Born in San Jose, October 1944, Phillips has lived most all his life in Santa Cruz, California.
His first published work was in the spring issue of Surfer Quarterly, 1962, his “Woody” a winner of a 1961 surf car cartoon contest in the magazine. His surf art appeared in many surfing publications during the 1960s. In 1965 and 66 he attended California College of Arts and Crafts, in Oakland.
Beginning in 1975, and for many years, Phillips was art director for Santa Cruz Skateboards where he created thousands of skateboard decks, T-shirt, sticker, and ad art designs.
Jim currently continues his exclusive connection to Santa Cruz/NHS creating special edition decks and many new products worldwide in the skateboard, snowboard, and surfboard markets.