Derek Santos was born and raised in Southern California, until he moved to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, at the age of 21. Derek was first exposed to art through graffiti and painting, both leaving a lasting impact on his artistic influences. He is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and attended Oglala Lakota College to study digital art. He relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts. Derek aspires to return to the Pine Ridge reservation to teach art to the Lakota youth who face daily hardships on their reservation.