Artist Feature: Trey Trimble's Nostalgic Retro Future Renderings
by Yuliya Veligurskaya·
Trey Trimble's work combines the past, present, and future in neon-lit 3D renderings that make us reach for a Crystal Pepsi and a Blockbuster rental to pop in the VHS player. From moody atmospheres to imagined mash-up products, Trey's daily creations evoke an aesthetic we can't get enough of.
We got to talk to Trey about his creative journey, his killer imagery, and Shock Tarts. 📼🌆💾
What's your name and where are you from?
Trey Trimble | Cabot, Arkansas, United States of America!
What led you to start making your vaporwave-inspired 3D renderings?
That’s sort of a long story. I started off practicing 3D art in Cinema 4D when I found Beeple (Mike Winkelmann) and was completely amazed. I wanted nothing more than to be able to create that. So in following his footsteps, I began my own “Everyday Project.” I didn’t know what I was doing, to be honest, but I just hoped that trying to make something every single day it would begin to click. I started off with super abstract, experimental imagery. (Yes, this includes the infamous tiny people/big objects scenes that ‘dailys’ tend to have.)
Then I found the Synthwave and Cyberpunk genres and fell in love with that whole scene. That's when I started getting more into actual scenes and scenery - something people could appreciate more and relate with. Something that takes people somewhere and makes them feel something - melancholy, happy, thoughtful, content, sad - anything. Wanting to make people feel something eventually took me from Synthwave, to adding in 80s culture posters, cokes, and electronics into the scenes, to full on retro-nostalgic ads, to recreating actual 80s and 90s can designs the world hasn’t seen sold in years, to where I’m at now. It’s been a crazy but fun journey. And I’ve had a blast talking with my followers about how they relate, their memories, their thoughts, what they feel, and what I should make next. I have the best followers out there.
I love pulling from the days when things seemed funnier, less politically chaotic, more colorful, and just generally more fun; less worrisome! People feel that. I love the thought of maybe being able to put a smile on someone's face during their day; to put their minds on something happy and nostalgic.
What are your greatest artistic influences? Would you tells us a little more about them?
Right off the bat, I have to say the Legend that is beeple. He’s the one who got me started on doing my Everydays in order to push past creative block and get my mind thinking creatively every day in the first place. I remember early on I emailed him for advice, etc. and he responded and was super encouraging. A few months later he even emailed me again to check in on me. He’s an amazing, selfless, guy. I learned from him the importance of composition on all fronts. I studied his work so hard. He’s just incredible.
There’s another artist known as Neon Saltwater who does a lot of incredibly aesthetic CGI rooms. The colors, lights, tiles... just the whole atmosphere can help put me in the mood and I love it.
I’d also like to mention @mr.melville. He occasionally will do these beautifully colored and framed posters of 80s Miami-esque scenes that I am just in love with. I love getting inspired by artists like him and the ones I’ve mentioned and I hope other people can pull inspiration from myself as well!
What programs do you use to make your art?
A mix of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Maxon Cinema 4D + Octane Render.
We have to ask - why does everything float?
Haha, very good question! I actually haven’t gotten asked that yet. It started from when I began getting into modelling nostalgic things and some of my novelty soda cans. I put a lot of work into creating new or recreating old, nostalgic labels. I had trouble picking what side or angle to render and wanted to show the whole thing and let people enjoy seeing a can they love and remember from all angles, now floating like they had never seen before. I do try to mix still renders and different things as well. Maintaining my Everyday renders while balancing life and freelance work, sometimes that’s all I have time to spit out.
How did you start accumulating your Instagram following? What advice do you have for other artists trying to get their work exposed online?
That’s sort of a tough one! A couple things I can say that definitely helped me: posting every day and it being fun for followers to see what you’re doing. It’s absolutely a hustle - no doubt. My Everyday Project has the bulk of the weight as well as the content is relatable and fun to come back and see what the day's render is. It's frustrating that Instagram changes its algorithm pretty often and then you see the difference pretty significantly. But I never really changed anything except for the hashtags to fit what I created that day. So slow and steady is the way it went for me. I did see a definite uptick once I left the abstract world of rendering and went more into relatable things!
We love the references you pull from! What is your connection to the imagery you work with?
Good question! I’ve always had an old-fashioned spirit. I really think for a lot of us, when we grow up, get jobs, move out, etc., we get stressed with bills, relationships, promotions, and just life in general. When we see something we recognize from when we were younger, most of us recall a time that was just about having fun. It was a time of little stress and the biggest ugh we had were chores and homework. It just seems like such a simple, fun time compared to life as an adult (which can absolutely be great).
I feel like it also has something to do with the 90’s being such a great time for video games. Things like the N64 and Playstation just rocked our world. The excitement of going to Blockbuster and seeing all of these games you’ve been dying to get lost in were just there for you to take home and do just that. Grab a Cherry Coke, Pizza Hut pizza, some Shock Tarts, and rent that game! Your Friday night was all set! That’s what my connection is. I still feel that excitement when creating or starting to create in my mind. It's an absolute blast to see people relate to and feel the same things I do! The 80s and 90s were really something.
Which of your imagined products would you most want to exist in real life?
Ooooo... somewhere between the Doug Sega Genesis game, Blockbuster Soda, the Friends N64 Game, Johnny Castaway Tamagotchi, the Vaporwave remixed sodas... Man, this is tough. Actually, if McDonalds would remodel to look like my 90’s render, I’d probably start going there again.
What challenges do you experience when creating art?
Phew, just maintaining the Everyday hustle. There’s days where I don’t even start on one until midnight. Just thinking about what to do, where to go with it; if I get tired of a genre, where to go next with it. What to mash-up next in the alternate universe that’s in my head. (I have a blast imagining things like a current PS4 game sitting on a Blockbuster counter with 80s cokes and candy around it!) On top of that, trying to learn new plug-ins, tools, and techniques while doing my Everydays. That's part of why I even started it. I'm always learning and practicing.
What does the future hold for you? Are there any cool projects you're currently working on?
Hopefully a continuous flow of freelance projects. I got to work with Yves Saint Laurent for their Black Opium series for this Summer, which was a blast. I worked with an amazing team. I recently finished my second music video project for Overstreet (Chord Overstreet - yes. the guy who played Sam Evans on Fox’s series Glee.)
I’ve got a huge one I’m beyond excited to do. I’m currently working on the promotional pieces for the Strangers Things 3 Soundtrack. Stay tuned everyone!
What's your favorite meme right now?
It’s ridiculous that this is such a difficult question, but dang. I’ve got some favorites... The one I’m going with made me literally lol the first 3 times I saw it because, wow was it just like that. I’m still 100% a Windows guy (even after working 8 years on a MacPro).