about james

personal & professional biography

The Personal Story

You might say I have experience with massive life changes. 

In 2013, I came to an earthshattering conclusion that I was a participating leader in a religious cult. It’s not an easy awakening, given it was a primary influencing force over me since the moment I was born. My entire life revolved around the lifestyle and identity found in my faith. 

From that time, I’ve been on a journey of healing and rebuilding my entire sense of self. It’s become my passion to learn and share about living from a mindset of wellness – in body, heart, and mind. 

My Personal Mission

To show up honestly and vulnerably for myself, so that I be the best version of myself for others. 

The Professional Story

I’ve worked in nearly every aspect of design and brand marketing for the past 25 years.

A trained illustrator and graphic designer, I self-taught myself web development, videography & editing, animation and content marketing. I’ve worked within many roles and creative environments, including marketing agencies, internal marketing teams, creative consultant for small business, freelance design and an owner-entrepreneur.

My marketing & design business is called Tractor Beam Marketing.

I’ve had a strange life, in many respects. I’m a strange blend of experiences. 

The part that most people would know is the quiet, professional designer. The part that most people wouldn’t know was that I was born into a religious cult – which impacted the majority of my life.

It’s a story I’ll share more of, as it’s been something I’ve been working hard to heal from for the past 10 years (since I left the religion of my childhood). 

The Professional Designer / Artist Side

I have always been artistic. I found the passion soon after I could pick up a pencil and crayon. It lead me to a career as a commercial artist; I carved a humble career as a designer.

My skills developed over the years, and I worked in nearly every aspect of design, branding and marketing. I’m thankful for the career I’ve had – it’s allowed me to work independently and consistently. 

In recent years, I’ve decided to focus more on my artistic side. This year was a turning point where I determined to make it my “main thing”. More or less, I’m plowing a new path for myself – and seeing where it takes me.

The Ex-Religious Side

I was born into a religious cult called Branhamism. As a believer, I followed the teachings of William Branham, who I was raised to revere and respect absolutely.

It was a complicated upbringing, to say the least. Just after graduating from college, I fully gave my life to the faith. It would occupy the next 15 years of my life completely.

I wholeheartedly believed it was the truth; to the extent I became an associate pastor. Unexpectedly, I began to challenge my beliefs due to alarming issues I encountered – both in counseling people in our sect and in researching the history of our founding ‘prophet’. 

Where I Am Now

I struggled with regret – profoundly – for the years I lost to religion. The feeling of ‘loss’ is hard to explain. In order to devote myself fully to my faith, I removed myself from participating in the world around me.  I faithfully sacrificed countless life experiences, personal interests, family closeness, relationships, and career opportunities.  The loss still hurts. 

While in the church, it wasn’t that everything was terrible. You develop friendships and community. Consequently, I had people I cared about all around me. However, the years were lived in a minimal, insolated, and controlled way. I gave up my own life and identity to belong.

To say I can appreciate the meaning of freedom, of critical thought, of exploring new ideas, of self-expression, and the forming healthier connections is an understatement. I’ve spent much of the last 10 years feeling wounded, finding healing, rediscovering confidence and purpose. I’ll never be fully healed – but I do believe I can be fully connected to who I am, and what I do with my life. 

This is part of the purpose of my website. I’m daring to put myself out there as a creative, capable, worthy contributor. I’m who I am – and I want to share things I’ve learned and created.