Featured Artist: Ed Booth

The one and the only, Ed Booth

@edbooth_art on Instagram and can be found at www.edboothart.com

  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • I attended the University of Texas for a BA in Studio Art
  • Q: When do you first realize that you wanted to work animation?
  • I was always interested in art as a kid and when I was about 12 or 13 my dad got me an animation program called Cinemation. I was so excited at the prospect of bringing my drawings to life even if the software was rather rudimentary by today’s standards. The first thing I animated, naturally, was Ryu from Street Fighter throwing a fireball. I think it was only three or four frames but I played that thing on a loop about a million times and it felt like the possibilities were endless.
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • I’m particularly interested in vector illustration and my biggest inspiration at the moment is an artist based in Indonesia who goes by @Mousely7 on instagram. His portrait illustrations are really beautiful and the amount of work he cranks out is unreal.
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • Akira is my favorite animated movie of all time. I had a vhs copy of Akira when I was about 15 and I really ran that thing into the ground. I used to watch the biker fight scene over and over. The first 10 minutes of my copy became distorted because I played that scene so many times. 
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job?
  • The animation industry has a lot of moving parts and that means there are a lot of places where someone can jump in and make themselves useful. I think a lot of people zero in on one aspect of the industry when they should perhaps take a step back and look at it more broadly. I would never discourage anyone from pursuing a position as a lead character animator/designer, but big projects also need background artists, compositors, programmers, audio experts, in between animators, clean up artists, and more. I suppose my advise would be to explore a wide range of applicable skills and see what fits.
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • My first animation gig was about 13 years ago when I worked on a freelance project for Spike TV. The premise was a gaming themed show that featured short animated clips based on well known gaming franchises. One clip was going to be a spoof on the where are they now shows that featured celebrities. Instead of celebrities it explored classic gaming characters like Pac-Man, Q-Bert, and Donkey Kong. I have no idea how they licensed any of this, by the way. So we were competing with a few other animation crews for the job and it came down to who could draw the best washed up, down on his luck version of Donkey Kong. I drew him chain smoking in a recliner surrounded by tall boy cans and empty pizza boxes. Sometimes you gotta dig deep, ya know? Anyway, we got the gig and I’ve never looked back. There was no second season, strangely enough.
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • I’ve been in Austin for quite a while now and I’m still taken aback at just how vibrant the art community is here. There are so many thriving art scenes in Austin, from animation to gaming, comics, fine art, street art, you name it. Austin is an amazing city for artists of all stripes.
  • Q: What is the best part about your job and working on the show?
  • The best part of my job is having the opportunity to contribute to such a wide range of amazing projects. When I go down the list of what I’ve worked on over the years it’s kinda surreal.
  • Q: What do you love most about working on Casltevania?
  • My favorite part about working on Castlevania is having the opportunity to creatively impact a franchise that I’ve loved since I was a kid.
  • Q: Who is your favorite character?
  • Trevor Belmont. Deep cut, I know. He’s surly, irreverent, and prone to violent outbursts. A true hero, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
  • Q: Most challenging part of working on Castlevania?
  • Filling in the gaps of something a lead animator put together and trying not to make it look like someone filled in the gaps of something a lead animator put together. 
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about the production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • I keep a copy of Castlevania 3 Dracula’s Curse for the NES at my desk to remind me of my childhood connection to the series.
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • Kaneda from Akira, hands down. I can’t believe it’s 2019 and I still can’t buy a replica of his motorcycle. They even spelled out the specs and everything. Ceramic double rotor two wheel drive with computer controlled anti-lock brakes. Get on it, BMW. In high school I painted that iconic pill graphic from Kaneda’s jacket on my backpack. It was supposed to be a tip of the cap to other Akira fans in the know. Looking back I don’t think that’s how it came across.

About the Author
Hailing from "Parts Unknown" Virginia, Ryan scoured the United Stated searching for a place to call home. After a short stint in the "Entertainment Capital of the World" Ryan wandered into Austin with nothing but a Gameboy Color, his Star Wars Blu-Ray Collection, and too much hair product. Now a Production Coordinator at Powerhouse Animation, Ryan works all across the board on studio projects. A word of caution though, there are rumors that if you look in the mirror and say his name three times he will appear behind you and beg you to watch the Prequels with him.