Tom Patterson was born in 1962 in Victoria, British Columbia. A member of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation of Vancouver Island, Patterson began carving in 1977 as an apprentice of the master carver Tony Hunt Sr. from the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. During his apprenticeship he helped with the construction of the big house at the Field Museum in Chicago. After 10 years of working for and with Tony Hunt Sr., Tom left to carve on his own, working with well-known northwest coast artists like Art Thompson, Don Yeomans and Gene Brabent.
Although he is of Nuu-chan-ulth descent, he is strong in the Kwagiulth style and also likes to study Bella Coola, Tlingit and other Northwest Coast styles. Tom's art has been and will be an ongoing process, learning from elders and artists. An important part of his personal and artistic development has been gaining an understanding of the rich culture and history of his people. He has since had many gallery exihibitions, monumental projects as well as teaching experiences, where he enjoys passing on his vast knowledge of Pacific Northwest Coast Native Culture and Art.