We had the good fortune of connecting with Lech Juretko and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lech, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Habits that have helped me to succeed are perseverence, positive thinking and doing each job as if you were doing it for yourself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I moved to the US from Europe in the late 1980’s and started out as a wallpaper hanger and painter (mostly residential work). During this time there was no Yelp of course so I had my clients write their comments and referrals in a notebook of mine that I would show perspective clients at the next job. My work ethic and quality of work spread by word of mouth. Then I met Niki de Saint Phalle through Martha Longnecker (director of Mingei Museum) and did some work for her. Shortly after my new career in mosaic art began. I adapted to the new work environment by using the skills I had from previous jobs: preciseness, hard work, dedication, and learning very quickly on the job.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego. There are many sculptures to see there and a great view of the water. I’m not big on eating out – I prefer my own kitchen – but I would probably find a great small spot for some wine.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Most of my art experience and mosaic work began when I met artist Niki de Saint Phalle. She hired me to build her amazing sculptures and introduced me to a world and people that I otherwise would not have met.