Designer Ash Thorp has an active mind. From his work on big Hollywood films to his podcast and many side projects, Thorp is an artist who keeps going. He’s an enthusiast creator whose recent work on his personal project Lost Boy shows his version of a superhero. The rough sketches and final images he’s done for the ‘Lost Boy’ universe contains his distinctive pulsating style — a mad whirlwind of action and joyful chaos.
When you look at something like his Pacific Rim – Kaiju poster that was done for Mondo, it’s a wild design free of the confines of rigid black lines. It’s kept loose and you sense that unhinged quality the monster has. The beast tears across the scene, fire breaks through the framework of the print. It’s an insane and inspired use of the 24″ x 36″ space. This is the creative ferocity that is beginning to peek out from Lost Boy.
When I asked Ash what his plans were for Lost Boy he said, ‘I intend to create something of my own, my making. Something that comes from the nostalgic images and culture that I grew up with as a kid. I would love to follow in the path of guys like Ashley Wood and Mike Mignola, who have built a franchise of awesome work based on worlds and ideas they imagined and worked hard to create.’
I touched base with Ash to have a quick chat about what exactly his Lost Boy project is going to entail. He was kind enough to play along.
CJ: Images for your Lost Boy project have been slowly showing up without much explanation. I first heard it was for a book of collected illustrations, but then you mentioned other things like posters, 3D figures, and t-shirts. How do you envision the project?
AT: Yeah! Well, all of these dreams and goals will only happen if enough people are interested enough to back it of course but that would be the goal. I first had the idea to make a book about iconic images of this world in Lost Boy that resonated with me. From there came the other ideas to do different products and packages if people are interested enough.
Is there a narrative to the whole Lost Boy universe you’re creating? Will there be graphic novels?
Yeah, my buddy and long lost brother Anthony Scott Burns and I have been kicking around a few ideas and concepts around the universe that this all lives in. I would love to do a graphic novel at some point. I haven’t tried my hand at doing any narrative art but I might give it a go for a few pages if I get the time/energy. I think the end goal would be to make a world that people are curious and inspired by in some odd way. Enough to want more and to help support my madness.
I cringe a bit at the thought of the massive amount of work that this will all be but I am curious and excited at the same time and obviously dumb enough to throw caution to the wind and jump in at the challenge. I think it would be key for someone that supports this to get their rewards in a decent time window. If I paid for something or paid to support someone’s goals in return of acquiring something from them I would want it in a decent amount of time. Since I am demanding I expect the same out of myself so my goal would be to plan everything out, build out at least 50 – 60% of the work and mash the rest out if the Kickstarter works out.
Either way, I am aiming to do my best and go all out to make it work with what I can. Right now I am only able to give Lost Boy 5% or so of my time due to all of my current other projects and obligations. Once these other massive projects pass after May its go time until the end of the year.
I know for working illustrators / designers finding time to work on personal projects is pretty much impossible, but you’ve kept at ‘Lost Boy’ for some time now without giving up on it. How long have you been working on it? Did it brew for a while or was it more of a spontaneous idea that you just went with?
Yeah, it’s a total choice. Do I sleep an extra few hours or do I sit here and push pixels around until they make me less upset, haha. It really breaks down to choices for me. What is most important to me.
For me, I feel this is something that I have wanted to do for years and I feel I am finally able to draw to the level that I wanted to as a kid. This could be something to help fund my future. Now is my time to shine if I can conjure the courage and energy to follow through with my passions and goals.
When I sit back and think about the first time I started to think about really doing this Lost Boy project I think it’s been a span of about 7 – 8 months since that really started to set in. It was a very spontaneous thing that simply grew out of love and passion for these odd images and thoughts in my mind.
My first actual Lost Boy piece was an illustration that I was asked to do by Imagine FX magazine. It was a superhero issue and they had asked me to draw my take on my particular favorite superhero.
I think someone else chose Batman before me and my next few choices where Daredevil or The Punisher. I decided on The Punisher but my wife convinced me to create my own work and my own ideas. That was when Lost Boy was created. It came from a fun passionate place and I hope to always keep it that way. It’s amazing what you can come up with if you just allow yourself to just roll with spontaneity. Wish me luck guys!