It's a long road becoming any kind of creative professional. With many people playing their cards so close to their chest it's hard these days to truly learn from anyone not afraid you'll one day (or already) be better and more successful than them. Not the case with the first talent on this list.
This list never plans to play favourites but it's not often you find someone that already gives so much back to the community that helps inspire. So it feels just natural to start things off with the man that's already been a huge inspiration to me: Ash Thorp.
And we haven't even met.
Ash has worked on such behemoths as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 & Ender's Game.Recently, Ash did what might be the sexiest, best thing on the internet, an homage to the classic Ghost in the Shell called Project 2501. Do yourself a favour and click that link before you go any further.
(cue inspiration drool pause)
Inspired yet? I know I was. Ash brought together some monster talent from all over the world to bring to life one of the best stories ever told. And not only did they do it. They fucking nailed it. It's so perfect and amazing in the details and execution I cringe to think what horrible attempt Hollywood is doing right now as they adapt this story because Ash & Co. have set the bar mighty high. Why they haven't picked up the phone and dialled up Ash asking him to save them I don't know. Okay, who knows, maybe the have... I hope.
And that's just ONE project. Make sure to check out the rest on his site and get ready for a relentless mind-blast of inspiring projects. Don't even get me started on the awesome that is Lost Boy, Ash's personal project which looks to be a mix of Mad Max & Ghost in the Shell and I'm sure is set to blow minds soon.
Now, not only is Ash a talent and a force to be reckoned with creatively, he's also down to earth and real about all the aspects (good & bad) this industry has to offer. His (essential) podcast The Collective has to be the best source for honest conversation with real artists about what to expect and how to grow in the creative landscape. What benefits a family bring versus being a free lone wolf. Neither better or worse, just different. Every angle and experience you could imagine. With no bias to the artists he brings on you're ready to absorb (and overload) on amazing talent that you may never have found. And get ready, these aren't 30 minute fluff pieces, they're full 2-3 hour conversations that you'd imagine happen between the likes of Lucas & Spielberg on a weekly basis.
They're honest and most of all: Useful. So do yourself a favour and start listening. I know I'm still trying catch up with this train of inspiration and there's no slowing it down.
Keep it coming, Ash. You're one inspiring force. I mean, you inspired me to do this.