Felicia Atkinson is a darn good contemporary artist and musician, while Bartolomé Sanson is a blue-ribbon publisher, editor and graphic designer. They are not only collaborators, but a couple. Sharing an apartment in Brussels and stomping through their life together, these two France-born Belgium-based artsy all-rounders decided to combine their considerable talents. “The Golden Age”, a book released by Kaugummi books, Bartolomé’s first publishing house is one of their babies. Recent creative yields include “Shelter”, a record label and publishing house all-in-one and a new record of Felicia’s called “An Age of Wonder”, released under her pseudonym “Je suis le petit chevalier”.
Why is two better than one?
F: Because there is always someone who can respond to everything you do. There’s a constant exchange.
B: I completely agree. And together you are stronger, also regarding life in general. We have the same goals, we understand each other, our lifestyles are similar.
Isn’t two harder than one?
F: No. When there is a conflict, you have to defend your idea and question it, something that is very healthy and helpful. Because when you manage to defend it, it proves that the idea is really good. You can test it.
B: We never really argue about anything work-related. In the beginning we had a few disagreements about strategic questions, like which labels to contact etc. But we quickly found our common strategy and everything works really well. We are actually big fans of what the other one does and admire each other’s art.
Does 1+1 always equal 2?
F: No. I believe in cosmos. The numbers do not matter, the point is that you create a universe together.
B: Exactly. Alone, I would not be able to do the same thing. We create a whole new cosmos together.
Do either of you ever wish it was just 1? (Be honest!)
B: No. We actually complete each other perfectly, because we don’t exactly do the same thing, we both have our own niches that we work in: I’m more into publishing and graphic design, Felicia makes music and paintings. We merge what we do and open up a bigger spectrum for us, we don’t actually do the same work. We could never write a song together for example, that would never work out. It already drives me insane to cut vegetables together!
F: We both have our own domain that we practice separate from each other. Maybe that’s also the reason why we don’t argue much.
Is 2 better than 3? They say never 2 without 3…
F: When there’s three, there is always someone left aside…I see our project as a triangle with the number 3 representing our project on top of the triangle.
Do either of you ever feel alone, even when you’re two?
F: I feel alone when Bartolomé is not here. But I am not afraid of being alone. I don’t see it as a negative thing. We enjoy lonely places like huge forests where you don’t meet a soul.
B: I have more of a fear of groups than a fear of being alone. Big groups kind of frighten me. Also in relation to our art: when you create something very sincere, probably not many people will like it, but you don’t have to compromise. The moment you want to become very successful or please a big group of people, you will have to compromise what you do.
Can you remember a life without your +1?
B: I think I was not as productive as together with Felicia. Being and working with her openend a whole new spectrum of possibilities. Since I know her the number of things I can do in my life has multiplied.
F: We inspire and motivate each other. I make much more music than before.
Is it all 50/50?
B: If before we each gave 100%, we now each give 120%. It’s not a division, it’s a multiplication.