We had the good fortune of connecting with Jono Madison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jono, why did you pursue a creative career?
Ultimately the reason why I pursued a career as an artist is that it makes me happy. I have had several hats of responsibilities to many jobs, but the one thing that doesn’t feel like work is being able to create. In my early 20’s I remember I was in a slump, knowing that I wanted to be an artist but worried I would become a hungry artist, which was never an option for me. With that mindset, for many years I was going to business school, which was something that I remotely was not motivated or driven for. However I sat down with a friend who is a professional photographer and was telling me about the understanding what it is he does and how he is successful. Ultimately he boiled it down to me and asked would I be happy working a 9 to 5 job in something I have no interest in or do something I would be happy in, his exact words in fact were “the day you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life”. I took those words and ran with it, dropped all my business classes mid semester and knew exactly what I wanted to do, to do something I love and to be happy.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Like I mentioned I had a lot of help with my mentor who helping me with understanding the business and getting me in a good foundation. However everyone’s business is different, getting that base foundation set was how I was able to have the Jono brand be set for its self. Now they really don’t teach you everything you need to know for the real world, let me tell you. But, I did feel like once that fire was lit under my ass that I knew it was up to me to set the goals and bars to where I want to be. Knowing that I wanted this is what brought it to life, once you positively set your mind to something thing you will manifest it and all the puzzle pieces with find their place.
Without a doubt, always have a contract! Having a nicely clear-cut and dry, straight to the point is key because it is something that can protect not only you but your money. Whether if it’s a job or a trade, which models will usually trade their time in for photos that the photographer would agree too, with that having some thing that states everyone’s role in the outcome has saved me from many nightmares. I was told by someone I once worked for, she said, “never shit, where you eat”. That basically states to don’t sleep with your models, fortunately I have not because I have seen the drama that has come out of it, and it’s pointless.
Well for those who don’t know me, I’m like a love child between Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Pee-Wee Herman, I love everything dark and spooky but have the soul of 10 year old boy and a mouth like a sailor. When it comes down to it I am a vibrant visual artist with a unique sense of style and humor, I love to bring curiosity to my work with creating a story you get submerged into. Many people think that my work just consumes a bunch of hot naked guys, they are right, BUT with these drop dead gorgeous men I am able to intensify the beauty that they are ready have, but also pull them into this colorful world. With the Jono brand Im able to have this platform that not only celebrates me as an artist but you’re able to see how it correlates with my work it goes hand-in-hand. I have said “I paint with light” Its true, a painter is able to bring life to each piece, I do that to but a little differently with photography. I also love to put myself into my work, at times people won’t even recognize me whether im in full special effects makeup or in drag, being able put myself within the fantasy is the cherry on top. That being said bringing the techniques and understanding I have learned as an artist of classical art I’m bringing that into this new era with my unique sense of style is I feel what sets my work apart. It has taken me a minute to be where I am today, plenty of sacrifice and heartache but if I needed to I would do it all over again because I love what I do.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well there is a lot to see here in Los Angeles, I’m a native here to LA and I still haven’t see everything. But if my bestie was in town, we would start off at The Grove Farmers Market they have so many different types of foods from all over the world, and its a beautiful blend of cultures and cuisine I love it! To visit, I would say Venice beach, we have a a lot of beaches, this one has a bunch of cute stores and restaurants, Venice just has its own vibe. Dancing and Drinks in West Hollywood, of course you start your night at an icon, The Abbey, call up some of my friends and make our way down the Santa Monica Strip. We have a hand full of theme parks that are usually a popular choice, especially a few around this time of year when they become a haunted attraction. And of course the museums are fun too.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the photography department at East Los Angeles Community College, there I was able to understand how and what I would need to get this business started as well as understanding how to captivate my audience. I do have a mentor his name is James Loy, he was one of those professors at the college who frankly took me under his wing, showing me how to understand this craft as well as being able to bring my art to a whole new level. He is working professor he has a great understanding of what the industry is currently. I am beyond grateful and appreciative towards him, he saw the determination I had.
FASHION-EDITORIAL-009.jpg “Geometric” Model: Christian Camacho @christian.camacho_ Fashion: Nigel Crow @Nigel_Crow Jono-Photography_Darnel-Williams_Color-Study_005.jpg “Color Stud Study” Model: Darnell Williams @dwillmodel Jono-Photography_Marcio-Colofully-Dark_001.jpg “Colorfully Dark” Model: Marcio Carvalho @thatguymarcio IMG_9912.jpg “Temptation Waits” Self Portrait of Jono Madison Jono-Photography_Eric-Angelo_Well-Heeled_003.jpg “Well Heeled” Model: Eric Angelo @ericcommando Jono-Photography_JMW_Color-2_001.jpg “Stud Study” Model: Jonathan Mark Weber @jmw.model Jono-Photography_Mermangelo_001.jpg “Mermanelo” Model: Eric Angelo @ericcommando Head Piece: Nigel Crow @Nigel_Crow Jono-Photography_Justin-Austin-at Home_PRINT_003.jpg “At Home with Justin” Model: Justin Hughes @Justin_edwardh All images are shot and own by Jono Photography