A ghost in plain sight. An interview with Ash Thorp; digital artist. - Shay McGreal
Shay McGreal
Business / Lifestyle
A ghost in plain sight. An interview with Ash Thorp; digital artist.
The Gallery is a collection of beautiful work I find. It could be new or old but I will always explain why I love it.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

You may or may not know who Ash Thorp is but I put money on the fact that you and millions of others have seen his work. Ash is one of the many faces that creates the visual magic behind the films we love but unlike a lot of these people Ash is a bit different.

I come across Ash when for first time when he launched a project called ‘project 2105’, him and his team created incredible visuals as a homage to the opening sequence of the cult anime Ghost in The Shell. This arguably is one of the most beautiful collaborative projects you will ever see and here we have makes Ash different, it was created for the love of creating it.

From Ash’s podcast ‘the collective’ to his tutorials it is almost impossible not to get hyped by this guy’s energy. It’s exciting because it comes from the heart and Ash is successful because he pours every ounce of himself into the work.

When I started this blog Ash was the kind of person I had in mind, making a living doing what you love isn’t always easy but Ash does it with absolute style and modesty, while creating some of the most stunning work I am sure I will ever see.

What is it you do?
I wear many hats including a designer, art director, illustrator, and director, but I mostly consider myself to be a “Creative”.
Did you always know you wanted to do something creative?
Yes. Being creative has been a part of my life since I can remember. I come from a family of artists, and it was second nature for me to find my calling as a young child in the creative landscape.
You are clearly a successful individual, were you ever tempted to go work for a company instead of going freelance?
Thank you so much. I personally enjoy the freedom that freelancing gives me. That is priceless to me. I am not opposed to working at a company, but I like the ability to dictate what I do and when I do it. Creative freedom is why I chose to work as a freelancer.
Working for yourself has gotten a reputation for creating a bad work life balance, I know you have a family now. How do you manage your day to day? Any advice for people just starting out?
The work/life balance is always a struggle for me. My mood, sleep, and stress level is heavily influenced by work. Since most creative solutions aren’t instantaneously discovered, it takes deep thought and intense focus to create something of value to my clients, which can sometimes mean working 12-14 hour days for 6-7 days a week. I think the one big thing that has helped me keep on track is remembering my priorities. I have a list in my office to remind me of my list of priorities, so that I can keep aligned with the best version of myself. This list starts with sleep, eat/diet, loved ones, client work and then personal work. Everything else must go to the back of that list and I use that list to keep me at a level of harmony that is conducive to the type of life that I want to have. I admit that there are days where I slip away from the list, but having a path helps me see things clearly so that I can find my balance again.

‘Neuromancer’ by Ash Thorpe

You headed up one of my favourite creative projects of recent times ‘ghost in the shell – project 2501’, this was an incredible joint effort with some amazingly creative people. How important has collaboration been for your process and what advice would you give someone trying to undertake something of this scale?
Collaborations have been amazing for me personally. I often enjoy working alone as it allows me to make the work that is so closely tied to the thoughts and images within my mind, but when I take on a project working with others, there is a variety there that allows the art to grow, develop, and take on a life of its own in a different direction.
serious fan girl moment since I spoke to you last you worked on the new Ghost in The Shell movie. How was that process and is that a dream come true for you?
It was an amazing personal career accomplishment to be working alongside friends and mentors of art that I truly admire, like Vitaly Bulgarov and Maciej Kuciara, to just name a few. Working with them was a true lesson in growth and development, as I was inspired on a daily basis to make the best work possible.
For anyone that follows you they will have listened to your podcast, ‘The Collective’. You have had some amazing talent come chat, what made you want to start this up?
My intention for the podcast has changed over the years. When I first started it, I wanted to create a voice for other creatives out there dealing with doubt, loss, depression, growth, desire for change, and informing people on how things really do work behind the scenes. Since then, I have been wanting to focus more on the varying artists’ journeys; it’s important to understand why it is that we do what we do and exposing common threads between us all that makes us unique yet unified.

Lost Boy By Ash Thorp

This blog is all about alternative business models and amazing people carving their way into the world. What advice would you give anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
That’s a great resource for you to share! My best advice is to really truly follow what your passion is and go for it. If you don’t know what your passion is, then you should really do yourself a favor and spend time to find it. Once you know what your true life passion is, I think everything else naturally flows from there.
I’d like to finish by thanking you, you have always found time to answer my bizarre emails with a positive approach and done your best to help a fan. That’s a rare and amazing quality.
Thank you very much for taking the time to reach out and being a part of the journey! All the best to you and everyone 🙂

He is an absolute all-star as always, It’s hard not to learn something from Ash in situations like this. He is creating some of the the most interesting work in the world and he still stay cool. If this blog was ever about anything it was about people like Ash. I will put all of his links below so please go check out his work.

Ash’s Website: here

Ash’s Instagram: here

Ash’s Twitter:  here


Title photo credit: Project 2501 by Ash Thorp & team (fully credited on his website above)

All opinions inside of the website are my own unless stated otherwise and are not the opinions of any company I work with or am associated with. 

Shay McGreal
Business / Life / Art
+44 7714 255394

Interesting interview with interesting people + musings of a millennial surrounded by a world of inspiration.


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