Truck Torrence, better known as the artist 100% Soft and a kaiju movie fan, delights fans with fun and adorable renditions of giant monsters with his Kaiju Kitties line as well emojis of Star Wars: the Force Awakens and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movies. His work can be found on his website at 100percentsoft as well as on Instagram and Twitter.
What was the biggest driving force that inspired you to become a professional artist?
I spent most of my adulthood as a graphic designer working on a lot of stuff that was fun, but ultimately creatively unfulfilling. I started doing more and more art on the side just as a way to party some more and have an outlet for some of the cuckoo-bananas stuff in my brain.
What inspired the Kaiju Kitties line?
I was in a kaiju inspired art show last year that Supahcute curated, and when I was sketching out ideas I just started drawing monster kitties wreaking havoc like in the game Rampage, one of my faves growing up.
Will we have more Kaiju Kitty merchandise in the future?
Yes! I have several more plush, apparel, and accessories in the works. They will be released by summer!
Any favorite Godzilla or other kaiju films?
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla! I love anything Ultraman; Mothra is also great. I also loved The Host, which is a more modern kaiju movie, directed by Bong Joon-ho, the guy that did Snowpiercer.
What influenced your specific art style?
Basically imagining anything in huggable form. I will gladly hug pizza, aliens, or Jason Voorhees. I like keeping everything very streamlined and cute.
Do you have a favorite medium you like working with?
Well, I mainly work digitally, but I love developing my art for different products, whether it’s pins or plush. It’s awesome being able to work with other talented folks to bring some of this stuff to life. I also love creating short animations just to have fun and do stranger stuff, [because] I usually think in motion.
Can you walk us through the process when creating a piece?
Most of my personal art is sort of whimsical and weird, so I usually start with a loose concept and depending on how complex it is, sketch it out first or just start fiddling around with shapes in Illustrator until it starts taking the form I want. From there, it’s really just adding more and more shapes and colors until I end up liking it enough to not want to set myself on fire.
You’ve been part of different pop culture gallery shows, such as the Star Wars exhibit at Gallery 1988. As an artist, what is the biggest reward to attending and exhibiting at shows and conventions, like Designer Con?
For pop culture shows, I grew up glued to the TV, radio, and movie screen; so being able to create art that celebrates all of that is really fun. I’m also continually in awe of some of the artists I get to show with, so it’s a great way to keep inspired and maybe try some things outside of my comfort zone.
For conventions, it’s awesome being able to actually meet the people that like my stuff! It’s also a good learning experience to see what sells and what doesn’t. It’s also great to just walk around and meet fellow creators and see what they’re up to. It’s easy for me to live in a bubble when creating, so it’s always nice to get out there into the real world every now and again.
We absolutely love your emojis for Star Wars: the Force Awakens and for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie. Can you tell us how to got to work on that project? Any personal favorite tweets using those hashtag emoji so far?
Lucasfilm was working with Gallery 1988, where I had my solo show last year, so when they were talking about creating Star Wars emoji, they thought I’d be a good fit for the project. I had created a Star Wars piece for my show, which they really liked, so I adopted that for the emojis. The success of those led into me working with Disney for Cap’s Civil War!
Favorite tweets: The whole cast of Captain America: Civil War were using my emojis when they launched, so it was pretty amazing to see Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans flame each other with them.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share? Will there be more Admiral Whiskers stickers? 🙂
I just worked with Disney on some animated stickers for Zootopia, which I just saw and is amazing. I’m also working on some apparel with Japan LA Clothing, which is looking awesome and I cannot wait for it to be released.
Other than that, some secret stuff I can’t talk about yet, and a bunch of new rad products, including some Admiral Whiskers stuff! He will be pleased you asked about him.
You can find 100% Soft goods on his website and stores such as Japan LA and Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Los Angeles, Rotofugi in Chicago, and Screaming Sky in Portland. He’ll also be at the upcoming CatCon and Anime Expo in Los Angeles.