James was born in Lincoln, England, United Kingdom. He went to the University of Wolverhampton, England, where he gained a first class honours degree in Electonic Media BA (Hons). Shortly afterwards he did some early work in animation for TV advertising before becoming a game developer at Blue 52 Ltd., a London based design studio.
In 2002, Turner moved to Japan and joined Genius Sonority, where he worked on various Pokémon spinoffs developed by the company, including all 3D entries on GameCube and Wii and Pokémon Trozei!. He gradually rose to the position of art director.
In 2009, he moved to Game Freak, where he has worked on the main Pokémon series since Black and White. He is usually involved with movie and cinematic design, and also became the first occidental to officially design Pokémon. Turner also directed two side projects at the company: HarmoKnight and Tembo the Badass Elephant. With Pokémon Sword and Shield, Turner became Art Director for the first time in the main series.
- Stolen (2002) - Lead Animator, Lead Modeler, Map Artist
- Disney’s Peter Pan: The Legend of Neverland (2002) - Chief Animator, Character Designer
- Pokémon Colosseum (2003) - Special Effects Art, Camera Animation
- Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (2005) - Art Chief
- Pokémon Trozei! (2005) - Art Director
- Pokémon Battle Revolution (2006) - Art Director
- Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (2008) - Art Director
- Pokémon Black and White (2010) - Pokémon Character Design, 3D Map Graphics, Digital Movie - Main Design
- Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (2012) - Pokémon Character Design, Pokémon Black and White Graphics Design
- HarmoKnight (2012) - Director
- Pokémon X and Y (2013) - Pokémon Characters Design, Digital Movie Design (Lead)
- Tembo the Badass Elephant (2015) - Director
- Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016) - Digital Movie Design / Effect Design Section Director, Pokémon Characters Design
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017) - Pokémon Characters Design & Concept
- Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019) - Art Director, Pokémon Design
List of Pokémon
The following are a list of Pokémon that Turner designed.
- Game Freak Blog: Pokémon Black and White (archived)
- Iwata Asks: HarmoKnight
- How Pokémon's Art Director James Turner Draws Pokémon (Game Informer)