Fabulous People: Joshua Monuteaux

Joshua Monuteaux is a Tacoma-based artist who creates unique pieces using cut paper at the intersection of stencils and collages. “Recently, I’ve started dabbling in more abstract designs, but traditionally, I’ve worked a lot with pop culture imagery and scenery from the Pacific Northwest.” Learn about Joshua Monuteaux…

Follow at: @JoshuaMonuteaux

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

First job: Busboy at the Fairwood Golf and Country Club

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Jamming on Celtic tunes (I am a guitarist) with my circle of like-minded musicians and hiking through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area with my partner, Laura. I also love traveling, listening to progressive rock music, enjoying a vast selection of podcasts, improving my skills in the kitchen and exploring all the dive bars Tacoma has to offer.  

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Transitioning from a career at Boeing as an unskilled laborer to pursuing art full-time marked a significant shift for me. Despite not having a college degree and spending years in warehouse work, my role at Boeing in shipping/receiving offered stability uncommon for non-graduates. In my 13-year tenure, not a single person resigned from the position. However, faced with a cancer diagnosis, I felt compelled to explore art as a vocation. Reflecting on a conversation with my partner, Laura, about leaving Boeing, I contemplated the sacrifices required for such a change. She wisely pointed out that sometimes, staying put also involves significant sacrifices. Despite initial doubts, I took the leap, and nearly a decade later, I’m still amazed at the journey I’ve embarked upon.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: My stage four cancer diagnosis 14 years ago. I’m still in treatment, but surviving this long has been entirely unexpected for me and also for my team of healthcare providers. The odds were utterly stacked against me, but I continued not only to survive but also thrive.  

Someone who inspires you and why: I am inspired by my partner, Laura. She has taught me how to live a healthy, balanced life filled with gratitude and self-love. I am so fortunate to have met her and even more so to love and be loved by her. 

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be ready to work hard, hustle and don’t be afraid of mistakes and trying new things. 

Favorite quote: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from.” —Mark Twain

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I once crashed a touring Harley Davidson at 60 miles per hour in traffic on the ice without being injured. 

What makes someone fabulous: Their ability to find the silver linings in the storm clouds of existence. 

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