James McCreary was born in Dublin. He worked at Harry Clarke’s stained glass studio between 1960 and 1963.
From 1964-1978 he worked as a steel erector for Smith & Pearson’s structural engineering works. In 1973 he joined Graphic Studio Dublin, studying etching and lithography, which led to him becoming Studio Manager in 1980. He co-initiated the Visiting Artist Programme, which introduced many of Ireland’s leading artists to printmaking over the past twenty five years.
Along with Mary Farl Powers and James O’Nolan, he was responsible for the establishment of Graphic Studio Gallery in Cope Street in 1988. James McCreary was a Board Member of Graphic Studio Dublin from 1989-2000 and a committee member from 1975-2004. In 2004 he left his position as Studio Manager in order to concentrate solely on his own work. In 2005 James was invited to become a member of Aosdána.