James has always been an artist, he started with drawing throughout his childhood which advanced to what he currently produces like charcoal drawings, oil paintings, sculpture and of course tattoos. He originally wanted to follow his dad’s profession which is welding but his dad pushed him to do something with his art instead.
James’ first tattoo experience was at his friends house looking to collect his first piece, and when looking through his friends flash sheets he saw a lot of imagery he liked to draw himself. He then went home and made his first tattoo machine, James was only 16 years old at the time. He was offered an apprenticeship but after they found out his age they said to come back when he was 18.
James never gave up on tattooing and for 3 years worked at his craft until he found a mentor in Richard Martinez. Richard worked at shop at the Pico Rivera Indoor Swap Meet called 4 Skin Tat2, which is now renamed to Ghost Town Tattoo. James worked with Richard until 2005 when he moved to Oxnard, California and started at Inkfatuation Tattoos. It was at Inkfats he started to tattoo black and gray realism, learning a lot from his friend Manuel Valenzuela.
James has worked at Seven Tattoo Studio in Las Vegas since 2014. He prefers to tattoo black and gray realism and draws inspiration from everyday life. James recommends for all of his clients to really listen and take his advice when it comes to the tattoo design, that way you are leaving with a quality tattoo and having had a fun experience. Just come with a concept and let James do the rest.