James Seffens grew up in an Ohio enclave populated by his extended family. It was a DIY, grow your own sort of place, so naturally James taught himself to paint, build, and carve. He attended OSU,
obtaining a degree in geology. Upon moving to New York City in the 1970's he met and began working with an older sculptor, Nicolas Cortes, who had a studio in Hell's Kitchen where he produced store displays. James maintained a Hell's Kitchen storefront studio for 31 years, relocating to Long
Island City in 2011.