taco? Boom, taco pizza. Want a calzone? Boom, fold your pizza in half.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Man, I have so many, it is hard to pin one down. Probably listening to really cheesy pop songs from the 80s and 90s. They are just so infectiously catchy. I love to sing, too, so I usually proceed to get them stuck in my wife's head right before she goes to bed. Sorry, love!