Jim was born and raised in western South Dakota where he worked his way through high school and college in a third generation, rickety, family-owned sawmill. The youngest of five, he was surrounded by a close family who loved to draw, paint and laugh.

He remembers spending more time in class drawing cartoons than listening to instructors. Nevertheless, he graduated from high school and then the University of Wyoming with a degree in electrical engineering. He entered a utility career that included work in Montana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Brazil, Guatemala and Bolivia, with each contributing more ideas for cartoons. Jim became serious about recording "life down at the utiltity" in the late 1990's and gathered up the dozens of crude sketches he'd saved in the margins of papers from safety and employee meetings. The result was Hard Hat Jokes, published in 2003.

In 2008, after 37 years of number crunching, Jim decided to trade his techinical career for an artistic one and joined the ranks of the starving artists. He hopes to find more time for enjoying life, family, drawing and sculpture.