Jim French was an artist, illustrator, photographer, filmmaker, and publisher. In 1966 under the business name Lüger, French published several series of erotic drawings of the male figure. His use of the camera followed shortly.
At the suggestion of an Army contact who had seen some of his early unpublished homoerotic drawings done under the name Arion, he and French formed a partnership to start a mail-order company named "The Lüger Studio." While the Arion drawings had been playful sketches of Fire Island life and similar scenes (influenced by two of his favorite artists, George Petty and Alberto Vargas), the drawings created as "Lüger" featured more hypermasculine subjects: construction men, men in leather, surfers, cowboys, wrestlers, and sailors. The first appearance of
a Lüger Studio drawing (two drawings from his "Cowboy" series) was in the May–June 1966 issue of The Young Physique. He has also produced work under the names Rip Colt and Arion and is best known for his association with Colt Studio, which he, with business partner Lou Thomas, created in late 1967. Thomas parted from the endeavor in 1974, leaving French to continue to build what would become one of the most successful gay male erotica companies in the U.S.A. In 2001, French's work was shown alongside Horst P. Horst, Blake Little, George Platt Lynes, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others in Appearances: Photographic Portraits
at Wessel at + O'Connor Fine Art, New York, NY (2001). French was inducted into the Tom of Finland Foundation's Artist Hall of Fame shortly after his death in 2017.