BioJames was born in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1981 he began formal art training at the New England School of Art and Design in Boston, Massachusetts under artist illustrator Bill Oakes. He later attended Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 1984 James studied with Russian master Sergei Bongart. He also studied with Karl Dempwolf, Mario Mirkovich and Frank Serrano. James has a watercolor on permanent exhibit at the American Museum of Art in Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, Russia as a participant in a Sister City cultural art exchange program, with Palos Verdes Peninsula, California. J.D. Slay is listed on Askart.com and is published in The Artists Bluebook by Lonnie Dunbier.