Born in Oxford in 1984, at an early age James Watkins emigrated to and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. In his late teens he committed to his interest in photography and writing before travelling around New Zealand living in the rural communities of Golden Bay and Great Barrier Island. During this time he won first prize at the Golden Bay Art Awards and had his first solo photographic exhibition.

He then relocated to Australia where he spent six years between Melbourne & Sydney. Here he purposefully engaged with the contemporary art world – exhibiting work whilst employed as an editor-in-chief, writer and photographer; with documentary projects and writing assignments taking him to New York and Japan. The result of his focus on arts journalism was the development of his own mixed media art practice focusing on social commentary, self-analysis, the figure and experimental mark marking.

After leaving Australia, he has lived in the UK, Istanbul and now resides in Paris where he continues to dedicate his time towards a full exploration of his work.