We spoke with Truck Torrence of 100% Soft.
Q: Your creations go from food to pop culture to cats.. what is your creative process? Do you sit down and say I want to do 10 designs for food today or is it just whatever is in your head at the moment?
it’s kind of a mishmash of everything. I keep a running list of things that i’d like to draw, but I also like to make stuff impulsively if I have the time to do it. More than anything, I just really enjoy drawing things I love.
Q: When did you decide to make your talent into a business and what brought about that change?
I had worked as a graphic and web designer for years and years, always just kinda drawing on the side and never doing anything serious with it, partially out of insecurity! When the big pop culture art scene and designer toy boom started happening in the early-mid 00s, i started thinking to myself “I wish I could do stuff like this!” and then I sorta slowly realized that I CAN, it’s just really a matter of making a concerted effort to move in that direction. I kept working as a designer but would make art anytime I could, and slowly some really fun opportunities started coming my way. I started participating in a lot of art shows, and getting more exposure as an artist, which in turn led to working on some amazing projects with the folks over at Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Disney. After a few years, it finally got to the point where I was taking vacation days from my day job just to accommodate the work I had to do as an artist, so I decided to quit my job and go for it full time!
Q: Which came first for you the art or the geeky stuff? Like were you a big Star Wars fan and then got into art or vice versa?
All of the above really. I’ve been drawing ever since i was a tiny dude and i’ve always loved movies, tv and music. When I was little, I used to beg my mom to draw Batman for me so I could watch her do it and then i’d mimic her movements until I learned how to do it on my own. I’m a kid of the 80s, so of course I loved Star Wars and every other kind of nerd thing out there. When Lucasfilm hired me specifically to draw my version of their characters, that was so far outside the realm of reality for me, I think it took me a long time to really comprehend it. If you told me as a kid I’d be doing this as an adult I just would have totally freaked out.
Q: Any advice for young artists just starting out?
Everyone has their own different way of making things work for themselves and that’s really only earned through a whole bunch of trial and error, but one thing that has proven to be invaluable is to always ask questions. When I really decided to get serious as an artist and do all of those things I was dreaming about, I seriously had no idea how to do most of it. I would make a point to talk to a lot of artists I knew or admired and asked them about their process and how they did things. I’m really grateful to all those people who took the time out of their day to help me out and share their experience with me, because it really deconstructed what it meant to be a working artist. Everyone started somewhere and has a story to tell, and most of them are usually willing to tell it to you if you ask!
Q: I’m in love with your Friday the 13th print.. which is cute yet dark. Have you had other ideas that you felt were maybe a little bit to much?
One thing I still get a big kick out of it is juxtaposing really cute characters with really NOT cute scenarios, whether it’s something like the Friday print, or the hammer scene in Drive, or the naked bathhouse fight from Eastern Promises. I’ve always really wanted to do a drawing of is the Eyes Wide Shut masked orgy scene but I haven’t gotten around to it yet and I’m not sure I ever will haha.
Q: What was it like to have the Guardians of the Galaxy holding up your work?
it’s just really fun because I never know when and where the marketing departments are going to use some of this stuff, so I was scrolling through Twitter one day and saw that James Gunn and the Guardians were doing a Periscope Q&A and all of them were holding these big cut-outs of my emoji. I’ll never not get a kick out of something like that!
Q: You have prints, shirts, pins, patches, .gifs, and plushies… anything else in the future?
I wish I could do holograms.
Q: What’s next for you? Cons? Projects?
I’ll be at DesignerCon in Pasadena, November 11th and 12th, which is my favorite convention to do. I have some other fun stuff coming up that I can’t share just yet but you’ll see soon enough!