I came to Hay River in 1981 and never left. I guess I’m that particular kind of character that just felt comfortable in this challenging and inspiring environment.
I grew up in a large city and felt the rigidity of high school. At one point it felt like it was just a production and I was following that certain format that schools have, filling a quota. I connected more with post-secondary school because I could focus on things I wanted. I took art – drawing, printmaking, painting, animation and art history. I find my art is still influenced by those studies but also by day-to-day life and music.
My drawings and prints often evolve from ideas that are historical in some aspect, the Mackenzie Hotel in Inuvik, the Zoo in Hay River – they are places and moments that are carved into memories. I often work in the studio with music playing in the background, sound and songs inspire images or an idea to be incorporated into drawing, story line or print
I revisited cartooning in 2012 where instead of capturing historical icons I lean towards more social commentary. There is more freedom and ideas move more fluidly in cartooning. It is intense and focused to carve into wood or do fine ink drawings, but cartoons are not confined by the same parameters, I like that
I love being an artist because it gets me away from the routine of life. We are all creatures of habit and sometimes that routine is more like existence than it is a vibrant life. When I’m doing art I am removed from that existence and put into a more flexible mental state to create and to flow.