Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Society of Illustrators Profile: Franklin Booth

Born in 1874 and growing up on a farm in Indiana, Franklin Booth was fascinated by the images he saw in books and magazines believing the fine lines he saw in the illustrations were done by hand. Little did he know that these pictures were printed on steel or wood engravings used in the reproduction process as the youth painstakingly copies them, line for line, with pen and ink. Always wanting to be an artist, Franklin practiced endlessly until he developed his own unique style where he could achieve a full range of values by using just black ink on white paper. Studying at the Quaker Academy in Westfield, Indiana, he was soon hired as a writer and artist for the Indianapolis News. Later he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and after four years of intensive study, moved on to New York where he immediately found work with Munsey's Publications. After travelling Spain in 1906, Booth returned  to Manhattan to work for all the major magazines who sought after his superior skills with pen and ink. The artist's grand style could be seen in every assignment, whether is was an advertisement or editorial project as he often worked many days and nights until it was finally completed. Enjoying travel between his assignments, Booth eventually settled down to teach in the mid-1930s  at the Phoenix Art Institute trying to inspire his many students to produce pieces with imagination and beauty.


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