Jimmy Zahir (Mickey)

At the age of four, Jimmy‘s grandfather began to teach him to carve. Jimmy would watch his grandfather carve in the basement and one day while he was away he figured he wanted to carve and so he went downstairs and turned on Somme power tools. His grandmother was upstairs with one of his aunties baking when they heard the power tools turn on and thought his grandfather had returned, and would like some freshly baked buns. His mother came downstair andd saw him working with the tools and came running to turn off the band saw, she then scolded him and sent him to bed. When his grandfather returned she told him what Jimmy had done and told him “you had better go talk to your grandson about your shop and power tools“. And so Jimmy grandfather came to ask Jimmy what he was doing. He said “Grandpa, you always work to make money and I want to help“, and to that his grandfather asked what he was making, and Jimmy replied “Wall plaques and paddles”. So, instead of keeping Jimmy away from the tools, he gave him a carving knife and let him pick out a piece of wood and showed him step by step, how to make a paddle. While doing that he was taught the process if being an artist and how it takes patience.

Jimmy was raised in a cultural fashion by his grandparents. He began signing for his grandfather as the age of two, by the time he was four he was leading the songs, and so picking up a knife was the next logical step. Until their passing, his grandparents were the principal influences in Jimmy’s life, teaching about culture and identity as well as how to conduct and care for himself. Before his grandfather passed away, his uncle Mark Mickey took him under his wing and showed him a few things.

Jimmy has carved with other artists in his life and has picked up a lot of useful tricks, he learned a lot carving with his close friend, and talented arist, Harry Williams., to whom Jimmy is very thankful to.

“Today, I find myself very thankful for all who have influenced me in my life. It is through those influences that have progressed my art and ability to where it is today, through the different mediums that I use to express my art or through my singing. I look forward to the future and what it will being through my art and through the continued growth both spiritually and mentally“. -Jimmy Zahir