James Hodkinson was born on 7 September 1949 in Manchester. At the age of ten, he moved from England to Australia, where he still lives today. In 1973 he had a bathing accident which left his arms and legs paralysed, resulting in a hospital stay of two years. After that James Hodkinson lived in a home for people with spinal injuries. At the same time, this was a new start in his life. During the rehabilitation phase, he frequently attended painting and drawing classes. He took a great liking to draw with a pencil in his mouth. Ever since he has continuously striven to further develop his artistic talent.