James isn’t the type of person that you would expect to be a tattoo artist. Growing up, he wasn’t interested in art at all and he didn’t start drawing regularly until he was around 23 years old. He believed that the ability to create beautiful art was something people were born with and had always assumed that he was not one of those people. Still, for some reason he was compelled to spend time drawing in solitude, and somewhere along the line a paradigm shift occurred when he realized that he could build his skill level up solely through practice and repetition. He grew as a self-taught artist and eventually was introduced to tattooing by an old friend that encouraged him to give it a try. After doing a few amateur tattoos James decided to pursue tattooing professionally and scoured the city trying to find someone who would mentor him. His time as an apprentice lasted a mere four months, and after becoming a professional he looked to formal education to further improve his skills. He went to a local community college where he was classically trained in the subject of fine art. While completing his associate’s degree in art, James participated in several fine art exhibitions, including a solo show a small gallery in Phoenix, two exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum, and a student show at MCC where he won a juror’s award for one of his figurative works. James now owns Dark Horse Tattoo Company and is still working on becoming a better artist.