In his hometown of Kimmirut, he collects oddly-shaped or nicely coloured rocks and large bones to make carvings. He then sells them on his own, or through the Soper Gallery in Kimmirut.
Pitseolak is a dynamic character in Kimmirut, known just as well for his fantastic stories -- some say he exaggerates -- as he is for his skilful carvings and impressive collection of antiques.
One of his prized antique possessions is a movie projector -- the old kind with reels -- that he likes to watch, using the snow-covered rockface outside his house as a screen during winter nights.
Pitseolak also collects things like parts of old boats that he puts up in his house for eye-catching decoration.
Pitseolak is the sort of guy who is always thinking big in dramatic ways, but at the same time, he chooses to live in a town of just over 300 people.
He has lived in Iqaluit before, but the city isn't really for him.
One story he tells is of the time young people broke into his Iqaluit apartment to rip leaves off his favourite fern plant.
"They must have thought it was pot or something," said Pitseolak, who thought the youth must have been crazy. Pitseolak stresses it's not a marijuana plant. It just looks like one. He still has it in his home in his window. After running out of cigarettes once, he even tried to smoke some of its leaves rolled up in paper. The result was horrible and definitely not a high, he says. His greatest stories revolve around his travels out on the land, either as a worker, a hunter, or a sharp-eyed collector always seeking rare and unusual objects.
In his most fabulous tale from the land, Pitseolak says he and three other workers who were drilling in the Markham Bay area last year saw a pre-historic creature rise from the waters and grab a polar bear.
It was as real as any other living thing he has ever seen, with greyish skin, big tusks and huge wing-like arms. Pitseolak swears all four of the workers saw this creature. They were not on drugs, he said, and it wasn't a whale, a walrus, or a hallucination.
"But we were told never to tell anyone," Pitseolak said.
True or not, it makes no difference. Donny Pitseolak is as original and distinctive as his artwork and his tales.