After growing up in Bridgeton, New Jersey, Adler discovered an interest in pottery at summer camp when he was 12 years old. This interest in pottery was further enhanced by his fathers own interest in pottery as a hobby he pursued in Philadelphia, while remaining in Bridgeton to practice law for a career. When Jonathan later attended Brown University, he studied semiotics and art history, but spent most of his time at the nearby Rhode Island School of Design making pots. His RISD pottery, including Chanel inspired teapots and Sevres inspired urns, reflected his interests in pop culture, early hip hop culture, contemporary art, and fashion. His professor told him: "You have no talent, you need to leave and give up on your dreams and go become a lawyer. "