Having a fascination for science fiction and fantasy artwork, James K. Wong studied art with a special emphasis on perspective, lighting, and constructive drawing which are skills he knew would be necessary to depict subjects from the imagination. He also knew the ability to draw and paint imaginative concepts would be of value in the entertainment industry, a field in which he had taken a great interest from a young age.
James was raised in Sacramento, California and moved to Los Angeles to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he was mentored by the great Revell box cover artist Jack Leynnwood. It was from his mentor that he learned to work in opaque gouache, which would later become his preferred medium for quick concept paintings. After graduation he was soon working for Mattel, Inc. illustrating Hot Wheels cars and Landmark Entertainment illustrating themed entertainment and toy concepts. His first full time position was for Walt Disney Imagineering as a show designer on Tomorrowland. His first responsibilities there were to design characters, set concepts, and costumes for the opportunity to present to pop star Michael Jackson. For the years that followed James worked on a variety of projects within theme park development including ride design, storyboards, vehicle design, marquees, murals and more. The project subjects varied as widely and would include dinosaurs, space aliens, American history, futuristic technology, and others. In 1996 James was hired by DreamWorks in Bel Air, California where he produced traditional concept art and was introduced to creating digital art through 3D Studio Max and Adobe Photoshop. In 1998 James worked for BRC Imagination Arts developing creative ideas and designs on the Space Park Bremen project. He has since been working on gallery paintings and as a freelance designer with clients Walt Disney Imagineering, BRC Imagination Arts, The Disney Stores, Lightsource Studios, Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, Goddard Group, and The Jim Henson Company. His medium for design work is traditional or digital and for gallery work is oil. James currently resides in Sacramento, California.