Shawn Karpes path as an artist is familiar.
Like many other Northwest Coast artists he started learning his craft early – in school.
His mother was then working at an art gallery, Arts of the Raven in Victoria, B.C. She introduced Shawn to many First Nations artists, whose works were shown at the gallery.
Eventually Shawn ended up working at the gallery along with top-notch Northwest Coast carvers, Tony Hunt Sr., Tony Hunt Jr., John Livingston.
Later Shawn was involved in projects with renowned Northwest Coast carvers, Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred.
Karpes is a member of the Namgis First Nation.