Art Focus | Clint Eager Design
Written by D. Fran Morley
A visit to Clint Eagar Design Gallery in Santa Rosa Beach is an opportunity to see a wide array of works of art, including watercolors, acrylics, and sculptures, as one would expect to see in a gallery like his. But as you also walk in, you also see a myriad of creative home decor items, all designed and crafted by Eagar himself.
If you’ve ever purchased decorative items from major retailers like Wayfair, Books-a-Million, J.C. Penny, or Kirkland’s, you may already have some of Eagar’s designs in your home! Eagar spent years creating designs for others before moving to Florida with business partner and fiancée, Effie Niu, two years ago to open their business in Santa Rosa Beach last spring.
“Many things that you see in online stores or shops I designed for the person or company’s whose name is on it. I work in all directions: I’ve also have done industrial design for the golf accessory and fitness industry,” said Eagar.
Eagar has a background as varied as his interest in art and design. He was raised in South Africa, but his father’s work in the auto industry meant the family moved often. As a child and adult, he’s lived in Australia, Canada, England, Taiwan, southern China and the United States. His multicultural background and diverse education from the 14 different schools he attended as a child are partly responsible for the eclectic nature of his work, he said.
“Because we moved often, I often created my own world. Experiencing different countries and cultures gave me a wide scope on cultural differences regarding visual interest and styles of art. Looking back, it had a very positive effect on me,” said Eagar.
After earning a fine arts degree at the Johannesburg School of Art, Eagar moved to the U.S. to study advertising and design at the Fashion and Arts Institute in Dallas, TX. After college, he quickly became involved in interior design, publishing and gift industries. By age 26, Eagar was named director of design for one of the largest gift companies in North America.
His experiences there, working with different manufacturing companies developing consumer goods in the Pacific Rim, eventually led to his decision to create his own line of fine art, décor, and accessories. Later, a visit to friends in Florida was a game changer for him.
“Effie and I were living and working in Chicago at the time, and we thought what are we doing in all that cold and snow when we can work from anywhere? It took us a while to find the right location for our gallery and studio, but we are very happy with what we have in Santa Rosa Beach,” he said. “I’m usually there working on some new piece of art or a design project, and I like coming out to the gallery, meeting people, and talking about the process of whatever I’m working on that day.”
New collections come to life almost daily in his shop, and he welcomes the opportunity to talk about his work. Eagar’s gallery showcases his wide-range of interests and talents, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, he said.
“I love to be challenged and take on new projects that use a style or medium I haven’t yet mastered. To me, design is design, and it doesn’t matter what the product is. I can design sunglasses, handbags, watches, cars, etc. I look at things in a very open way, and I like to think my work as an artist and designer is always evolving, said Eagar.
Eagar has many hobbies and interests, racing and diving are some of his favorite activities, which are expressed in many of his fine art paintings. Clint Eagar’s gallery and studio are located at 57-B Uptown Grayton Circle, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
For more information, visit clinteagardesign.com or call (224) 715-2252.