Eric Garner was born in Van Nuys, California in 1967, and grew up in Southern California and McLean, Virginia. He received a BAS in studio art and civil engineering from Stanford University in 1989 and an MS in civil engineering from Stanford in 1990. He served on active duty in the United States Air Force until 1993, and following, worked in the commercial construction industry, managing building projects in Seattle, San Jose, Miami, and the Washington DC area. He teaches drawing and design at Northern Virginia Community College.
Garner completed his MFA degree in 2004 at the University of Maryland. He currently lives in Bethesda, MD, with his wife Karin. They have two college age sons.