When he was fifteen, Eriq’s parents sent him away to summer camp in The Smoky Mountains of Virginia. The film Gladiator had just come out and was very popular in the States. Many camps created themed gladiator-inspired battles, where two teenagers would be lightly padded and placed in a small arena made from pine cones (courtesy of the arts and crafts group) to battle each other. Armed only with foam-covered batons, these vicious battles could last anywhere from two minutes to two and a half minutes.
On his first battle, Eriq was up against Paul, a younger, stronger, and more handsome camper. After several strongly suggestive comments about each other’s relatives had been exchanged, the two engaged in a duel so heated it was heard half way to the archery fields. Of those who witnessed that epic battle, some claimed foul play, some claimed collusion, but the feud between these two was etched deep into their souls.
Each summer the two would go back to the camp, engaging in the annual battle of foes. The 11 months of weight lifting and pain training each endured in the off-season paid off in a 150 second dual. Four summers and 17 broken bones (collectively) were spent battling each other. On the first day of the fifth summer Paul and Eriq faced off. But instead of attacking each other, something strange happened; the two stood frozen, eyes locked. After years of aggression, the two had accidentally developed an intense connection. Paul and Eriq became fast friends and collaborators. They teamed up as Friends in Faux, ready to conquer the industry. But which one?
First they disrupted the honey production monopoly as bee-harvesters, creating a sweeter, lower calorie, hypo-allergenic honey. As a middle school dance chaperone team, they increased coed dancing personal space while decreasing punch consumption. End result: Higher profits. They turned the footwear industry on its head with their signature sneaker, 42% quieter, 67% more durable and 23% grippier, resulting in an 18% better sneaking experience for most sneaks.
The Friends went on to innovate in the various fields of civil rights, global justice, bio-technology, sustainable design, and international disease prevention, but ultimately found the work unsatisfying and unchallenged. Seeking a more meaningful endeavor that would truly demand their fullest attention, the duo turned to commercial direction.
Drawing on their diverse experiences, the friends created a visual style so rich and blended that you can see hints of their former lives in each spot. Peppered with hand crafted goodies and mixed media blends, their work finds a way of being a bit more complex, more layered, and much sweeter. Or maybe it’s just the honey.