Q: What was the most difficult part for you in establishing your career and getting to where you are now?
A: I think the first 20 years is the hardest. It all builds slowly. you slowly build up, you get your body of work together and you continue to build on that your whole life. You get into shows, you get into building up your collector base and commission work is really nice. I have a great reputation with collectors and patrons who have commissioned me to do work. I’m fortunate enough to be where I don’t have to go out and look for commissions, they come to me.
Q: Are you able to be selective with the commissions you do?
A: Yeah. There was a time we took everything. Now it’s what seems interesting. After doing so many riders on horseback we look for anything that’s a little different to create some interest in our lives. [laughing]
Q: Do you do a lot of research to develop your pieces?
A: Oh, yeah. It’s fun. It’s half the fun of it, the research.
Q: How do you research?
A: Find great books or go online. One of my favorite things to do is to look up the ethnological studies from the Smithsonian from the 1800s of the Native American communities. They’ve done a lot of studies on them on various dances or the type of art they made or the type of lifestyle they were living. It’s amazing what you can find online today.
It’s a lot of fun to dig in as much as you can and find as much information to try to make pieces as accurate as possible. I also like a lot of Native American mythology and folklore. It’s one of my favorite things to do is read the stories. ... It’s different things like that that I like to do and I do spin-offs with my sculptures. I try to do different imagery than what is typical for Western art images. Some people like it, some people don’t. But I do it for myself.