The story of how two artists met, consequently fell in love, and endlessly inspire each other.
Upon reading Spencer Cope and Meghan Collison’s interview, I became completely enamored with the couple — first, as individual artists and, second, as a creative duo. The couple was unknown to me before our own Melodi shared the following interview. I was immediately reminded of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, infamous and obsessed lovers in the 60s and 70s. Serge, the writer, singer, and man behind the lens, ever musing over his gap-toothed girl. And Jane, the gorgeous model/actress with the girl next door smile, yet owning a disposition soaked in sensuality. I see a familiarity in the photos of Meghan — the cheeky confidence and beauty subtly rises off the image, reminding me of Miss Birkin herself. Could they be the modern-day Jane and Serge?
Spencer and Meghan, two creative souls dedicated to their art and always on the hunt for the next thing. They are on the road a lot — for them, travel equals massive inspiration. The two documented one recent trip and were gracious enough to share with us a glimpse of it, which equals their life, love and art.
Since meeting each other, how has this relationship made you grow as an artist?
Meghan: It’s made me grow as an artist in that Spencer helped me be more confident about my art. Especially with the face painting. When I first started experimenting, I was very shy about it. I showed very few people. He definitely pushed me to be proud of my designs and to show more people. He was one of the first people to tell me he loved what I was doing and that it inspired him. I love his support.
Spencer: Part of what I love about creating something physical is getting to create the world around that physical thing. I get to be whomever I want and play a character in the “world” of that artistic endeavor. Even when taking a photo I get to show up and exist in whatever form I wish and with whatever story I wish. When creating with a lover it is completely different and much more vulnerable. There is a lot less pretending and a lot more real-life in the process. There is also a lot more involvement when creating with someone you love — we are in it together from ideation to post-production. The growth that evolves from this is still new and undefined, but I can say that I am more confident in my photography and I have a better understanding of type of photographer I am.
Did meeting each other spark a new explosion of creative energy?
M: Definitely! But it came about so naturally that I almost didn’t even realize it. We just travel and spend time together and the photos that come from it are very real. It’s nice to have ideas and someone you know who will listen and put his own creative spin into the conversation.
S: Of course, I mean look at her, holy shit. From the moment Meg and I first met in person, all I have wanted to do is point a camera at her. Everything she does is magic in my eyes and I want to remember it exactly the way I see it.
How did meeting each other change your creative identity?
M: I’m not even sure what my creative identity is, but I imagine that whatever it is, it can never be static.
S: Creatively I have always been a hopeless romantic, and now having a partner in crime…maybe my identity doesn’t seem so pathetic? Haha.
What does a normal day look like for each of you?
M: I am a model so, most days, so I serve as a blank canvas on which someone can drape his/her creativity. I also dabble in retouching, working on other people’s photos — mostly NYC friends who are budding photographers. Some days Spencer and I go on mini adventures and take photos, or we plan future (larger) adventures. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were also those Sundays where we cuddle my cat Penny and watch Netflix!
S: Normal is not a word I would ever use to define a day in our life. We don’t really have a routine or a standard. We haven’t spent more than a month in one consistent place. Since we met (8 months ago) we have been to 4 countries and something like 15 states, traveling and exploring. Each day tends to be different and new.
Okay…maybe we have one thing…I have to plan on spending at least 5 minutes before I get out of bed to snuggle Meg. No sneaking out, no matter how early it is — if she wants some cuddling, I don’t mind giving it.
Do you ever feel like you complete a project on your own, or is the other person always involved in what you do?
M: We initiate projects that are our own, sure. I do, however, value Spencer’s opinion, always. So if I am unsure of something I’m working on I will ask. He is a very honest, to-the-point person.
S: We complete more projects apart than together. Meg is a full-time model and has been for 10 years, so she works on rad things all the time that have nothing to do with me. I am the same in that I work on my own projects. I started a company called WANDRD that receive a great deal of my creative energy. I think it is important, in any relationship, to have your own identity and your own life. If Meg and I did everything together we would probably start to resent each other.
Get the look: Athea Dress
Get the look: Denim Super Flare
What advice would you give to people who want to live a similar lifestyle?
M: I would say: spend your money on experiences, not things. Traveling gives you joy that a TV could never bring.
S: Find your own path — in this super socially-connected world we live in, I find people are spending too much time trying to follow someone else’s path. They perceive a lifestyle and try to emulate it versus creating their own. I have lived many lives and have walked many paths in my short time, and have found the only way to be successful and happy is to create my own path. Find what turns you on in life and chase it, give no fucks what other people are doing or saying and chase it. I love creating, I love design, I love photography, I love writing, so I talk about those things — I try to integrate in my life those people who share similar interests. Finally, work your ass off — what you rarely see is the hard work and dedication it takes to live that life you want.
What disciplines did you have in order to make your dreams come true? As an observer, people want the lifestyle of the people they admire, but they don’t realize the amount of work that goes into making that a reality. How do you make it reality?
M: Everyone’s journey is different. I took risks and moved to a city where I didn’t know anyone and completely started over. I think making what you want a reality is, first, about understanding exactly what it is you want. Once you know that you can make a plan, instead of excuses. I like to write stuff down. It helps me accomplish what I need to accomplish.
S: Relentless authenticity — being who I am at any cost. Hard-ass work — you will work harder and longer on a personal endeavor than anyone else’s but the payoff is worth it. I recently designed and brought to market a stylish yet functional photography backpack with my brother — from an outsider’s perspective, it probably looks as though we had an idea, put it on paper, called a factory, launched it on Kickstarter and boom! we were successful — but this is far from the truth. My brother and I worked 14+ hr days with no pay. We worked multiple jobs, etc. etc. to make this backpack happen. It takes an insane amount of work and forethought to make most things successful.
Travel is a huge part of what makes Meg and I feel alive — what motivates us to create. We try and spend as much time traveling and making new experiences as possible. Some may see us on the road and think we have tons of money, but we don’t. We make sacrifices in other areas so that we can travel. We don’t drive nice cars and we don’t spend money frivolously. We make travel a priority and put our money towards it. Focus your energy and resources towards what you really want and sacrifice those things that don’t directly serve that purpose.
Get the look: Sun Valley T Neck
How did painting faces come to be?
S: The Meg dawg got this one.
M: I did Halloween makeup 2 years ago for some friends. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I had so many ideas flood into my brain that I couldn’t paint my face fast enough. I’d spend my evenings painting, then ‘selfie-ing’ the looks. Now I don’t have to take selfies anymore, haha! Spencer’s helping me out with that.
Tell us about the birth of this camera bag you’ve developed?
S: It’s the classic cliché. My brother and I were both searching for the perfect travel/photography backpack and couldn’t find it. We both wanted something that was stylish yet functional, and all the bags we had purchased or used were one or the other, but never both — so we decided to create our own. I am obviously a bit biased but, I honestly think we have created one of the best travel/photography backpacks on the market. We decided to launch the bag on Kickstarter and found success there. Kickstarter serves as a rad platform for creatives to launch ideas.
Get the look: Belle Long Sleeve Cami
And tell us the story of first meeting each other?
M: Spencer and I had been online friends for about 6 months. I loved talking to him. We discussed every topic imaginable. We decided to meet in LA and take a road trip to Seattle. It was the most incredible experience. I had so much fun with him — he stole my heart.
S: Meg and I had followed each other on Instagram for a year or two with no real interaction besides a comment here or there, and liking pictures. One day I was shopping for a man purse (large faux leather tote) and saw a pic of Meg modeling purses on the site I was searching. So I took a screen shot of the picture and DM’d it to her with a small note, commenting on her beauty and a “look who I found” and wishing her a happy Thanksgiving. From that message we went back and forth, then exchanged phone numbers, and began texting more regularly. The interesting thing to me is that our conversations were never romantic or sexual in nature, though we did talk about EVERYTHING. Texting led to Skyping a few times and then, in April of this year, Meg told me she was going to the Grand Canyon with a friend (Meg lives in NYC and I live in Utah). I jumped at the opportunity to meet her and invited myself to come down and hang. As it turns out, they decided NOT to go to the Grand Canyon but, once back home, we would sort everything out, which quickly evolved into both of us flying to LA, renting a car and driving to Seattle for 5 days. Remember we had never met before and only talked via phone or Skype. This could have been the worst five days of our lives but, luckily, it turned out to be the beginning of the end for us. I fell in love with her immediately and we have rarely been apart since, despite living on opposite sides of the country.
Get the look: Athea Dress
Thank you for sharing, Spencer and Meghan. We’ll catch up with you soon!
+Who is your creative counterpart? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!