Robert Sebastian

Robert Sebastian is from two nations: the Wet'suwet'en Nation and the Gitksan Nation. Robert has always been surrounded by native art. He was strongly influenced by Bill Reid. When he was 16, his aunt was taking a Native Art course that he in turn studied off of to learn as much as he could. He studied native art at the Gitenmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art. In all of his work including silkscreen prints, jewelry, and carving, his sensitivity to both traditional design and individual expression is shown. Robert's style is unique to the coast. He uses traditional motifs and the animals in his pictures are recognizable. Over the years Robert has not only been an artist, but has also been a writer, photographer, and a reporter. Through these career changes he believes that his designing has become more contemporary, more surreal, however the change is subtle. Robert is highly motivated to continue Native art. He likes to teach the youth and pass it on. He wants to provide information to youth so that they can do Native art as well as earning a second income. Robert has never thought of his art as a primary source of income. His primary role as an educator has been to provide information and motivate young people to do art. Robert's advice to young people is to "...go with your instinct toward feelings that you have, don't paint for other people, don't paint for the dollar, paint for yourself. Others will realize the spirit in your painting, then you will survive".


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