I was originally born in Edmonton, Alberta, I moved up to the mainly Dene community of Fort Liard, Northwest Territories when I was 7 years old, and lived there for 21 years before returning to Edmonton to be closer to the artistic scene. I have been creating portraits most of my life. Starting by re-creating images from Conan Comics when I was 5 years old. Over time my art progressed in quality, but I’ve transitioned from doing only graphite pencil portraits to acrylic stenciling. Colour used to intimidate me, but I now find myself becoming more open to experimentation. Recently a close group of friends coaxed me out of an artistic lull. My works are heavily influenced by urban/tattoo culture and abstract pop art.
During Grade 10, in Fort Liard, back in 1996, a half dozen students and I operated a Graphic Arts business facilitated by the school. We used multiple types of Media, such as lithography, stencils, photoshop, silkscreening, carving, and others. Applying this knowledge I began to paint using acrylics, directly using the 31+ years of experience in creating portrait pieces.
The direction I’d like my work to take is one that inspires emotion in its audience, be it a passerby who’s eyes catch the vibrant colour or a collector who spends hours looking at the painting.
So there, that’s what ‘they’ say you should be interested in. What they think I should write in an artist bio. I, however. Believe that every artist is a story, several stories in fact. You just read one short account of my story. Please, allow me to share another …
I love art! I know alot of people claim to love art. But I truly love art in the extent that one being loves another. I don’t only take it at its best, I take it at its worst, and it does the same for me. My art has got me through suffering, and I have suffered in order to create it.
I don’t make art to make a living, I work. I work as an Aid for the disabled. Currently I help those who otherwise could not, participate and complete University. This is a hard job, that comes with very little reward other than those rewards I feel at an emotional level. In the past 3 years I have not made more than 15k a year. Nor been able to secure secondary work that can be flexitive in my ever changing Univeristy hours. I’ve done other work in the past making closer to 48k a year, However in comparison to the work I do now. I did not feel near the reward that I do by helping someone else see their own potential.
In my spare time, while not working, I try to paint. I try to create beauty that I see in my mind for others to see. Something beautiful in myself that I can find. But painting isnt cheap, What supplies I buy, I buy with the money I should be using to buy food, or clothing, Stuff others have characterized as ‘Needs’ not ‘Wants’. Sell your paintings they say. Not understanding the amount of work that has went into a piece. Not understanding that the 80$ they paid for a piece at a friends price was the cost of materials alone. Not understanding that the piece had took 16hrs of work. That you didn’t charge them for. The labour of love, the love of seeing your art on their walls. The chances others will see it there as well.
My latest pieces take me weeks of labour, a labour of love indeed, For I create these works of art with no hopes or dreams of selling them for I price them true to their labour. I do not cheapen their beauty in hopes of sale. Where earlier I would sell them cheap just to afford another canvas, another painting. I allow the paintings time to create their own story, and I watch, and pay attention to their lives. I create them with the love of a child. Wishing the world to gaze upon them, yet wanting them only for myself.
There, now that you know a little more of one story of many, perhaps you will visit my paintings yourselves. Taking part in their stories as they progress.