If you've ever tried online dating, you might have felt it was difficult to find someone who shares your interests.
But have you ever tried searching for love on Instagram?
While it wasn't why she started sharing her work on social media, a Vancouver-based artist says she met her husband on Instagram through their mutual love of palette knife painting.
"Hashtag palette knife painting," she tells Vancouver Is Awesome. "We're like following this hashtag and then we found each other's work."
Emilie Fantuz, 32, is originally from the United States but says she decided to travel to the Great White North after meeting her husband (artist Mike Fantuz) online.
Mike is originally from Calgary but they decided to meet in Montreal because "it was very romantic," Emilie explains. "I flew back to Michigan and basically packed up and moved."
After arriving in Vancouver in 2017, the creative couple tied the knot in Victoria in 2019. Now, they have an apricot poodle named Victoria.
Painting with palette knives in Vancouver
Emilie says she's loved art her whole life, but it wasn't until 2013 that she started painting with a palette knife. She was teaching in Kauai, Hawaii when she met a palette painter who inspired her to try the technique. Since then, she's worked steadily to improve her craft.
While it can be quite "time-consuming" to paint with a palette knife, she finds that it creates texture in a way that a brush cannot.
"Originally when palette knives were created they were designed for mixing paint on the palette," Emilie explains. Most people are trained on brushes, but since her first experience with art was with the palette knife she finds it more natural.
In regard to her experience in Vancouver, she says coming to the city as an artist affects the way she interacts with it. "The longer I've lived here the more I've found there is to discover," she says. "And Vancouver is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
"I find that the more I paint and go out into the world the more I see things that I didn't appreciate before."
What advice would she have for aspiring painters?
"Number one it just takes so much practice," she noted. "This year with the pandemic I ended up spending more time painting than normal.
"And I felt like this ability to practice and dedicate significant hours was essential for growing my work."
Emilie also says that "working with a limited palette" can allow artists to focus on the primary colours and learn to see colours effectively.
Emilie and her husband will be showing their work in October 2021 at an exhibition at the Ian Tan Gallery.