Raven Pearson LeBlanc was born in Vancouver, B.C in 1991 but has spent most of her life living on Haida Gwaii. She is of Haida descent from her mother’s side and is of the Naa S’aagaas Xaaydagaay Eagle clan. Spending most her childhood in Skidegate, Raven grew up with the beautiful environment surrounding her home which inspired her growing imagination. At an early age she began drawing animals inspired by animations such as Disney, Don Bluth, and various Japanese animation companies. Her beginnings in Haida Art first took root at the age of 13, when she was asked to participate in a Haida dance blanket project lead by Yolanda Skelton. During the summer break Raven created two Haida blankets, one for the Skidegate youth dance group and the other for her. In 2006 Raven and her family moved to Fort St. John and she enrolled in North Peace Secondary. During her time there she took classes in computer animation, art foundations, painting, and musical theater. She graduated in 2009 and moved back to Haida Gwaii to start an apprenticeship with her uncle and Haida carver, Robin Rorick. He taught her the basic principles of Haida design and painting skills and helped her complete 3 Haida drums. After her time with Robin, Raven began to work with Ben Davidson, the son of renowned master carver, Robert Davidson. Under the teaching of Ben her art form was taken to the next level, with more complex and intricate designs. In 2012 Raven made the choice to enroll into Emily Carr University of Art + Design to pursue a Bachelors in Fine Arts. After completing two years she decided to put her studies on hold to go back to a traditional art form and learn carving at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. She currently resides in Terrace and has begun her first year of the First Nation Fine Arts Program and is eager to start a new journey in her artistic practice. During her summer break from her studies she returns back to Haida Gwaii and works at the Haida Heritage Centre and Haida Gwaii Museum. In the past two years she has had the positions of cultural interpreter and collections assistant and enjoys educating the public about Haida traditions and stories. She is also part of the Haida Dance Group, Hltaaxuulang Guud Ad K’aaju, which translates to “Friends Singing Together”. After many years Raven still enjoys cartooning in her free time and hopes to one day merge her love for illustration and her passion for Haida art.
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