BIO

A brief history of the life and career of Leftyjoe.


Leftyjoe, a Los Angeles based artist/ painter/ designer. Also known as Joe Torres, ( Joseph David Torres)   Born in Mexico city to a well off family. The Torres patriarch [Joseph's grandfather] decided to move the family to the united states. At a very young age, 5 years old, wished to be an artist so he left Mexico with his grandparents and went to the United states.  In elementary school, his artistic talent was nurtured and he was placed in the gifted students programs that the Rowland unified school district had to offer. Art classes after school, and later, animation oriented classes in which he was to study animation and complete an animated film by the end of the year. His 6th grade film was given an honorable mention in the Los Angeles student film institute's award show. Joe was told that some day he would be like John Ramirez, an alumni from La Seda elementary and Rowland high school, who started working at Disney feature animation studios right out of high school. But Joe was not yet sure he wanted that. People's expectations are not always what the individual desires.  He personally wanted to be a fine artist and painter. He wanted to be like Van Gogh, like Dali, like Degas. But the stigma of painters was too much to bare. So Joe studied cartoonists in newspaper comic strips, becoming the cartoonist for his high school's newspaper. There he got his first taste of celebrity. All four years of his high school career, Joe ( then known as the artist "David Torres" ) received accolades from all of his peers for the cartoon and weekly comic strips he created.  He would sometimes get in trouble in school though, for drawing fake but intricate tattoos on his classmates. Tattoos that looked real, but were merely BIC pen on the surface of the skin.  Though tattoos intrigued him, he was never going to be allowed to get them, let alone be a tattooist, since his family was devoutly Christian and tattoos were forbidden. He continued his learning gearing towards animation, at Rowland high school's adult R.O.P classes sponsored by Disney and Warner brothers animation studios. But, even then, Joe was not as passionate about the whole thing.  During his first year of college, while studying animation, Joe was diagnosed with stage two testicular cancer. He had himself discovered that his left testicle had a tumor. Joe had surgery to remove his testicle, (Hence the nickname "Lefty") and then the cancer metastasized and went to stage three into 30 of his chests lymph nodes. He then went into major surgery to remove 25 tumors from his chest. Followed by chemo-therapy.  College at that time, was put to rest in a small way, since he was recuperating and going through the rough and nauseating chemo therapy.  But, Joe kept drawing, and continued to move forward. Once recuperated,  Joe took a animal drawing class, that would lead him to the next stage of his life. Caricatures.At the animal drawing class, at the LA zoo, Joe was pulled into the world of retail theme park caricatures. He attained a job as an artist, and soon moved up in the ranks of the company, from employee, to supervisor, then manager, co- general manager, to then General manager.  He learned the ins and outs of the caricature world, and soon took his work into his own hands.  He developed a respectable reputation as a caricature artist for parties and events,  working for countless companies, private individuals, celebrities and party planners across southern California.  The caricature job led him to meet the Wayans Brothers who had formed a merchandising company. They hired him as a full time illustrator for a line of illustrated books that were sold nation wide. He then worked on several of the Wayans bros prejects, like an animated cartoon show that was on the nickelodeon network for ashort time, and several other projects that hit the streets. After that, Joe became enamored with flash animation for the web. He then attained a job as a character designer and animator at a studio called Liquidgeneration.com For the next few years, Joe worked as a character designer, ( his dream come true )  working on characters for animated games, short cartoons, and tons of other jobs the company had for Paramount pictures, the U.S army, and other huge clients.  Later, the studio wanted to develop and pitch a new animated cartoon show to Fox network.  Joe worked as the Lead character designer for the development of the show that would never be picked up and never bought by FOX.  During that job, Joe continued to do caricatures for events. But, a new love would come into his life, as his engagement with his fiance was falling apart because Joe was just too obsessed with art, and worked tirelessly hours on end trying to make it as an artist, ( although he had already been a working paid professional artist in many ways )  but that just wasn't enough. Joe wanted to leave a message, and a lasting mark on humanity.  During his stay at Liquidgeneration, he was invited by a few friends, to participate in an art show at galleries in Long beach and Los Angeles.  At that time, Joe was convinced he wanted to work for Cartoon network or nickelodeon studios someday, so he loved the styles of artists like Lou Romano, Scott Morse, and Amanda Visell.  So, Joe tried to paint in that style,  but was not yet completely in love with it all. So his search for a voice continued.  He later met Matt Geiger, a print shop owner and entrepreneur that was building a clothing line. Naturesmistake.net   there, partnered with Matt, Joe embarked on a journey to design radical rock and roll/ punk and metal oriented graphics for tee shirts. There, his voice and vision started to become more clear.  Through the radical works created for NM,  Joe began to fall more and more in love with the thing he loved the most. Skater punk, metal art!!! Soon Joe began to dabble in tattooing, and became more and more familiar with the artist Pushead,  and well, the rest is exciting present circumstances leading up to the exciting profound new works of Leftyjoe. 



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