JAMES JACKSON was 5 years old when he started to draw cartoons. They weren't the customary scratchings of a restless kid, but pictures that showed a budding talent ready to blossom.

Jimmy Jackson parlayed that talent into a career as a graphic artist, much in demand by companies seeking clever websites, and businesses needing advertising art.

He died Nov. 27 of complications of scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. He was 45 and lived in Blue Bell.

Jimmy was also active in his church, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. In fact, while in the hospital before his death, he was discussing a calendar project for the church.

He also worked with young people there.

Jimmy worked as an art director for the Aetna Insurance Co., and also had his own graphics art business, JimmyGraphics. He painted murals for bars and restaurants and was well-known in the commercial art field for his creativity.

He was born in Philadelphia to Patricia Strickland and David McGriff and grew up in South Philadelphia. He graduated from Bok Vocational High School and the Art Institute of Philadelphia. He also studied at the Moore College of Art.

"He was basically a family man," said his wife, the former Richie Roberts. "He was an avid reader, mostly science fiction, and loved movies because he was a visual person."

Jimmy was also a fan of exotic food, and would sample the local fare wherever he went. "He would try anything," said his wife, whom he married in 1991.

Besides his wife and parents, he is survived by a son, James Richard Jackson; a daughter, Shelleah Monet Richie Jackson, and a sister, Tracy D. Jackson.

Services: Memorial service noon Monday at the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, 22nd and Bainbridge streets. A burial service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at White Chapel Gardens Memorial Park, Feasterville.