Don Svanvik, originating from
Don witnessed potlatches throughout his life, he assisted the dancers and helped out during the overall preparation. He himself began carving ceremonial pieces and has received numerous commissions for masks to be danced at potlatches. Don began carving in 1984 under the guidance of Beau Dick. His earliest influence was Sam Johnson. His advise to carve anything you want as long as you know what it is and how it is used. Don has applied these guidelines to every piece that he carves.
He has also worked with Wayne Alfred, Sandy Johnson, Bruce Alfred, Harold Alfred, Doug Cranmer and Calvin Hunt , including many commissioned pieces such as totem poles. The experience of working with so many artists has given Don many different viewpoints towards approaching and understanding Kwakwaka'wakw art.