Jason Felde owes a big "thanks" to his wife, Stephenie.
So does the art community in Jackson. If it wasn't for her, we may have never discovered Jason's creative work.
The story goes that, before two years ago, Jason never publicly displayed his work outside of small shows or at school. Then Stephenie stumbled on Jason's portfolio, hidden away in a closet, and did what any good, enterprising wife would do: she started showing the portfolio around.
"It was one of those things where, I had the support of my family, but no one took that extra step of pushing me farther," Jason says. "I don't think anyone wanted to kick me in the butt a little bit harder. So that's where she came into play. And it's been a snowball effect from there."
The work garnered a positive response, and things started to happen for him. A show here, a call from Doug Jones there, and before he knew it -- and after some more prodding -- Jason was a public artist.
Jason's artistic side was there from the beginning, he said, from scribbling in notebooks on road trips to art classes in high school. Now, his work draws on many styles and techniques, including painting (acrylics and watercolors), inking, and sculpting.
He's attended anywhere from eight to 10 shows since Stephenie "discovered" him, and he gets approached for more.
"It feels good to have my stuff out there, and get the reaction," Jason says. "And even the not-okay reactions feel good."
Jason also works on commission pieces. One of his first was a pencil sketch of a friend's grandfather. After seeing the piece, his friend's mom sent him a thank you note.
"It was really cool to know that my work can touch people in that way," he says.
Jason's work is touching people in need, too, like the cancer fundraising organization, Twist Out Cancer. The organization pairs up artists with cancer patients to create art based on their story, with all proceeds going to cancer research.
Closer to home, Jason says Jackson's creative community is very supportive of its home-grown artists.
"I have yet to come across an artist in Jackson that isn't willing to promote you," he says. "Or they'll buy a piece."
“It feels good to have my stuff out there.”
And visually, there is a lot of inspiration around town, with the varied landscapes, quiet spots at the parks, the history of town. As an artist in Jackson, there are lots of ways to draw inspiration.
"To be able to go somewhere like that to relax and create is amazing. I think Jackson is visually stunning," Jason says.
Jason is working to get more of his work out in the world. He's participating in more shows, trying different techniques, and exploring other artistic subjects.
Right behind him, Jason's wife Stephenie is working, too.
"She has no problem volunteering me for art shows and projects," Jason says.
"I'm just excited that he actually wants to show his work," Stephenie says.