PLATTSBURGH — If you think about it, Eric Duval can create it.
At Eric and his wife Elaina’s new business, E&E Creations at 67 South Peru St., which officially opened Aug. 15, a customer’s request for a personalized gift, whether unique or random , is always granted.
GIVE IT LIFE
Whether that customer wants a shadow box filled with memories, canvas painting, etched glass, painted rock, drawing, shirt, lamp, furniture, a specific scene from their favorite TV show, a movie or a video game in clay form, or a clever idea in their head that they can’t create on their own, Eric can help bring it to life – if he doesn’t. has not already done.
“Most of these (pieces) I do because I’m bored, and apparently I’m very bored,” he said, pointing to the room full of art.
“There are a lot of times I’ll do a sketch, I’ll talk to a customer for about 15 minutes, and get an idea of who they’re buying, what they need, their interests, if they have any. favorite characters, favorite hobbies and I’ve put it all into one project, I don’t know what it’s going to be until it’s done, it’s a lot of fun to watch it happen.
Elaina added that she doesn’t create any art, but she helps Eric think about what to create.
“I can do certain things… I help him like he’s asking ‘where does it look better’,” she said.
“Like I’ll give it ideas, but I don’t know how to bring it to life.”
“She’s my muse,” added Eric.
Eric said owning a business like E&E Creations has been a lifelong dream for him.
In June, when he first saw the “for rent” sign outside the former Freihofer’s Bakery Outlet, he said he knew it was finally time to make that dream come true.
“Ever since I was younger, I’ve always wanted to own a studio, I’ve always wanted to own a gallery or something where people can come, be creative, and I can teach them that anyone can be creative. , and this opportunity presented itself,” he said.
“It was during a tough time in my life…I’m a man of faith and God always puts me in the right place at the right time and that…I definitely looked at it as God opening the door and everything. the world told me ‘if you don’t jump through the door, it might not stay open. So I jumped in and put all the money I had saved into it and hoped the better.
After securing the lease, Eric, Elaina and their two children Isabella and Quintin immediately got to work helping transform the space.
Now, for those curiously wandering around E&E Creations wondering what the business is and what they do, Eric and Elaina said they like to show them already finished creations they have available at sale to give them some examples.
“I like to let the work speak for itself,” Eric said.
“Everyone is just amazed at the huge variety of what we have.”
One creation they like to show off is a custom-ordered lamp a customer wanted for her grandson for Christmas, which featured a turtle “holding” a game remote at the base.
“She said she wanted something small like a lamp, and he loves video games and he loves turtles, so I was like, ‘OK, get me a remote.’ So she brought me her first remote and she said, ‘But I don’t want it damaged, this is her very first remote.’ So I had this idea, where there’s a turtle, but you can always take it out to use it and it looks like it’s playing with it,” Eric said.
“She was very happy about it… I was very happy with the way it turned out.”
Currently, all but two of the artworks at E&E Creations are owned by Eric, but he hopes to rent space to more local artists in the future.
“Otherwise I have a lot of my own work to fill the space. But I’m not afraid to move things around to open up space for other artists,” he said.
“It’s not going to look naked.”
For those wanting to check out E&E Creation, they’re open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., though those hours are subject to change if business picks up soon.
Eric and Elaina acknowledged that business has been slow since opening, which they attribute to people not yet knowing what they do and offer.
To help solve this problem, on September 9 at 6 p.m. they will be hosting their first “Paint and Sip” class. From there, they hope to continue offering them Tuesdays and Fridays with varying themes to make them more unique from other classes.
“Hopefully once this starts a lot more words will come out,” Eric said.
“We’re doing a little extra…we’re doing a ‘Paint and Flick’ where close to Halloween we’ll put on the Hocus Pocus movie while we’re painting a Hocus Pocus themed painting at the same time.
“Then we have a kids’ party where the canvas is already pre-made with a paint-by-number for the younger ones. We’ll be hosting parties, special private parties that they’ll want to book. We also offer paint-by-number kits – we’ve only just started offering them – so if you want to do a paint job and sip something at home, we’re selling the kits (too).
Next week’s class will also feature different painting techniques.
“People who are here for classes are going to see how much we can do – 90% of the paint and sips you go to are all brushes, we’ll do it mostly with paper towels,” Eric said.
“I think outside the box, I teach different tricks like using torn paper to get the right shape and size for different things rather than redrawing it with a brush. So I teach different things like that, and we have TV where we go to make films…”
When it comes to the future of their business, Eric and Elaina want to continue taking on the creative challenges their clients throw at them, as well as bringing “life” to things people give up, like broken gamepads, furniture, etc.
“I have a back room full of pristine stuff to bring (to) life,” Eric said.
“It’s one of the biggest things I love to do, somebody’s going to explain what’s on their mind and they don’t know how to get it out and it’s me bringing it to life. I don’t I don’t know how many reactions I get like “this is exactly what I wanted”. It gives me self-satisfaction.