There is no set path to becoming a storyboard artist – some people come from an animation background, but just as many (like me) take a very wiggly route to get there. My introduction to storyboarding was on the Teletubbies, I started there as an Art Department Assistant and after a while got the chance to try out storyboarding (Teletubbieland is still my favourite place to work EVER).
The articles, notes and podcasts listed below explain what it takes to be a storyboard artist a lot better than I could. Some of them veer off into illustration but they all feel relevant. I’ll keep adding to the list and if you think anything is missing let me know! – Ad x
Storyboards: What it Takes – Great series of short articles by Larry Latham, based upon a course he taught at Walt Disney TV Animation. Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3.
Karen J Lloyd’s storyboard blog – Tips, advice, interviews – dig around there’s lots of good stuff here.
Dreamworks story & design notes – Some great animation storyboarding notes from Rob Koo
The Art of Storyboarding – Great article featuring examples from Bladerunner, The Thing, Alien, Dracula and more!
Idea Generation – An interesting guide to idea generation for illustration by Jillian Tamaki – great NY based illustrator.
Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School – Super obvious secrets from Phil McAndrew.
DC Cartoon Archive – Collection of storyboards and model sheets from the animated Batman, Superman etc.
Animation Meat – Animation and storyboarding notes from Disney, The Simpsons, Brad Bird and more.
Guide to Camera Shots: Every Shot Size Explained – A great breakdown of the different types of camera shots in film.
Wally Wood’s 22 panels that always work!! (Or some interesting ways to get some variety into those boring panels where some dumb writer has a bunch of lame characters sitting around and talking for page after page!)
Animation Podcast Archive – Audio interviews with some of animation’s greatest talent.
Character Design – Interviews and design examples from leading animation artists & designers.
The Pegbar & Grill – Tim, Sam & Max from The Line talk to some of their favourite filmmakers and animation creators
I’ve found all of these books helpful and inspirational (none of them are too expensive):
The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams
Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner
Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner
How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul by Adrian Shaughnessy
How to be an Illustrator by Darrel Rees
Best of Draw! Volume 1, available at Twomorrows Publishing
The Art of Storyboard by Don Bluth & Gary Goldman (This one is out of print but you can read it here).