Early on, Corey Booth discovered a secret; it’s possible to make a living doing what makes you happiest. Today, he works for Cartoon Network as a digital production assistant and freelance prop/EFX designer for “The Powerpuff Girls” (premiering April 2016).
“Like most artists, I’ve been drawing my whole life, but never really thought about it as a career,” said Booth. “I remember finding out about the opportunities available to artists when I was a junior in high school. Right away, I did lots of research and realized that I could make a career doing what I loved my whole life.
“It’s a blast getting to come into work everyday and design things that will impact another generation of children, some who will some day become artists themselves. I used to watch ‘The Powerpuff Girls’ when I was a kid, so it’s kind of surreal to be able to help bring it back to life. The reason I got into illustration, animation and design is because of watching shows like this growing up and being inspired. I want to help bring that to another generation.”
Booth works alongside Cartoon Network’s in-house artists and other production staff to help ensure all aspects of design are covered before sending episodes of the show to an animation studio in Korea. Some of his tasks include conforming storyboards to animatics (so that they can be revised again on paper), building stock model packs of designs that can be used again, breaking down storyboards and inputting the design on servers and helping in the retake process when they get animation back from overseas.
“I enjoy getting to do my prop/EFX freelance as the things I draw and design will directly appear in the final version of animation of the show,” said Booth. “I like sitting down to talk about design with the show’s art director, as it helps me become a better draftsman with every passing episode I work on and design I create.”
In addition to his work on “The Powerpuff Girls,” Booth takes on a steady amount of freelance illustration projects. He was recently asked to illustrate a cover for an upcoming comic book series based on the Emmy award-winning Cartoon Network series Over the Garden Wall, which he interned on while still attending CCS.
“It’s an honor to have been asked to do a cover for that series; it is extremely popular and such a fantastic piece of animation history,” he said. The comic featuring the cover he designed should be released in early- to mid-2016.
While Booth finds most of his inspiration in nature and life experience, it was the basic skill set and knowledge he acquired at CCS that prepared him to create anything he wants. Draftsmanship and foundation skills continue to influence how he designs stylized characters, objects and environments.
“In order to stylize and design well, you must first learn to draw what you see from life accurately,” Booth explained. “Even if it doesn’t seem like it will help you become a better cartoonist directly, a strong foundation in life drawing/painting is key.
“I also suggest that students take critique very seriously and whole-heartedly, as once you leave school, the rest of your career in art is essentially a critique. You must be able to clearly talk about your (and others’) work and learn from other artists as you progress in your career. Using constructive feedback and criticism effectively helps you become a stronger draftsman and more proficient artist.”
One of Booth’s personal goals is to develop an animated short at a studio. He is currently working on some scripts, storylines and storyboards for concepts of shows he’s created. He dreams of one day giving life to a show that brings charm, humor and memorable characters to a new generation to love—like those shows that inspired him.
“To aspiring artists, I give the same advice that I have always followed: draw and paint what makes you laugh and smile,” he said. “Look for humor and inspiration in every day life and incorporate it into your work. It’s bound to resonate with others if you put your passion and heart into it.”
Check out more of Booth’s work at www.coreybooth.com.