In 1983, I was in 7th grade. When we weren’t playing sports, my friends and I would listen to our cassette tapes, go to the video game parlor and shuffle through our trading card collections together. We would go to the mall and to the movies, invent games to play and dream up all kinds of adventures. The world was as big as our BMX bikes would take us. I would spend hours drawing whatever our adventure of the day was…or try to perfect a band logo from a cassette, capture the action from the photo on a baseball card or imagine what the monster looked like that we believed lived in the nearby woods. The days just felt longer back then, like everything was possible and anything could be real.
Fast forward to 2016 and seeing the opening sequence of the Netflix Series Stranger Things; Season One. It was like being transported through time, it felt so familiar and nostalgic. The neon light effect and the font matched up with the spooky lo-fi synth theme. I immediately felt 13 years old again. As I watched the show, they didn't need to tell me that this was set in 1983, and that the kids were 12 and 13 years old…I just knew. From the very beginning, every detail about the presentation of the show further embedded that nostalgic feeling, nothing more so than watching the group of kids use their bikes to explore the town of Hawkins; they covered a lot of ground and seemed so free to roam just like we were, and did, in 1983.
Thinking back now, it’s fun to imagine that perhaps there was an innocent mutant living amongst us, or that there was indeed a monster lurking around the corner or resting under our feet. Maybe we narrowly missed an unfortunate trip through a portal to the Upside Down World.. who knows…Stranger Things have happened I suppose.
Erik Haldi is the Co-Founder of FiGPiN, VP of Creative / Chief Drawing Officer. You can find him on instagram at @figpin.artdude to keep up with his latest designs!