Storyboard artists, also known as illustrators, can take a written story, idea or concept and fill in the visual details. For example, the story may say that the superhero leapt into action. With a few strokes of a pen, a good illustrator can show you what that looks like, from a cape flowing in the air to the look of determination and valor on the heros face. With the advent of computer drawing applications, one might think that the days of the storyboard artist are numbered. However, nothing can be further from the truth, because nothing can replace the workmanship of a master illustrator. Storyboard artists frequently work on a freelance basis creating storyboards, or initial visual renderings of what the finished product should look like, for T.V. commercials, film and animation. While the artists renders of future commercials or film will eventually wind up in someones file cabinet, a storyboard artist who works in animation or comics can see his or her visualization become a product for mass consumption. Depending on what kind of project storyboard artists are hired to illustrate, they may be asked to illustrate in different ways. When hired by an advertising agency, an illustrator might be asked to render a commercial from different perspectives or angles or he/she may be asked to draw several different ideas for the same commercial. In film, a storyboard artist is hired well before any cameras begin to roll. The storyboards convey a directors vision of what a film will look like and can help a studio decide if they want to hire the director. Also, if the studio likes what they see, then the storyboard can be used to aid a cast and crew in understanding the directors instruction because it immortalizes that directors vision for the film. Storyboard artists are good at more than just drawing. They are consummate listeners. On a daily basis, they convert words into pictures, so listening is a highly valued skill for them and their clients. Like writers, they too must accept criticism and make revisions to ensure that the message conveyed by their illustration is exactly what the client expects and desires. They also must complete their work under tight deadlines. In addition to listening skills, a storyboard artist will likely be an expert using computer drawing programs and will be apprised of the lingo used in advertising and film.
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