Born in 1973 in Duncan, B.C., lessLIE's colonized, Catholic, Canadian name is Leslie Robert Sam. His decolonized artist's name is lessLIE. Hitler once said that the bigger the lie you tell, the more people you can get to beLIEve in it. Hitler was about racism, imperialism, and genocide, which are political forces which lessLIE is fighting against. Picasso once said that "art is a lie that tells the truth." In the spirit of trickster traditions, lessLIe is living this perspective of Picasso.
lessLIE has a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University-College. While working on this undergraduate degree, lessLIE began to study Coast Salish art in 1995. lessLIE is currently attending the University of Victoria, working on a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Coast Salish art. As a component of this graduate degree, he has also worked at Thunderbird Park Carving Studio. When he first began to study Coast Salish art, he was inspired and encouraged by his cousin Joe Wilson. His main influence as a young Coast Salish artist has been Susan Point.
lessLIE lives in Duncan on Vancouver Island.