Gillie and Marc Schattner are a husband and wife team who create artworks together, and have built up a body of work over the years that includes recognisable dog portraits and sculptures. While Gillie had trained and worked as a nurse in England and Marc came from Melbourne, the duo met in Hong Kong. After seven days they married at base of Mount Everest. The couple's artworks have been selected as finalists in prestigious competitions as The Archibald and Mosman Art Prize. Plus, they've created a series of  children's books.

What came first, the partnership between you both or working together on projects? We fell in love 15 years ago and married a few weeks later. It was true love at first sight. We both always loved to paint, we painted separately for a while but then realised when we joined forces that we could create wonderful things together as a team.

Who completes which elements of the works? We paint at the same time on the same canvas. We do everything together and it works brilliantly.

What's the key to working and living together in harmony? True love.

What five words best describe each other? Happy, lighthearted, optimistic, adventurous, artistic.

Who inspires you? We inspire each other.

What are you passionate about? Love, life and happiness.

What's the best lesson you've learnt? If you reach for the stars you may not grab one but you will go a lot further than you ever you imagined.

Which person, living or dead, would you both most like to meet? For me, it would have to be Picasso, he is my greatest hero, and for Marc, Sir Edmund Hilary because climbing Everest showed the impossible can be done.

Where do you look to for inspiration? Our children, our pets and all the wonderful people we meet around on the world on our travels.

What's next? Hopefully an animated children's series from our Harry books with ABC.

What are you reading? Marc is reading Shockwave about the Hiroshima bombings and I am reading Saturday by Ian McEwan.

images courtesy of gillie and marc schattner