I am honored and delighted to open early registration for Artistic Alchemy.
Join me, and a small group of incredible fellow creators at my spectacular studio space, Atelier Alchimia, for two inspired days of connection, community, artistic exploration, and creative expression.
Artistic Alchemy promises to be an experience unlike any other. During the workshop|artist retreat, I will depart from traditional, formulaic approaches in favor of more experiential, exploratory methods. Quite simply, we tend to learn best by doing; that is what the workshop is all about: the act of creating. Accordingly, we will spend most of our time together doing just that.
Not only will I deconstruct my entire creative process, breaking down the tangible, technical elements of my workflow, but I will also speak at length about more abstract concepts such as artistic evolution, redefining fear, developing a signature style, and connecting to one's inner-artist in powerful ways, bolstering authentic expression. We will, collectively, embrace the unknown while addressing self-limiting beliefs and patterns, embodying metamorphosis.
The essence of this immersive experience is reconnecting with ourselves as artists and one another as fellow creatives, and rekindling our drive, passion, and excitement to create solely for the sake of creating. I believe that from this mindful, connected state of being, our artistry may reach its full potential.
Art is life; life is art!
Developing an intuitive understanding of and appreciation for the interplay of light and shadow is foundational to artistic expression and genuine confidence as a creative. By exploring a variety of light sources, from natural and ambient to constant and strobes, independently and integrated, and modifying that light using a vast collection of tools (including color), we'll deepen our connection to lighting as our primary means of communication. We will also spend an appreciable amount of time experimenting with unique and atypical lighting methods and techniques; blur, hot lights, projectors, RGB lights, mylar, prisms, mirrors, etc.; Vive la différence!
Art provides us with a powerful means to connect to ourselves, one another, and the world as a whole. However, the capacity to embrace and leverage that connectivity starts with the self. To that end, attendees will be encouraged to connect and create from a place of authenticity and vulnerability, mediating fear, channeling anxiety, and embracing any discomforts that may arise. In doing so, they will organically expand their abilities to create and hold spaces for others to do the same, a superpower of sorts for those who create with fellow humans. We're in this together!
As artists, we must develop our vision and nurture our capacity to see both the forest and the trees. Ideally, in any frame, every element beyond the individual (subject) has a definitive place, purpose, or meaning. That's not to say that there's no room for spontaneity; instead, we must become adept at evaluating scenes and surroundings efficiently and concerning what we're striving to express or convey. We'll spend time exploring why simplicity is synonymous with elegance and how to thoughtfully implement complexity that adds depth rather than creates distractions. Additionally, we'll focus on creating cinematic color palettes and textural harmonies. Lastly, we'll play with many canvas backdrops, one-of-a-kind set pieces, and antique props!
Editing and retouching, like lighting, are compelling because it allows us to communicate our vision and narrative directly. Also, very much like lighting, it is a subject that artists often fear, loathe, or both. As a result, individuals often use overly complex techniques or inefficient approaches to post-processing. However, editing need not be complicated, tedious, or tiresome! Capture One and Photoshop will be explored in-depth, as will various techniques--and hacks--to bring an image from raw to polished in the quickest manner possible. Color toning, skin retouching, styles/presets, actions, and other workflow-enhancing tools will be given extra attention. So bring your laptop and be prepared to find much more joy and fulfillment in editing!
Workshops should be much more than lectures, theory, and demonstrations; they should not only allow for but encourage and inspire application, experimentation, and creation from those in attendance! Every day, attendees will work directly with incredible, unique models, world-class sets, and an awe-inspiring collection of lighting tools, alongside and under the mentorship of Jonny. Individuals are encouraged to own their sets and images by modifying lighting, sets, wardrobe styling, model direction, etc. The aspiration is for every attendee to add art to their portfolio that brings them joy, speaks to their dreams, and inspires them to dig deeper to express their singular creative voice.
First and foremost, Artistic Alchemy is an inclusive, safe space for one and all, born of love, gratitude, and the notion that a rising tide lifts all ships; community over competition! Collectively, we will connect, create, learn, fail, grow, experiment, achieve, laugh, and perhaps shed a few tears... At its core, this workshop is about connecting to oneself as an artist and human and being a catalyst and conduit for others to do the same. Ultimately, the nature of art, and photography specifically, is humanistic. When we focus on the human element, ourselves, one another, and the greater whole, our art takes on a transcendent and infinitely more powerful quality. So excited and honored to be part of this community with each of you!
Every artist feels a bit alone and creatively stagnant at some point in their career. That’s just how I felt when I found Artistic Alchemy. It was the best creative retreat I’ve ever participated in, and exactly the renewal I needed. Jonny is an empathetic and supportive leader who sets up a safe environment that feels like a creative playground. The stylist and models were attentive and top notch. I felt free and inspired as Jonny freely offered everything in his studio, including gorgeous backdrops, wardrobe, accessories, and equipment. The best part was the human connection – joining together with extraordinary and gifted people to support each other in the quest for making art.
If you're on the fence about taking a workshop by Jonny Edward I am here to help you off that fence and into Jonny's studio. I took Jonny's Artistic Alchemy Workshop in his Denver, CO studio and was beyond blown away. Jonny is thorough in his instruction and does not hold back anything. He takes his time to make sure each student's questions are answered, and understands the techniques he uses for lighting and creating beautiful artistic and creative portraits just like he does.The way he works with his students and models is captivating and you can tell that not only does Jonny have a passion for his work, he also has a passion for people and you will feel warm, welcomed, and wanted in his studio and workshop no matter who you are. There is also no gatekeeping when it comes to Jonny, ask and he will answer about everything he uses and does in his creative process. What will you learn? How Jonny layers and creates various styles and methods of lighting different portrait looks, a bit of color theory in creating different moods, how he works and directs his subjects, and styling creative sets and subjects, and much more. You'll walk away with a better understanding of how to put everything together to create your own beautiful and artistic portrait creations. I walked away with so much information and a better understanding of creative portraiture and I will definitely be back to do it again and again.
Jonny’s workshop provided the optimal balance of education and opportunity to translate into practice. The workshop covered theory to covetable shooting opportunities to personalized feedback. His teaching style is compatible with the most analytical mind to those that have a more fluid approach. Jonny is a phenomenal mentor; he understands the craft very well and able to explain in simple terms. He is perceptive, providing suggestions and encouragements when we felt stuck. Jonny’s workshop was comprehensive and provided new information not covered in many courses. The creative team involved ensured ample opportunity for gorgeous imagery. We had a wide range of attendees in experience and found the workshop valuable. Afterwards, I had a far better understanding of my strengths, what to work on (with plan), new knowledge and beautiful images. I feel Jonny’s workshop is a well valued investment and I would not hesitate to recommend it to my closest colleagues.
Wanted to thank you for sharing all of your talent, energy and compassion in making this weekend such a great experience.
It was an amazing opportunity for me to be around such talented, special individuals from you through to the other attendees (seems strange to describe them as such when they feel like friends now) and models. The diversity of models, sets, wardrobes, lighting options etc was incredible. You could have made half the effort and it would still have been worth it, but you truly went above and beyond. There was an embarrassment of riches which I know I didn't come close to fully taking advantage of, relative to the other creatives in the room. But there was only support, never pressure, and I'm grateful for that.
The weekend also highlighted what I need to work on to make progress, so that the next time I come to Atelier Alchimia (and I'd love to attend another workshop in the future), I return as a more confident, creative photographer ready to play!
You know that scene in Finding Nemo where the Dad goes looking for his son and ends up stumbling into the furiously fast ocean current along with those awesome surfer turtles? That's what last weekend felt like.
It was an intensely rewarding experience which spurred on someone at the bottom end of the learning curve like me, but was clearly a playground for those at the top end of the learning curve also. Wherever you looked and at whatever level of experience we're talking about, there was vivid creative inspiration on display and within easy reach. The collaborative, supportive and compassionate dynamic that you authored meant that we could all just do 'us', unashamedly and with utmost vulnerability, yet still feel free to create and leave smiling and better for the experience. And in my experience, it's rare that someone so creative can precisely articulate technical concepts in a way that's easily understood, but you absolutely nailed that too.
You have created a workshop experience that truly exceeds any expectations and I congratulate you on that. But your compassion and empathy, and your ability to foster that kind of vibe amongst the others, will be the basis of the outstanding memories. Thank you Jonny, you're awesome and so was the workshop!
*investment does not include travel, lodging, or other associated expenses*
My new studio, Atelier Alchimia, is 2,500+ square feet of curated, inspired creative energy. The space was built out as a fully equipped production studio for both stills and video, and is truly unique, in aesthetic, layout, vibe, and the possibilities it presents to artists of all mediums. Situated just outside of downtown Denver, in the quaint Westminster Historic Arts District, it a destination for creators of all types, not just in the Front Range but from both coasts as well. The Atelier was created from the ground up, for artistic expression and the creative community.
What type of lighting gear will be available?
In short, a lot! Seriously though, the studio is equipped with an extremely wide array of lighting gear from modern Flashpoint strobes to vintage "hot" Fresnel lights, film-studio caliber high-output LEDs to 4 projectors with a library of GOBOs, 8 full-spectrum RGB tube lights to lovely natural light throughout the space! Additionally, I have a massive collection of light modifiers from beauty dishes with grids to GIANT 150cm deep octaboxes. We'll explore all of these tools and experiment with them not only independently but in concert with one another.
About those canvas backdrops...
It's no secret that I have an obsession with canvas backdrops and have been curating a collection for years! We will have an opportunity to use drops, huge to tiny, from Fine Art Backdrops, Hand Painted Backdrops UK, The Obsidian Studios, Vlada Backdrops, Gigantic.Co, and more! From layering on walls to building corners, floating drops to using them as drapery, we're going to create with A LOT of incredible texture. :)
How about props and set pieces?
I'm delighted to share that the Atelier is replete with props and set pieces ranging from Victorian to Mid Century Modern and everything in between. The whole space has been meticulously curated and everything in the studio is usable and shootable. Additionally, one of the jewels of the space is a custom fabricated, Irving Penn inspired moveable wall inspired by his corner-portrait series. It's AMAZING.
Will I have an opportunity to...
I've structured this workshop in a fashion that is wholly focused on each attendee having an opportunity to explore, experiment, and create with abandon, all with my mentorship and guidance. If there's something you really want to explore or create during the experience, drop me a note and we'll figure out a way to make it happen. Additionally, if anyone wants to stay late on either day, I'm game to burn the midnight oil so that no stone is left unturned.
Is the studio close to DIA and downtown Denver?
The studio is a short drive from both the airport, DIA, and downtown Denver. No matter where you decide to stay in the city, it's easily accessible. From downtown, the average ride share fare is $15-20 and the wait time is generally less than ten minutes, for a ride.
I will be providing lodging recommendations to all attendees, and highly encourage individuals to communicate in our closed FB group for room sharing, ride sharing, and other fun plans!