How to Become A Better VFX/Motion Designer – Ash Thorp

Ash Thorp probably needs no introduction if you’re embedded in the worlds of VFX or motion design. He is arguably one of the most prolific artists in the industry with outstanding, innovative work for films such as Ghost in the Shell, The Martian, Assassin’s Creed, Ender’s Game and Prometheus.

Not content with just outstanding client work, Ash Thorp’s passion projects have also received critical acclaim, from the dystopian Lost Boy short film to the epic journey through space that is Epoch.

If that wasn’t enough, he and his artist colleagues have redefined the teaching of VFX and motion graphics through their Learn Squared online training platform, as well as having probably the most popular podcast related to VFX and motion graphics with The Collective podcast.

In this article for Motionographer, Ash Thorp details the important lessons learned from his years in the industry and crucial advice for any artist involved in the world of VFX and motion design. Here are some of the highlights:

Ash Thorp on Taking Risks

“If you don’t take a risk on yourself, then why would anyone else? Throw yourself into something you love and find the depths of your abilities, learn new skills and traits, and use them to better yourself in the future.”

“It takes tremendous courage to jump into the unknown. Fear often controls most of my choices in life, but the few times I’ve taken a major leap into the unknown, it has paid off in amazing ways.”

Ash Thorp on Passion Projects

“I could go on and on about how incredibly rewarding passion projects are for me as a creative. They have helped me grow in so many ways, opened doors of opportunities I once thought would be impossible, and they’ve led me to meet some of the most amazing friends and colleagues. Passion projects are the greatest gift I have given myself in my career, and I highly recommend doing them regularly.”

“It’s become a habitual routine to have at least one passion project going on along with everything else in my life. Even if I’m spending just 30 minutes a day on it, it’s still moving forward.”

Ash Thorp on VFX Training & Setting up Learn Squared

“When it comes to massive tasks like building an online learning platform with the ambition of changing artists’ lives for the better, there’s really no easy place to start. I often find myself saying “sure, why not?” towards things I probably have no business doing, and that’s exactly how the entire endeavor began. I think this admittedly naive mindset has really allowed me to approach complicated, life-changing moments with better ease and an open mind. Why can’t things be better? Why does art education cost so much? Why can’t I learn from the best? Why do trade secrets have to remain secret? Why not share this knowledge with everyone?”

Go check out the full article over at Motionographer and of course check out the outstanding work of Ash over at his site –