Teresa Young is a Indigenous artist of mixed Cree and Norwegian ancestry who was born on the west coast of Canada and is currently living in Nova Scotia. A child prodigy, she was drawing complex faces before her seventh birthday.
Part of a large family with five older brothers, her father was a fisherman on British Columbia's west coast. When Teresa was in her middle school years the whole family picked up and moved to the Northwest Territories.
Her father was one of the ferry captains on the main crossing for the highway as it crossed the Mackenzie River and continued on up to Yellowknife, NWT.
In this interesting cultural atmosphere, she wore mukluks in the winter and in the summer, at high equinox, the sun touched the horizon but never went down! Canada's northern territories are actually on the same latitude as the country of Russia, needless to say, the winters were very, very cold!
It was an enriching experience which gave her a unique perspective on Canada from a young age. Teresa was exposed to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in a book club in Yellowknife public school. It caught her imagination and started her on a lifetime of avid reading. She was greatly influenced by the dramatic battles between right and wrong in many fantasy books, and her artwork started to grow in the direction of surrealistic fantasy.
As an early bloomer, Teresa started painting in oils at the age of eight and when she was on a holiday in Vancouver at thirteen, she spent the summer sitting with the portrait artists in Stanley Park in the heart of Vancouver, pestering them for portrait lessons. She even sold some portraits herself! Her Mom thought it was a great way to get her out of her hair for the summer!