Sybil Ferro – We’re just gonna barge right in and start with the big one. The most important question for anyone who doesn’t know you…Whats so good about the 80s?
Bekki Jayne Sharp – Well what isn’t? How much time do you have? Is there a limited amount of characters for this response?
Haha well to be honest with you for me it was the era of freedom . I was a carefree kid, with no responsibilities. The only thing that matterd to me was trying to save enough of my spending money to buy some Santa Cruz wheels for my skateboard.
There were things I’d never or even the world had never seen or read before that lit my brain up like a Christmas tree.
Like the weird and wonderful worlds of Roald Dahl..Jim Henson..Spielberg I could go on. The imagination and talent of the time was so fresh and innovative like nothing ever before it … which is probably why 80s movies get remade often these days and referenced. The music was great ..video games were so awesome even though we all know they were basic. It was the last decade before the internet came along and ruined everything. Don’t get me wrong I love social media its helped me get where I am today, but if I could eradicate it tomorrow I would.. sadly it’s the only way I can really show the world my work!
I had a rather traumatic childhood and the movies, games and music of the time allowed me to escape.
The 80s holds a special place in my heart and always will.
SF – What is your earliest memory of GPK?
BJS – The Garbage Pail Kids movie was the first time I really found GPK. I’d have been 7 years old..I just remember laughing my head off at these funny little gross characters..soon after I started buying the little packs of stickers . I’ll be honest though it wasn’t until last year that I really got back into it.
SF – Who’s been the toughest character to draw and why?
BJS – FRYIN RYAN !!! I just can’t seem to get his scaly skin right ..if I ever have to paint him again it’ll be extremely close up infact just painting his eyes will be fine.
SF – What’s the wackiest custom commision you’ve had to draw? (Or had to turn down for being too weird?)
BJS – I never turn work down unless I’m just really booked up with commissions but I haven’t had a weird custom commission as yet. I’m sure I will in time ..who knows!
SF – You can turn your hand to so many different art styles, was that a deliberate move on your part – to not pigeonhole yourself in one particular genre?
BJS – You know it wasn’t deliberate actually. I’ve just always been able to. I distinctly remember in college having it drummed into me that I NEEDED to have a style or I wouldn’t get anywhere. I could never understand this. Wouldn’t that mean you turning away work or being turned away for work because it doesn’t fit? It made no sense to me. I can knock out some weird creepy sketches from my imagination or paint Adam Bomb with tinsel on his butt ..it doesn’t matter ..I just love art in all forms and the more forms I’m familiar with the better!!
SF – Who would you say are your biggest art influences? Who’s your favourite artist outside of GPK right NOW?
BJS – A couple of oldies..Van Gogh and Dali ..adore their work! Quentin Blake was a master . Drew Struzan brought to life some of my most treasured movies with his poster art. Brian Froud – His work blows me away and of course the late great GIGER! My favourite artist outside of GPK would have to be Christopher Lovell. His vivid imagination and attention to detail is insane!
SF – Do you remember the first piece of art you sold? If so, what was it and did it make you feel any different about yourself as an artist?
BJS – Haha it was my take on an old Lichtenstein painting and it sold on Ebay for £50…how did it make me feel? Filled me with joy that someone was willing to part with their hard earned cash just to buy something I made. I still feel like that today when people buy my work. I am ever so grateful for it! Yeah.. that feeling has never gone away.
SF – The massive amount of sketches you have had to create for your first GPK series…. can you tell us what this experience has been like for you?
BJS – Man..all I can say is ..MY EYEEEESSSSSS !!!
Haha nah it is such an amazing franchise to work on and it’s by far the most fun I’ve ever had painting.
It’s tough though. This job isn’t for the faint hearted. You have to be fast ..accurate and reliable ..deadlines are tight too.But the community has welcomed me with open arms. I’m still quite new to the GPK world..there are some seriously amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to connect with I really hope this is the start of something amazing.
SF – What are your GPK aspirations?
BJS – I genuinely don’t know ..I’ve so many ideas I wanna execute it’s just finding the time I guess. Ask me in a year!!
BJS – Captain Chunk from Goonies of course!!!!!!!
SF – Are there any other franchises you would love to work on, outside of GPK?
BJS – GOONIES AND LOST BOYS!
SF – If you were a GPK character who would you be?
BJS – Is there a GPK character that’s annoying, short and has a penchant for Guinness?
SF – Who would win in a fight between Drunk Ken and you after a night on the Guinness?
BJS – I tend to pass out after 8 pints so probably Ken ..unless I plied him with tequila chasers at the beginning of the night!
Interview was conducted by longtime GPK collectors Sybil Ferro, Will Marston, Slippa Chervascus, Roddy Francisco Fell, and Alicia Forrest in August 2020, and originally appeared on the Garbage Pail Kids Misfits Facebook group. Sybil can be contacted here.