Recognized for his work as an animator and storyboard artist, Smith made contributions to Samurai Jack; Tiny Toon Adventures; Spiral Zone; The X's; and, most notably, The Ren & Stimpy Show.
In the late 1980s, he co-founded the Spümcø, Inc. animation studio, which created the popular Ren & Stimpy Show.
A musician as well as an artist, he performed under the name "Jelly-Roel, Jelly Roll" and was the guitarist for the Ren & Stimpy opening theme.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, he later lived and worked in Los Angeles, California. His birth name was James Carl Jobb.
He and fellow animator John Kricfalusi were among the founders of Spümcø.