I had a lot of freedom growing up, and I think that helped me appreciate the world in a unique way. There were plenty of elders who would take me out hunting and trapping to make sure I learned traditional skills. This is the reason I have a good grounding in the basics of Dene culture and a way of life that is now less common. It is said that working in the bush shapes the mind.
As far as art goes I am interested in so many things. When I was in grade 8, I realized I could paint, draw and write. I did a lot of wildlife and scenery at that time, sold my first works, and began writing poetry and music. Sculpture came to me later through a drawing, painting and carving course I took in Fort Simpson with the renowned Inuvaluit artist Bill Nasogaluak. I caught on and spent a few years making my living that way and am still active in snow and ice sculpting. I had also spent a year in Los Angeles studying music, then went to the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver.
My style ranges from realism to abstraction and I often illustrate imaginary things, which flow from my subconscious mind. The ability to produce an accurate drawing is one thing; it’s a mechanical skill. However some artists have a hunger for the truth, which is the driving force behind their work. They dig deep within their own psyche to find something of value to bring forth. That was always my goal, getting to the heart of the matter and honouring the truth.