We sat down with Hector Arce, who recently sculpted John Tower of The Tower Chronicles. Hector is a freelance professional sculptor from Long Beach, California who has produced work for Legendary, Dreamworks, Triad Toys, Entangled Entertainment and more. Jump below to read about his inspiration, how he started sculpting, and his favorite movies from Legendary.
Legendary: How did you get into sculpting?
Hector Arce: I was walking around on campus at El Camino College and I just stumbled upon the sculpting world. There was an outside display that had these Halloween masks that students did for their project. I thought it was awesome! So I went into the class and met the teacher and thought that it would be a really fun class. I decided that I should take the class, and from there I fell in love with it. And it eventually led to people wanting to buy my stuff. From there I was like, "Oh, this would be rad to keep pursuing it!" And I just kinda fell in love with it from there.
Legendary: Do you remember the first time someone offered to buy your work?
Hector: Yeah, it's a fond memory of mine. It was at a student art show and my teacher asked me to put a bunch of my sculptures on a staircase, and one item was a small 5-inch sculpture of Mega Man. And this little boy, maybe 6 or 7, came over pointing saying, "This is so cool, can I see it?" So I took it out of the case and was showing it to him and he asked if he could have it. I said, "yeah, if your mom is cool with it you can have it." Then the mom was like, "Oh yeah, let me give you some money for it." I told her not to worry about it but she insisted, so I got $10 for it. The little kid was so happy. He was ecstatic. That night I ended up selling nearly 75% of everything I had. I was really excited and realized that I could make money doing something that I love to do.
Legendary: Are there other artists or sculptures that you look up to for inspiration?
Hector: Yeah, one of my main inspirations when I first started was all the Todd McFarlane figures. I was a big collector growing up. I have all the series up until I don't even know. I fell in love with the style - so dramatic and fine art statues, but still being action figures. They pioneered that whole really detail toy/action figure look, and when I started sculpting that is what I wanted to make my stuff look like some day. Those were big inspirations of mine. I would look at all the toys and see how they sculpted the hands, veins, or spikes, or scales and I would try to replicate that and put it in to mine. I would say now, Sideshow is one of the biggest influences because of how amazingly detailed and perfect everything they put out is. They are just one of the companies that's amazing. When they're at Comic-Con, everyone's around the Sideshow booth because every single figure is so awesome. So one day I hope to be at that level of craftsmanship and be respected on that level in this line of work.
Legendary: Can you tell us about your recent projects at Legendary?
Hector: Recently I worked on statues of John Tower of The Tower Chronicles graphic novel, which I absolutely love because he is an awesome character and it's a really cool book. It was a great honor to make the very first statue. It was fun to study him and learn the ins and outs of that character. And be like "ok, this is what he looks like here, and here, and here, and here." It was just really cool for me as a fan of comics and as a fan of toys and collectibles, and to be able to bring something to life for the very first time in that media. It was an awesome experience for me. I am really excited to be a part of anything that has to do with Legendary Entertainment.
Legendary: Do you have a favorite film from Legendary?
Hector: Batman Begins at the time was my favorite. But now Dark Knight is hands-down my favorite. Watchmen was amazing. For a studio to make that movie was crazy, and it shows what kind of people they have working there. They really get what fans wanted, and they stuck to the material so well! Even other films like Where the Wild Things Are, that's one of my favorite films too! Recently, Man of Steel, which I thought was the best Superman ever made. I couldn't see the character any other way. It was amazing.
Legendary: Where can people find you and your work online?
Hector: People can connect with me through my main website, HectorArceSculpture.daportfolio.com. I recently got an Instagram @harcescupture and my Facebook is facebook.com/hectorarcesculpture. Those are the best ways to connect and see my work.
Legendary: Any closing remarks?
Hector: I'm grateful for everyone that has helped me to be able to do something that I love and to be able to make a living doing it. For advice - Don't be afraid of criticism. Just keep working hard, and one day people will see your potential which can lead to jobs.