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Storyboard Artist - Career Profile

Written by Michelle BurtonSeptember 28, 2011
Storyboard Artist
Did you know.... In 2013 every movie nominated for an Oscar Award in the Best Visual Effects category had graduates from The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (DAVE School at Universal Studios Orlando) in the credits. This year (2014), four of the five nominated films - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, and Star Trek Into Darkness- included DAVE School graduates. Those 4 films alone employed nearly 70 DAVE School graduates last year.
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What does a Storyboard Artist do? Where does a Storyboard Artist Work? ACR takes a look:

About Storyboard Artists

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Storyboard artists draw storyboards for animated features, films, television commercials, and music videos. The storyboard presents the “action” in a series of scenes, which allows filmmakers, advertisers, and producers to evaluate the project before beginning production. Storyboards are also used to provide direction during production. 

Storyboard Artist Jobs

Storyboard artists draw scenes by hand or computer. They might sketch in black and white or they may produce full color storyboards manually or by computer. Also called “storyboarders,” storyboard artists work with producers, directors, and film crew from start to finish by sketching scenes during initial meetings, and editing or eliminating scenes as the project progresses. In addition to TV and film, storyboard artists work primarily in advertising and the video game industry. 

Schools to Consider:

Storyboard Artist Salaries

Storyboard artist salaries vary greatly based on experience, the size and type of company, location, and other factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer salary information for storyboard artists, but several job and salary websites do. Based on these reports, storyboarders may earn anywhere from $25,000 to $80,000 per year. According to SimplyHired.com, storyboard artists average around $55,000 per year. Some storyboarders are self-employed, so they may earn more or less than the average.

Another way to get an idea of what storyboard artists earn is to review earnings for illustrators. According to the Bureau, median annual wages of salaried illustrators were $42,650 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $29,230 and $60,650. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,780, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,410.

Becoming a Storyboard Artist

To become a storyboard artist, you will need a bachelor’s degree in art, illustration or computer art. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with a degree and experience, but artists with exceptional talent and limited experience may qualify for some entry-level positions.  

Job Trends for Storyboard Artists

Employment for artists overall is expect to grow by 12 percent for the 2008-2018 decade. The workforce is made up of more than 221,900 artists. By 2018, this figure is expected expand to 247,700. At 14 percent, of all artists and related workers, animators and multimedia artists will see the most employment growth in the coming years.