James Krogel was born in Southern California. His early experiences growing up in the west were varied and provided a foundation for his development as an artist. He lived in Happy Camp in the Sierras as a youngster which engendered his love of mountains, nature and wildlife. As a young man in Montana he was a lumberjack. He worked as a switchman, brakeman and fireman on the Southern Pacific Railroad making runs from Los Angeles to Yuma Arizona. James road motorcycles, surfed, scuba dove and became a lifelong sailor.
James used a High School scholarship from an art contest to polish his studies as an adult and attended the Art Center College of Design. He worked in trade publications and and eventually became Art Director for Foster and Kleiser Outdoor Advertising and Regency Media. He also hand painted billboards and received an Obie Award for Best Billboard Design of the Year by the Institute of Outdoor Advertising. He later founded his own business Moonlite Graphics where he concentrated on painting and graphics and private commissions. James gave back; he volunteered as a 3rd grade art teacher in his wife’s elementary classes for several years. In 2015 James Krogel’s oil paintings were exhibited by the Parkhurst Gallery in San Pedro, California.