Malaya Kisa-Knickelbein

Malaya Kisa-Knickelbein
Courtesy the Artist


Malaya Kisa-Knickelbein is an emerging digital artist, jeweller and tattoo artist based in Iqaluit, NU. Using smooth, dark lines, Kisa-Knickelbein illustrates everything from stylized portraits, to sealskins stretching in the open air, which they share with friends and family on their social media platforms.

Creating art since their school days, Kisa-Knickelbein grew up inspired by family members that worked as printmakers in Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, as well as by multi-disciplinary craft techniques they learned throughout their education. Armed with their iPad and the support of their friends and family, they are dedicated to developing a unique artistic voice all their own: decidedly contemporary but incorporating traditional elements and imagery. Kisa-Knickelbein's line work also translates over into their tattoo practice, which they have been developing since the summer of 2020. They create both traditional and contemporary tattoos using a hand poke method. 

In 2020, Kisa-Knickelbein discovered and nurtured their love of beading and now creates long, beaded earrings, which they sell on social media. As they continue to learn and perfect their craft, Kisa-Knickelbein is constantly developing new patterns and colour combinations to use in their jewellery making. They would eventually like to use their artistic production to help fundraise for different programs in their community.

“I just want to give back to Nunavut,” Kisa-Knickelbein says of their future plans, “I would like to be able to work to raise money for schools, kitchens and other programs in my area.” [1]

This Profile was made possible through support from the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artists Project.

Artist Work

About Malaya Kisa-Knickelbein


Graphic Arts, Jewellery, Tattooing

Artistic Community:

Iqaluit, NU

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.