James Adkins was born on August 8, 1963 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. His crests are the Raven, Bear and Killerwhale. Acclaimed Haida artists Alvin and Rick Adkins are his brothers.
Since 1993, James has been carving primarily jewelry and he attained much of his knowledge from his brother, Alvin Adkins. His greatest influences are Tahltan-Tlingit artist, Dempsey Bob and his mother, Margaret Adkins.
In June of 2007, James collaborated with Vancouver designer Jason Dussault to create a line of exclusive jewelry that combined Haida imagery with pop-culture aesthetics. James makes many of his own engraving tools and his work is characterized by its heavy gauge, bold form lines and precision.