Nationally recognized as a gifted painter, draftsman and designer, James studied with Harry Borgman, Gordon McGowan and George Vihos at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit where his experiences with rock music and the urban street scene textures the detail and dramatic composition of his work.
He helped finance his education playing drums in a rock band with Glenn Frye (before he was an Eagle) and Bob Seger (before he was Bob Seger). He is an Army vet. Thirty years in advertising won James every major award as an art director, designer, and creative guru.
If you’ve “Gone Around Once In Life” with Schlitz Beer, had fun with the Pillsbury Dough Boy, linked Taster’s Choice with ground roast flavor, taken the “Nestea Plunge,” said “L’Eggo Of My Eggo,” donated to The Christian Children’s Fund, enjoyed National Geographic programming on PBS, taken a Princess Cruise, driven on Good Year or Bridgestone Tires, eaten Sara Lee Foods, or bought AC-Delco products because General Chuck Yeager told you to … James was talking to you.
In and out of New York, James illustrated covers and stories for Dell, Avon and Doubleday Books and more covers and stories for Marvel Comics’ Epic Magazine. He illustrated tour posters for Randy Travis, video tape jackets and posters for movies, and medical illustrations for pharmaceuticals. As a creative writer, he developed concepts and scripts optioned by ABC and CBS and a screenplay for Clint Eastwood’s Malpaso Productions.
In 1997, James created, developed and produced The International Automotive Advertising Awards (IAAA) with Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.
But nothing feeds his spirit like drawing on paper or painting on canvas. He has been rewarded by the wonderful reception of his work in numerous galleries and countless private and corporate collections around the country. He is a member and has been honored by The National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society and Oil Painters of America.
A stunning achievement of his corporate art is the Detroit Project, a 4.5 ft. x 15 ft. graphite pencil rendering of the city of Detroit circa 1907 displayed in the lobby of the New Crowne Plaza Pontchartrain Hotel in Detroit. James is also involved with The Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida where his graphite drawings and oil paintings of the apes help raise money for the care of 26 chimpanzees and 21 orangutans. Numerous non-profits like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life have auctioned his donated art to raise funds.
Realizing that he can live and create anywhere there is space and light, he and Linda chose paradise … the far southern gulf coast of Florida.