Garrison Beau Scott aka BayKidDead is an American artist who primarily devoted himself to photography before stumbling upon, and quickly tumbling into, the world of paper and other designer toys back in 2006.

With Garrison elaborating:

With regards to the toys, it all gets traced back to one moment… Our daughter is pushing 4, and it’s raining outside. A bout of cabin fever has me asking Jeeves if there are any cool, hip, DIY crafts we can do.
Somewhere in the results is a link to The idea was, you could print out a template on your printer at home, cut out the parts they tell you to cut out, fold the parts they tell you to fold, and glue it up. Now you have this extremely cool little toy that instantly turns the shelf it sits upon into this living space.
I spent every waking moment of the next three days digging the very bowels of the internet finding templates for an insane amount of toys that only required a printer, glue, and some time.
I was a fiend.
Like a fucking Smeagel.

Interestingly – Garrison’s work does not fall into a single, defined aesthetic. His photos are stark, imposing and clean. His paper toys fun, whimsical and cute. And his resin works post-apocalyptic, cyber-punk and infused with an ethereal menace.

Indeed, the only uniting factor in Garrison’s art is the obvious technical skills of their maker.

The Mordecai paper toy by BayKidDead.

Well, with Garrison having just had his sculptural work featured in the illustrious ‘Dead Have Resin 3’ group show – held in Baltimore, USA in early April 2019 – to much acclaim we thought now was the perfect time to ask Garrison some questions about life, art, toys, music and a whole lot more…

Read it all, in the interview below:

Getting Acquainted

Name + D.O.B?

Bay Kid Dead, but all my friends call me Beau.

Born 1969.

City, State and Country you currently call home?

I live in Des Moines, Iowa.

City, State and Country you’re from?

Newport Beach, California.

Whilst we know you through your designer toy and paper art – are you involved in any other artistic pursuits, man? And if so – what are they?

For the better part of my life, I’ve been, what some might say, a fine art photographer. My work is mainly black and white, urban landscape, using film cameras.

I’m doing a ton of stuff with my phone as well.

Her, NYC, 1996 – Photo by Garrison Beau Scott.
Passage, Budapest, 2001 – Photo by Garrison Beau Scott.
Corner Fence, Des Moines, IA 2016 – Photo by Garrison Beau Scott.

Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, hunting, school, politics, crime, religion… ANYTHING really!

* Age 5 – beginnings:

I have a lot of memories from this time in my life, but the one that informs most, if not all of this conversation, took place in the back of my mom’s car on the way to a birthday party for a kid I didn’t particularly care about. I was put in charge of holding the gift, a Mego Spiderman. The big one, in the box. Mint Mego Spiderman sitting in my lap, and no amount of begging, screaming, or crying would prove to be successful so as to claim it as mine.
So I destroyed it.

A photo of Garrison as a kid. (Photo by Dennis F. Scott)

* Age 10 – continuations:

Star Wars has had a three year run in my life by this point, and yeah I had all the figures, well some of them. But the toys I really remember playing with and loving, and using to spark my own creativity were Micronauts.

I grew up with three best friends, and all of us had bikes and the freedom to go anywhere we wanted, which included the beach. If we weren’t in the waves, we were playing football, or coming up with any sort of adventure we could imagine. So I didn’t have a ton of time alone to play with toys, but when there was rain, or I was grounded, or I just needed a break from shenanigans with Chip, Mike, and Sean, it was the Micronaut universe I escaped to. And I had all the shit to go anywhere I wanted.

A photo of Garrison aged 10 and some of his friends – L to R: Dave, Brandi, Chip,
Garrison, Brian, Unknown. (Photo by Dennis F. Scott)

* Age 15 – getting serious:

The beginning of high school. It sucked.

My father had inexplicably moved us away from the block I had grown up on, not just to a new neighbourhood, but a totally different county. The beginning of the end for our happy nuclear family.

My mom had fought to get us back to Newport after waging a yearlong battle of wills against a man who lost very little.

My only solace in this period was music and running. I barely graduated, the threat of getting kicked off the cross country team the only motivation to keep any semblance of a GPA.

A photo of Garrison and his friend Mike when they graduated high school. (Photo by Dennis F. Scott)

* Age 20 – young adult:

Malaise at its zenith.

Maybe taking a class or two at a community college, taking advantage of the people I loved, zero clue, zero accountability, zero prospects. Zero fuck all.

After my mom left my dad, he and I moved in with my grandmother, and I took the garage, surrounded by the debris of my family’s failed experiment. It went like that for a few years, with all the shit in the garage either being sold off or thrown away…

One of the items that made it, was a metal box. Inside it were all the negatives my father had taken way back in his days as a stringer for the Associated Press. Next to that box was a milk crate full of the Kodachrome slides he had taken as well, mostly pictures of the family, everyday life, but they were beautiful. Stunning. Those pictures flipped some kind of switch. Not only were they a reminder of a much better time in my life, they suggested a way to get out of the one I was in currently.

Condition of living with my dad was going to school or paying rent. So I took all the photography classes I could at the Community College, eventually earning enough credits to transfer.

A photo of Garrison aged 24, with his friends at a Grateful Dead concert – L to R: Zav, Garrison, September, and Brooke.

* Age 25 – adult mode:

I’m living in Santa Barbara, attending Brooks Institute of Photography.

I’ve met the woman I’m going to marry, but that’s still five years away.

Some incredible individuals began to enter my life in this time, people who cared enough to teach me some very difficult lessons. Through them, and their examples of living, I’ve discovered all the motivation I would need in order to throw myself fully into a pursuit of photography.

I’ve also figured out that I was going to need two different cameras, in that one would be used to make a living, and the other would be used to stoke a fire. I also quickly figured out which one I preferred.

* Age 30 – fully formed:

Living in Fairfax, California, north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I knew it was time to lock this girl up with a ring when she snapped me out of the turning thirty funk by giving me a Playstation for my birthday.

Still trying to make the two camera thing work, and I get some cool opportunities to actually take pictures and get paid for it. Not a lot by any measure, and sometimes it was just entrance to an event and unlimited access. I was shooting a ton of raves and other parties going on in the Bay Area and the Oakland warehouses.

My wife worked for a music magazine and so as long as the band had a piano or a keyboard, we usually got tickets and photo passes to those shows as well. Medeski, Martin, and, Wood. Metallica with the San Francisco Symphony, one of Pavement’s very last shows, the one rock goddess to rule them all, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders.

It was solid there for a few years. I had a very brief flirtation with the world of Silicon Valley, IPO, corporate photography, right at the beginning of the end of that initial bubble. What a shit show. I spent the rest of it toiling as an assistant for a commercial photographer, kind of running the studio, but more of a janitor that knew the difference between f/8 and f/11. I funneled all the rage from those frustrations into Franchise Mode for Madden 99. Or taking my other camera out for a walk, either in the woods surrounding me, or around the areas of Oakland where the studio was.

A photo of Garrison aged 30, With Heather and friends at Joe’s in Prague.

* Age 35 – meanderings:

We now have a daughter in our lives. Otherworldly. Spins me completely upside down. Day care runs more than I earn working at the studio. It makes no sense to go further in debt to pay someone else to raise this miracle of a child.

So I go on my lunch break one day and become a stay at home dad. We only had one car at the time, of which I was without. To get home, I had to find a way around a crazy massive, freeway interchange. The fireman I asked for directions advised against it, asking if I had any other way.

Sometimes you just have to burn a bridge.

A recent photo of Garrison. (Photo by Tauris Barton Cosig)

Personal motto?

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Art, Design, and Toy Questions

Why the name ‘baykiddead’?

1994, Brooks. I’m hanging with the King. He and I have just concluded a three day, sleep-free run, finalizing our team project and presenting it at the final critique of the term. After we graded out, we were having one last hang at his house, battling the oncoming sleep deprivation hallucinations, and getting ready to go our separate ways for break. I attempted and failed miserably to say something. What I did say instead, was, “baykiddead.”

We both laughed, because it was hilarious. But the word burrowed into my head and has since been the moniker upon which I do everything that isn’t, Garrison Beau Scott, photographer.

It doesn’t have anything to do with the Bay Area, or the Grateful Dead, though those are relevant themes in my life.

When and why did you first start making art of any type!?

All my early efforts at anything creative were somehow dead-ended by the control I thought other people had over me. But in seventh grade, over spring break, my grandfather took me and Mike on a cross-country trip in his VW Square Back, to visit family friends in Durango, Colorado. Before we left, my grandmother presented me with a Minolta Autopak 110 camera. I must have shot like thirty rolls of film that week.

Any time I ran out, my grandfather would buy more, and he always had this wide grin on his face as the film boxes tumbled into my hands.

A photo of the Jol-Stra resing figure from BayKidDead.

Any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?

Brooks had a photojournalism program. Successful candidates would travel together and spend a significant amount of time in another country documenting what they saw. The resulting photographs would be used throughout a variety of projects including books and exhibitions…

I figured I was a lock. I had already submitted my major request, figuring that I was taking the class, and based everything I was going to do on that assumption. Turned out that it was not the case.

Insult to injury, I have to find new classes to fill the void and declare a new major. It was then I met Harry Liles, Professor, Ill 3 & 4. In Illustration 3, we learn the only grade you get for Ill 4 is based on a 20 image portfolio. On anything you want. After class, I ask Mr. Liles to define “anything.” Make it whatever you want. Anything. I ask if I can miss a month of class and ride the Greyhound all over the country. He gave me a professorial, “fuck yeah.”

Ultimately the portfolio I submitted was, New York City street photography. Mr. Liles was 100% responsible for me getting to go on that assignment, even encouraging me to do more. He also taught a class on multimedia and allowed me to spend another month on the bus, going back to New York and Kansas City, as well as a bunch of new cities. Everything I am as an artist was cemented under his tutelage and with the exception of making sure my family is down, probably the last time I had to ask permission to do something cool.

With regards to the toys, it all gets traced back to one moment. Sometime fall 2006, our family of three is now four, and finds itself in Boston, MA. Still expensive, and still a stay at home dad. Our daughter is pushing 4, and it’s raining outside. A bout of cabin fever has me asking Jeeves if there are any cool, hip, DIY crafts we can do.

Somewhere in the results is a link to The idea was, you could print out a template on your printer at home, cut out the parts they tell you to cut out, fold the parts they tell you to fold, and glue it up. Now you have this extremely cool little toy that instantly turns the shelf it sits upon into this living space.

A photo of some paper toys by artist Matt Hawkins – part of Garrison’s personal collection.

At first I thought that was it. Kind of like, well, that was cool. We did three and stopped there. It didn’t even dawn on me there’d be even more examples of this until I went searching for source art for another obsession. I collect live music bootlegs, and kind of need to have something that represents album artwork for those recordings in my iTunes library. I was looking for something for a Phish show, when I came across State of Shock Studios and their paper toy set honouring the band. That’s when it finally permeated my thick skull that something cool was happening, and I was missing it. I spent every waking moment of the next three days digging the very bowels of the internet finding templates for an insane amount of toys that only required a printer, glue, and some time. I was a fiend. Like a fucking Smeagel.

Once I felt like I had a handle on the depth of what was out there, and had built enough toys to begin to understand the logistics, and experienced the joy of obtaining something not otherwise easily had, and then seeing it on my shelf, the artist side of me kicked in. I wanted to create them as well. And talk about them, and promote them, and build them. I haven’t stopped.

The Baykid paper toy – by BayKidDead.

Describe the process of producing your art?

* Your photography?

When I go out taking pictures, I’m often alone, listening to music. I prefer evening, or late late night. Afternoon is cool too if the light’s right. I define the area I’m going to explore, and then set off, looking for the fundamentals of composition.

I like what isn’t easily seen, or even better, often overlooked.

* Your resin figures?

The toys all start with a desire to make something that doesn’t exist. The best advice I’ve received is, “Make something that you want to see.”

As I’ve mentioned, I can’t draw. So there are no comps, or turn arounds, or anything like that. At least nothing that would resemble the final effort.

I always start with the head, no idea where it’s going to go. Eventually the creature’s persona begins to take shape. Having the head answers a lot of questions. As I begin to form the shape of the body that would fit such a head, the back story kicks in, as I’m a habitual story teller. By the time I’m casting, everything, including the grand scheme of this character’s arc is in place. Or at least hypothesized.

Everything after the sculpt, is pretty much DIY degree from the school of Youtube. And experimentation. Failure. Success. More of both.

* Your paper figures?

It’s the same concept as far as creation, but with limits.

Sculpting with clay is organic, I can do that. Sculpting with geometry and 1 and 0’s was something I had never been able to do. That lack of understanding is one of the reasons I almost flunked out of high school. With those limits in place, it becomes a sort of brute force will to figure out what goes where and how to make it all work. Lots of scrap paper mock ups, ton of notes and adjustment, sometimes a degree at a time. Eventually I can get my head around what I want to do.

A photo of the Dres-Nol-Tha the Ghost Spirit resin figure from BayKidDead.

Worst aspect of the contemporary art hustle?

There’s not enough time to truly appreciate all the stunning work being produced by all these incredibly talented artists.

Best aspect of the contemporary art hustle?

You don’t need to ask permission.

Favorite other artist(s)?

For toys, Grody Shogun, Paul Kaiju, Skinner, Sucklord, Bog x Squad, Cop A Squat Toys, Flawtoys, Kikkake Toy, Mirock Toy, Maxtoy, Basement Puke, UKY Daydreamer, Real x Head, Blobpus, Shin Tanaka, Tougui, Dolly Oblong, Harlancore, Horrorwood, Matt Hawkins, Marco Zubak, Cubeecraft, Fold Up Toys, Matacho Descorp, Projecto Ensamble.

Photographically, it’s Rolfe Horn, Eugène Atget, Garry Winogrand, Horst P. Horst, Ruth Bernhard, Yousuf Karsh, Ansel Adams, Weegee, Sally Mann, Dennis F. Scott, Cartier-Bresson, Vivian Maier, André Kertész, Diane Arbus.

I also have to give credit to LCD Soundsystem, Diarrhea Planet, Marijuana Deathsquads, Dan Deacon, Phish, the Grateful Dead, and the way too many to name bands I’ve first heard via, Fuel/ Friends, Said the Gramaphone, and Music v. Misery for all of the musical inspiration.

Is the rise of art toys an indication of the changing nature of art? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much money and time?

I don’t think it can be simplified by either statement. There’s any number of reasons these things exist.

If I were to use a single sentence-type summation to describe the existence of designer toys, it’d be, they bring joy. But that’s the definition of art as well, right? This emotional non-sensical, irrational, response to an object.

Photo of three Nahara resin figures from BayKidDead.

Thoughts on the current state of the Global Designer Toy Scene?

Well, there’s never been a better time to buy a toy of your favorite pop cultural icon. And there’s never been a better time as a creator to create.

All the tools, all the shared knowledge, all the tests, and hypothesizes proven, and all the failures studied. All these crazy talented people driven by the raw democracy of the process, no fucks given, no permission sought, here it is, love it or hate, I don’t care I’m still going to make it.

It’s a constant celebration.

As a consumer of this, it’s an unlimited buffet on which to fatten.

Odds and Ends

What role did toys play in your childhood?

Purely an escape. They fed an imagination that craved creativity.

Who was your 1st crush and why?

Julie Newmar.

Does sex change everything?

It’s the other way around.

Please describe what you think the American psyche / zeitgeist is today?

Same as it’s always been. Defined by conflict, greed, and hypocrisy with these little bands of rebels trying to blow up the Death Star.

Which cartoon character, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
[Please draw a prototype of your design!]

It’d be a god dildo.

You can use the god in the Far Side as a starting point if you’re keeping me to the cartoon character construct.

Regardless of the human persona placed on the god, it’d be a toy that any one of any persuasion would be able to use. No one would be denied pleasure with the god dildo. It has places and things for all peoples…

And after the god dildo was used to logical conclusion, the user would gain insights into everyone else that was using the god dildo. At first you’d be like fuck that shit, but once you got a taste of the god dildo… slowly at first, but then increasingly so until the god dildo wasn’t needed anymore, people would realize that everyone just wants to get off and it’s cool, as long as it’s cool with, you know, the people you’re getting off with. And it’s cool to be a freaky little bastard, and it’s cool to be a vanilla, sometimes hot fudge, sundae, or any other form of sexual joy you want to experience. Once we settle that, and stop hating everybody for how they want to get off, we might be able to start addressing some of the real problems we face as a species.

Who would win in a fight and why: He Man Vs. Godzilla?
[Please draw the battle in all it’s violent beauty!]

Godzilla, for sure, but I’m trying to picture a world in which He-Man has beef. Maybe Godzilla thinks that’s an Iron Cross on his armour.

What are the top 3 items you own?
[Please include photos or drawings of them!]

I have so much sentimental shit in my life. I totally cling to the beauty of the memory through the thing. And wanting to avoid excluding any significant object and or memory or rating them against each other, I’m going to impose a perimeter and list my favourite 3 toys I own.

My childhood Micronauts.

My Vintage Kamen Rider Cobraman.

My first Paul Kaiju Mock Pilot.

Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?

Dali is believed to have said, “I don’t use drugs, I am drugs.”

Frank Zappa was notoriously anti-drug, but when the Mothers toured with the Grateful Dead, whose room do you think everybody wanted to be in?

The Beatles demarcation, pre Rubber Soul, and post Revolver is stunning.

So I think there’s something to being able to open a door and see what happens when you walk through.

The danger is believing they’re necessary for creation.

Please describe your latest dream in detail…

I’ve only ever had one dream with such clarity of detail that a retelling would make sense.

I apologize to anybody reading this…

It’s 1988. Midnight. I’m walking through a post-apocalyptic maze of back alleys in a part of my hometown that doesn’t exist. I’m with my cousin, Brian, Bridget, a girl we both know, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As the four of us are making our way, I notice a shady dude start to follow us. Every time I look back he’s there, trying to hide, but also being really obvious. Finally I turn to confront him, asking “What, what do you want?” He replies, “This.” And proceeds to take out a shotgun from his trench coat. Boom, boom, boom, boom.

So now I’m viewing things from an out of body POV, and I see one of the gremlins from the Bugs Bunny cartoon, “Falling Hare” trot on out, accompanied by the Looney Tunes theme, and stand at each of our heads. They proceed to hold up signs proclaiming, “That’s All, Folks.”

The next scene is indeed a long hallway with a party at the end of it. As I’m walking towards the party, I look into one of the rooms, and it’s the room of Noel, a girl we all knew. She was on her bed, with her back to us playing Led Zeppelin’s, “Going to California” on an acoustic guitar…

Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?

The collaborative effort of raising two incredible, amazing human beings.

If people wanted to work with you or buy something – how should they get in touch?, is the store and @baykiddead in the usual places. is the site for my photographic works and you can follow that @garrisonbeauscott

Photos above of the BayKidDead resin figure production process.

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

I’m currently sculpting the toy for the main character of this really cool indie comic book, and have a few seeds in the ground regarding the paper toy world.

Some of my resin kaiju is in the Dead Have Resin 3, which features a killer line-up and some amazing shit from all involved.

I’m always down for a custom, or a commission, and would love to do more group shows.

Any major projects you want to hype?

I’m working on a number of personal projects that aren’t anywhere near ready to show or even talk about. My hope is I have something ready to blow minds for 2020.

That being said, I’m consistently posting new things and pix of the process on Instagram @baykiddead. That’s where you’ll see the new stuff first.

A closeup photo of the Exiled Guard resin figure from BayKidDead.