Eric D. Garner, a.k.a. The Artist, was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, but was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Garner's love for art started at a very early age. He would sit and watch his father draw and was simply amazed by what he saw his father create with a simple pencil and paper. His father could sit at the window and draw everything in the neighborhood, including the little bicycles on the porch. It was at that moment that he knew he wanted to grow up to be an artist. He began with his own little sketches and art soon became his world. By the time he was 16, Garner had dedicated all his attention to artwork. Soon, his drawings were gaining him notoriety and after winning several contests, he was able to begin selling some of his creations for money. Money was not his motivator, but to think that his passion and gift could also put food on the table had a profound effect on his young mind and made him more determined to get better. After graduating from Ben Davis High School in 1995, Garner attended Ivey Tech State College, where he majored in Business and Creative Writing. He later enrolled in the Herron School of Art but was only able to attend for one year because of personal life crises. As Garner continued, he noticed that he had honed his craft and his confidence grew. So, he ventured out and began entering and competing in local Art Contests competing against some of the best artists in the city. The pressure was on but his faith remained strong and he knew his gift was from God. He dominated the contests and was honored by the city and declared to be "Best Artist" and was even named "Artist Of The Year" three years straight, 1997-1999. Garner was on a roll and things were starting to look up for him. Soon, as a result of entering more local and national contests, his name began to circulate even in the circle of some celebrities. Garner continued to pursue his dream of being a great artist. He was even commissioned by celebrities to do portraits for them. His artistry had opened yet another door. This prompted Garner to take his art to the next level. Garner was focused, dedicated and determined. The end result was his own business, Garner’s Pencil Portraits. Garner says, art is and always has been my first true love and my passion." Garner says his inspiration for his artwork comes from deep within, where everything real resides. The love and compassion, the hurt and the pain, are all real emotions that he experiences when he is creating a work of art. When God blesses you to be in the position I am in He puts a mandate on your life to put out positivity in the Universe and hope it helps someone. If I am able to convince one to pursue his/her dream, as I have pursued mine, I feel I am doing my best job. Garner continues to share his wonderful awe-inspiring gift with the world.