Need an art degree?
What is a Storyboard Artist?
A storyboard artist works very closely with the director and other professionals involved in advertising and filmmaking, to create an illustrated version of the finished product. Typically, the storyboard artist will use the script to create pictures of each scene that will need to be filmed, and will include the types of camera angles that are best to capture each scene. The finished product will look a lot like a comic strip or comic book; a visual representation of what the finished film will look like.
Storyboard artists need a strong background in illustration, and filmmaking courses can strengthen the portfolio and resume – making the professional more appealing in the eyes of potential employers.
Most storyboard artists are freelance artists, and work from the comfort of their own home, or in their client’s studios. These professionals are typically hired with very short deadlines and will often work long hours each day (and possibly overnight) to ensure that the product is complete before it’s needed by the director. There are some studios that hire full-time storyboard artists if they find themselves in need of a quality artist on a regular basis.
Formal education may not be mandated, however, those who want security in knowing that they will have plenty of job prospects and opportunities should earn a bachelor’s degree in illustration, graphic arts, or a similar field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests attending at least a program that will lead to an art-related certificate. Those who have a formal education to add to their resume are much more likely to find a position, and typically earn a higher salary as well.
Storyboard artists fall under the category of “craft and fine artists” through the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These individuals earned an annual median salary of $44,380 in 2012, but the top 10% of earners cleared more than $93,000. Several things will affect a storyboard artist’s salary, including their education and experience, as well as where they live. Certain areas offer up more opportunities for these professionals. The top paying states for storyboard artists are Washington, New York, California, Connecticut, and Michigan.
While the growth rate for craft and fine artists is only 3% through 2022, the constant and growing demand for high quality television shows and films suggest that the growth rate for storyboard artist jobs is much higher. The BLS suggests learning computer-related illustration programs and software, as demand for professionals proficient in those programs will be in more demand.