Ottokie Samayualie was born on June 17, 1980 in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island.
The Cape Dorset community boasts more famous artists per capita than any other region in Nunavut. Ottokie is the son of the talented local artists Johnny and Kuluajuke Tunnillee. It is not surprising that Ottokie has followed the same artistic path, as Nunavut artistic talent is passed on through the family rather than taught in an art academy.
Ottokie takes great care in choosing the stone for his sculptures. His carvings are made of the finest serpentine of varying green shades, and then smoothed and polished to best exhibit the luster of the stone. Serpentine, also known as Soapstone, is a rock with composition similar to Jade that is found on Baffin Island. It is a very hard stone, so it requires more artistic virtuosity to carve than the softer soapstone found in other regions of the world.
The Cape Dorset sculptural style is a combination of observational naturalism and reduction to stylistic and sometimes abstract forms. This style is always present in Ottokie's carvings.