Shawn Aster comes from the Raven Clan, House of Dzewalaks. He was raised by his grandfather in his late mother’s community of Gitkxaala (Kitkatla), a small Tsimshian community southwest of Prince Rupert on the north side of Dolphin Island (Lach klan). The name Kitkatla derives from the Tsimshian name Gitkxaala, from git- (people of) and -kxaala (open sea), since they are the farthest from the mainland of the Tsimshian Nations. He was inspired to create art at an early age by his environment and seeing the remaining totem poles in his community. Shawn also became aware of his late mother’s interest in Northwest Coast art, and this fueled his passion. From 2009-2011, Shawn attended the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, BC, and learned from artists Dempsey Bob (Tahltan/Tlingit), Stan Bevan (Tahltan/Tlingit/Tsimshian), and Ken McNeil (Tahltan/Tlingit/Nisga'a).