Sonja was born in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and grew up on the Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge reservations. Due to her father's military career, she lived in many locations and stayed with her grandparents quite often.
She spent a great deal of time with her grandfather, James Holy Eagle, who she helped care for until he passed away in 1991. James is on the cover and in the book VISION QUEST by Don Doll, SJ.
Sonja is a self-taught artist. She was also influenced a great deal by her grandparents, who created traditional art. Sonja's mother Cathy has been making star quilts all her life and helped Sonja to learn about using colors.
Sonja also learned about traditional designs by doing beadwork. She now combines tradition with her unique style, which creates a whimsical, artistic treat for lovers of Native American art.