Desmond Bouey


Desmond Bouey is a professional Animator who provides creative solutions for a variety of clients. He specializes in hand-drawn and cut-out animation, and he’s worked on broadcast productions such as Star Trek: Lower Decks, Metalocalypse (HBO 2023), and Duck & Goose (Apple TV).

Q: Tell us about yourself and your journey as an animator (How did you get started? What inspired you to get into the animation space? Etc.)

I first started animating stick figures back in 2006, drawing a lot of inspiration from stick fights on YouTube and Stickpage. The simple design of stick figures helped me discover a passion for making animation, and going into Highschool I began to take it more seriously, practicing animation and drawing before and after the school day. After graduating high school I studied from books and online resources and used the commissions I would get as opportunities to grow my skills, until eventually breaking into the TV animation industry.

Q: What animation style/s do you animate in? How has your style evolved over time?

My animation style draws influence from both Eastern and Western animation, and I lean towards animating more realistic designs. I like to use different elements of Eastern and Western animation methods, like using cut-out animation to increase the efficiency of my workflow.

Q: Are there any animators, films or art movements that inspire your style?

I get a lot of inspiration from 90's anime aesthetics like films directed by Katsuhiro Otomo, Yoshiaki Kawajiri, and Satoshi Kon. I also take a lot of inspiration from cut-out animation I've seen from Wakfu and the studio Bobby Pills to name a few.

Q: What genre do you find most fulfilling or enjoyable to animate?

I gravitate towards animating action, sci-fi, horror, and mystery.

Q: What tools and software do you use?

Currently, I'm using Adobe Animate, After Effects, Harmony, and Clip Studio Paint EX. I use both screen and graphics tablets by Wacom, and I also sometimes like to lay back and animate using VR glasses as a monitor.

Q: What does your creative process look like? What comes first?

I first visualize the animation, and then I create the designs. Afterward, I create a storyboard by making small sketches for each scene on paper and then importing those to Adobe Animate to time out and refine. Once those are in place, I draw and animate the characters for each scene. Then I paint the backgrounds and composite the animation in After Effects where I add a variety of effects.

Q: Which part of the animation process is your favorite? (character design, storyboarding, animatics, etc.)

My favorite part is character animation, with storyboarding and design as my other favorites. But my favorite part can vary depending on the project.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring animators based on personal experience and industry insights?

Everyone's path in animation is unique, always seek out new information and strive to make improvements with each animation you make. Study the timing and spacing of animation that inspires you, and learn about.

Q: How do you navigate periods of creative block?

I usually walk away and take a break if the block is strong enough, and I also use meditation to still the mind and remain open to new ideas.

Q: What did you enjoy the most about the latest story you animated for Storiaverse? What was the most challenging?

I always enjoy the creative freedom when working with Storiaverse, I enjoyed creating the designs for the thugs in the story Tiger by the Tail, and I had fun exploring the different compositing features on Harmony for this animation. I learn something new with each project I work on.

Q: What motivated your decision to collaborate with Storiaverse?

Storiaverse has the immediate appeal of giving me fresh and interesting short stories to design animation around, and the creative freedom to experiment and refine my animation. And Storiaverse has wonderful and patient people to work with.

Q: How do you think animation can play a role in promoting diversity and representation?

As Ralph Bakshi mentioned before, animation has the unique ability to make difficult subject matters easier to understand. Things that are tough pills to swallow are easier for people to take when represented through animation, and this can help people relate to marginalized groups of people more easily.

Q: What do you love most about the animation space and what draws you to adult animation specifically?

I love animation as an art form, and how it can transport you to an entirely different world. Adult animation expands the horizons of animation as a whole, and it is just getting started.

Q: Where do you think the animation industry is heading?

I think in the next ten years animators will be able to leverage AI tools to speed up processes like inbetweening, clean up, and color. If production times speed up considerably, then it would help animation meet the quickly changing needs of audiences, and perhaps be more on par with the production time of live-action films. If this happens I think we will see the expansion of investment in animation as a whole.