Ivan was born in Walgett, north west New South Wales, in the 1950's. His father is from the Wiradjuri tribe and his mother is from the Kamilaroi.
During his childhood, Ivan lived with his family on rural properties and cattle stations, until they moved to the town of Dubbo. Throughout his teenage and adult years, Ivan worked as a plasterer, maintaining painting as a hobby.
After twenty years in the trade, he bacame a full time artist and manufacturer of Aboriginal artifacts. Ivan is a prolific craftsman, his work encompassing didgeridoos, varieties of boomerangs, canvases, music sticks, bullroarers, digging sticks and meticulously painted emu eggs.