James Sommer

(a.k.a., Skip)

Shadowbend Studios

Who Let The Flying Monkeys Into The Studio?

There is an old Russian saying on the island of Paramushir
“As you cooked the porridge, so must you eat it”. The young boy whom the locals called “Светловолосый ребенок, который мешает” (fair haired kid who gets in the way) never understood its inherent wisdom.

As the son of a prominent Scottish Pastry Chef and a Balinese Puffin trainer, James “Skip” Sommer never felt completely at home in the windswept, barren fishing villages of the Kuril Archipelago. Ever since his family landed in Utyosnaya Bay after a freak storm sent their traveling Persian rug framing business off course, Skip would spend many a long afternoon weaving old fishing nets into creative macramé coffee mug holders in the shadow of Mount Chikurachki while dreaming of a life as a web designer and artist.

The only outlet for his creativity consisted of painting unusual ship markings on the bows of fishing boats, until one day when he found himself a stowaway in a cargo of black market fish balls being smuggled to the United States by the Cypriot leisure food cartel.
Skip was on his way to America and his dream…

“He was born silly and had a relapse”

~ Arthur Baer


  Skip was born in Alameda California on cold mid-December day and is a card carrying Sagittarius. He doesn’t speak Russian, has never been any farther west than Hawaii and had not even heard of the Kuril Islands until he needed an obscure place with a cool name for his little exercise in ridiculousness. He currently lives in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife Sandy, his two children, Sean & Audrey, and his cat Flynn (who was named after Kevin Flynn from the movie “Tron”).

  Skip studied Commercial and Fine Art in college, spent some time as an Art Director for a graphic design firm in the late 80’s, began coding HTML sites in the mid 90’s, opened Shadowbend Studios in 2005 and has spent most of his life creating art and expressing his creativity through a multitude of medias. In his “spare” time he finds time for historical wargamming, meditation, miniature painting, art projects, and talking about the future with Sandy!   He also tries to remember that every day is a blessing!

What Our Clients And Colleagues Are Saying About Us

“Words cannot express how fabulous I think this company is. Skip is the consummate professional. I have been working with Skip since 2008 and he has helped in so many ways, for my business needs.”

Patricia Morrissey

Owner, The Ultimate Sin Cheesecake Company

James Sommer

Curriculum Vitae





Personal Info

James “Skip” Sommer
Email Address
Phone Number

Education & Certifications

  • AS Degree in Liberal Arts from Chabot & Las Positas Colleges
  • Certified in Web Design Concepts, HTML, Flash Animation, Javascript, Online Legal Issues and Photoshop through the International Webmasters Association (IWA)
  • Certified in Business Contracts For Creatives, Running A Web Design Business: Defining Your Business Structure, SEO Link Building and SEO Foundations from Linkedin Learning

Hobbies & Interests

Gazing into my bride’s eyes, spending time with my kids, board gaming, historical wargaming, miniature painting, watercolor, photography, and history.

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