Ivan Thomas was born in 1973 in Port Alberni, British Columbia and belongs to the Tseshaht First Nation. The Tseshaht people live on the west coast of Vancouver Island, one of the 14 Nations which make up the Nuu chah nulth Tribal council. Tseshaht is pronounced as "see-sha-ought'.
In 1991 Ivan moved to Vancouver and shortly after, he began training under the watchful eye of master jewelry carver, Derek Wilson of the Haisla nation. Ivan has also been influenced by several other renowned carvers such as Patrick Amos, Ron Hamilton and Bill Reid. In addition to learning from established artists, Ivan has completed the Vancouver College jewelry program where he began incorporating precious stones into his creations.
Ivan is known for his refined and dimensional carving style. Within a relatively short period of time, Ivan has gained attention as one of the emerging talents who is well on his way to reaching the prominence level of his superiors. With the imagination of a true artist, Ivan continues to push the limits of what can be done, and he works constantly at creating new methods and new ways of expressing both the traditional and the contemporary.