It Takes Two: The Creative Life of Emilie & Mike FantuzSeptember 16, 2021
Emilie and Mike Fantuz are a talented married couple sharing Studio 107, a gallery and live/work space in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Having met through an Instagram hashtag, #palletknifepainting, they now support each other in carving out their own individual, accomplished careers.
A creative lifestyle is about exploring curiosity and challenging yourself to do things you might not be totally comfortable with. When living a creative life, there’s an element of critical thinking about your existence and the world in general. You explore these different ideas through reading, learning and meeting with other artists and creative people who are also exploring. I think we’re very fortunate to be navigating this together.
In the beginning, we were a little shy about painting in front of each other. It was a bit scary, like, ‘You’re going to watch my process?’
Our working relationship has evolved to a really comfortable level but it’s happened in stages. We started in separate spaces, moved to a shared environment but doing our own thing and now, even though we’re independently painting, we’re far more collaborative.
Mike and I do influence each other’s work and by sharing this same space and sharing this passion for painting, we’ve helped each other’s art to grow, probably quicker than we would have done independently. We each have our own strengths which is great, because we can help each other in those areas.
I have a tendency to be a bit of a procrastinator and am easily distracted, but Emilie has a very solid work ethic. She inspires me to stop wasting time.
Before relocating, we were spending 70%+ of our waking hours in our studio, and the other percentage was spent in the rest of the house, eating and going to sleep. We had a joke that we needed to find a big studio with a small house inside of it instead of a house with a studio – this is the place!
Emile and I are both very goal-orientated, organized and hardworking, and we’re always talking about what’s next. Living completely engrossed in artmaking has been the most spiritually fulfilling period of our lives.