Willie Jinks was born in Locust Grove, GA., the son of a sharecropper and one of 13 children. At an early age, Jinks had a fascination with nature (trees, rabbits, dogs, etc.) and mechanical things (slingshots, windmills, wagons, cars). As an adult, Jinks moved to Atlanta and worked for the Department of Sanitation for 30 years before retiring. He salvaged materials from work to make things he couldn't afford to buy. Eventually, he used his active imagination to make artistic creations. Jinks, who called himself "Hobbyman" and his work shed the "Hobbyshop," said his work is about the land, air, and sea.