EricMT is a collaboration between Eric and Heather Timmerman. Eric is a creative teenager with autism, and Heather is Eric's mom. Eric's dad, Joe, also helps out wherever needed. We launched in 2016, and since then we've shipped orders all over the country, plus even a few international orders!
The idea for EricMT arrived on the scene several years ago, when his oldest brother headed off to college, and Eric became anxious about his own future. With very limited communication and social skills, traditional school and career options really aren't on the table for Eric. However, his abundance of creativity makes art an excellent and obvious career choice for him. He was relieved and excited when he discovered that he can live at home and be an artist. In his excitement, he started drawing.....and drawing and drawing. Eric soon created several hundred drawings, that he taped together into murals of 100 drawings each. Many of our designs still come from the original drawings in these murals.
Before he began drawing in earnest, one of Eric's favorite things to do was to create large and colorfully patterned Excel spreadsheets on the computer. He calls these his "Britto patterns." Eric loves and is inspired by the artwork of Romero Britto, who creates dynamic artwork using bright patterns separated by thick black lines. Eric makes his own version on a grid.
At first we weren't sure how to bring Eric's drawings and patterns together, but an art class project showed the way. Eric has enthusiastically attended "Special Arts for Special Needs" classes at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council for the past four years. One day, he made an owl collage in class, which combined a simple outline with collaged patterned paper. This led to a light bulb moment for us, and our designs for little kids were born! We create the design outlines from Eric's drawings and substitute his colorful grid patterns for the collaged papers. Eric was thrilled!
Our business is designed to be flexible and to change and grow as Eric's artistic skills and interests change and develop. Our first product was a line of ceramic pendants intended for adults, but we found that parents were giving them to their children. Which was not good for safety reasons, but it told us that we should develop some products specifically for children. With our "little kids" line of products in place, Eric has expressed an interest in doing some more ceramics in the future. Maybe not by the hundreds (wow, we made a lot of those pendants!), but fewer and more individually unique items.
Eric also has enthusiastic travel goals, with Egypt and Mexico topping the list of places he'd like to visit someday. Alaska and Japan have been ranking pretty well recently, too! For now, he enjoys traveling a little closer to home. We live in a small town in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, with plenty to see and do within a few hours' drive. You can visit our Facebook page to see what we're up to!