How To Become a Storyboard Artist

Natural talent or training in drawing or any other fine arts category can prepare you for a career as a storyboard artist. The job involves creating storyboards for any entertainment projects such as films, TV shows, cartoon strips, animation, etc. It is the storyboard artist who brings to life the writer or director’s vision about the scene or story, by providing images of the proposed setting, props, positioning of actors, etc, which is then executed in real time.

Follow these steps to start a career as a storyboard artist.

  1. Start early by taking classes in drawing, painting, sketching etc, while you are in high school. It is also helpful if you take an interest in film or theatre production.
  2. While formal post-secondary education is not mandated, an associate or bachelor’s degree in fine arts, film, illustration, etc is recommended.
  3. It is important to build up a portfolio of your best drawing, to be submitted when seeking work or attending interviews.
  4. Also look for vacation or part-time internships where you can gain on-the-job training, for example, local theater, film or television studios, where production work is undertaken.
  5. Key skills required to become a storyboard artist include: creativity, an active imagination, an understanding of space and dimensions, an ability to interpret other people’s ideas and bring them to life on the storyboard, communication and teamwork skills and last but not the least, great drawing and technical skills.
  6. Specialization is key as you work your way up the career ladder; there are several avenues where your storyboard skills can be of use – films, TV shows, cartoon strips, animated and non-animated, ad agencies, video and computer games, interactive web services, etc.
  7. While manual drawing is the best skill to master, you also need to be knowledgeable about various software programs which are used in storyboarding, such as Photoshop, Storyboard Pro, etc.
  8. Join industry-specific professional bodies which provide certification and opportunities to interact with other professionals. One such organization is the National Alliance of Media Arts & Culture (NAMAC); another is the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).

Becoming a storyboard artist will not only allow you to nurture your inner talent and creativity, it will also provide you great professional and personal satisfaction.


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