I was raised in the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, of Rosebud, South Dakota. My families have taught me various lessons such as the four core values, the 12 virtues, the quality of man I was to become. What stays with me the most from all my lessons are the songs and stories, the Oral Tradition. “Grandson, if any of these words should change, then they will lose their quality of power. You must share them and keep them as they were shared with you.” The words of my grandparents still echo in my mind as clear as the moment he told me.
My interest as an artist began with burnt sticks from fire pits and dried membrane from the inside of boiled turtle shells. I would draw everything I see from memory. I would use my home-made charcoal sticks to draw on flat river rocks that I would also find. The wet dirt made an excellent canvas to draw into after we had rain in the valley. Sometimes, I would discover a small cave that had flat stone walls. Then began my first acts of vandalism because I would draw just about anything to fill up the empty space on those walls. Eventually, I would go draw new images on those walls because the morning dew would wash away my charcoal drawings. My interest in art became a hobby, and that became talent, and that became my living.
I matured while advancing through educational levels, and I learned that there are ways one can expand as an artist. I figured I would have the upper hand by being a self-taught artist. Boy, did I get a life altering reality check. I went to college at Black Hills State University on a track scholarship, and while I threw shot put and discus, I studied Art, Art History, and Art Education. I also worked on music as a hobby because it was a faster way to express myself. I have always loved to write about where I grew up, what it was like to walk two worlds, and about what it was like to be considered one of the poorest kids on the rez. Many children never stopped reminding me about how poor I was, and that inspired me since then. My experience with music and performing on stages with so many talents led me to landing a one-year contract with C.B. Modeling and Talent Agency, and that experience led to a contract with Big Fish Talent Agency in Colorado.