Jason is the creative genius behind J Guy Designs. He studied ceramic engineering and worked for many years in manufacturing before becoming a high school science teacher. He now serves mainly ESL students in Hamtramck. In his free time, Jason loves to design, tinker, and create. His shop, JGuyDesigns, was from his desire for an easy to use planter that would be just as beautiful as functional. His mission: to add a little joy to the world. Jason lives in Oak Park with his partner Julie and their three kids. He also serves on the board of the NWUU congregation in Southfield, a welcoming community with a social justice bent.
Why did you decide to partner with Yellow Door?
I have purchased several gifts from Yellow Door over the years. To me, it is the go-to place for local, handmade art! I thought the aesthetic of my work would be a perfect fit.
How long have you been creating for?
I developed my planters in 2020.
What makes your work unique or distinctive?
I wanted it to be both beautiful AND functional. I haven't found other planters that marry the hand-crafted aesthetic with the ease of a bottom-watered planter.
What inspired you to start creating and how did you turn it into a business?
It was really a product that I wanted for myself and couldn't find. I love designing things and had recently gotten into 3D printing, so I used that technology to develop the core of my planters. Once I had something I was happy with, I marketed it on Etsy and they started to sell.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
Having a vision and making it real. On the other hand, a new piece almost never turns out exactly like how I imagined it. I find it almost spiritual to embrace the beauty found in imperfection.
How about what you like least about the business side of creating and selling?
To be honest, it's the photography! I've finally got a decent photo booth and streamlined the process but my work tends to pile up waiting to be photographed so I can list it online.
What do you enjoy doing besides making art?
Making music, playing games, and spending quality time with my family.
What do you like to listen to?
I'm a rock guy at heart, but in the last year, my listening has expanded into a lot of modern jazz and soul. I also consume a lot of The Moth and Omnibus podcasts while making planters.
Quotes you love or live by:
"Stop. Breathe. Love." - Kid President
"The only measure of your words and your deeds will be the love you leave behind when you're done." - Fred Small
Memorable Places you've traveled to:
The Great Barrier Reef. Incredible!
You can see more from Jason online and at Yellow Door Art Market!