Ron Ashtiani has worked in the entertainment industry for the last 25 years. First as a digital artist and animator, then as an art director, creative director, studio founder and executive director. He worked in the video games industry for several high profile studios in the 90s and 00s. Working on John Carpenter's The Thing, the Battalion Wars games for Nintendo and Wheelman with Vin Diesel.
In 2009 he founded his own visual design studio called Atomhawk, which he grew from a team of four into an international leading brand with studios in the UK and Canada. During that time he worked on three Marvel movies, including Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He also worked on TV shows including Pottermore and over 30 video games.
He sold Atomhawk in 2017 and joined the board of SockMonkey studios in 2020 as Chairman and joined Steamforged Games as a Board Director.
In 2021 he co-founded Big Thursday Creative. Outside of work, he is still a passionate artist and has written three books including The Art of Atomhawk one and two, as well as a book on art direction for games and film called The Art of Direction. He has been listed in the British Interactive Media Association's BIMA 100 in digital media and is a member of BAFTA.
The Art of Direction
Ron Ashtiani presents lessons learnt from his 24-year-long career crafting compelling art direction for games (Mortal Kombat X) and movies (Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers). In sharing how to develop a unique visual style, Ron talks about understanding target audiences, gathering references, presenting to a team, managing artists and more.