The first thing that popped to mind was doing a charicature of Boy George, or somebody wearing jeans so tight, you can read their credit card number through their back pocket. And then I thought, do I really want to go there? I lived through it, that was enough.
So, I'm going for the more serious side of the 80's and sharing something I've not done much of so far here. This is an image I created for "A Bird on Water Street" back when it was still a picture-book, or a chapter book (it's now a full blown novel and with my agent as I type).
The story centers around the closing of the local copper mine through the eyes of 13-year-old Jack. And, even though my story is fiction, it's based on a real event in 1987. The coppermine was in Copperhill, Tennessee, and it's closing crushed the local economy.
This image is of Jack and Piran watching a slag dump. The waste from separating copper from the rock left a sludge that, when molten hot, was poured down the sides of the company land (which sat on a mountain of the hardened stuff). It was like watching a fireworks show as the lava spit and sparked while it cooled.
You can read a snippet of my epilogue describing the complicated history of the region HERE. But be prepared - it's kind of shocking.