David J. Gonzales was born in Kamloops, British Columbia, on April 10, 1971. He is a member of Squamish Tribe of Coast Salish Nation, which is located in the southern region of the British Columbia.
David’s interests started with drawing in school at a very early age of 7 while attending Tsartlip school on Vancouver Island. By grade four David’s teachers brought in native artists Charles & John Elliott to speak to the class about native art. This was when David had done his first carving. It was at this point David’s passion for Native Art grew daily. He had started signing out library books which contained Northwest Coast Native Art to help him develop his carving technique & style. By age 17 he was continuously moving onto creating Coast Salish Contemporary Carvings inspired by his dad Ernest Alphonse.
David is an adaptable artist who primarily uses yellow cedar as his medium for carving. He produces two and three-dimensional pieces and especially enjoys carving large full-scale pieces. During many years of his carving career, David has been invited to several exhibitions up and down the coast & his work can be found in galleries, corporate buildings and private collections throughout Canada and overseas.
In 1998, David moved to the Nass Valley with the Nisga’a Nation where he was adopted by chief Horace Stevens of the Raven Tribe. This is where David began carving with Nisga’a Artists such as Chester Moore & Ritchie Morgan where he assisted with two (approx. 40ft.) totem poles which were raised in New Aiyansh and Kincolith, BC
In 2000 David started carving with Tsimshian Artist Heber Reece and started learning how to carve masks.
By 2010 David graduated from the Northwest Jewelry Arts Program taught by Dan Wallace of the Kwakuitl Nation where he learned to carve jewelry in silver & gold. It was here when David started carving with Rick Atkins.
David has since moved onto opening his own business Eagleboy By Design which he named after his 2nd eldest son which was launched in 2007. Eagleboy By Design’s logo “First Nation Since Creation” was created & given to David’s wife Marka by his brother in law David Robinson. David’s vision for the hoodie/t-shirts was to incorporate his designs on apparel and make it easier for everyone to own a piece of his artwork. David perceives this to be his greatest accomplishment to this point and is proud to leave this legacy to his three sons Ryan, David Jr. & Isiah. His future plans include working in gold with his jewelry and at least one giant Totem Pole of his own in his lifetime.