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How To Become a Storyboard Artist

Tips for freelancing as a storyboard artist


My name is Alex DeLeon. I have been drawing storyboards for sometime and and have worked with a number of clients.

I am writing this article for beginner and intermediate storyboard artists who want advice on marketing and pricing their work.

The first thing I would suggest is putting up an easy to navigate website that shows your best storyboard work. If you do not have any professional experience yet, just put up any samples that you do have. When a client calls, be honest with them if they ask you what project the sample work is from. If it is not from an actual job, then just say so. Do not let your lack of experience become an issue. Since the client has called you after seeing your work, he probably thinks you are capable. Be sure to tag your website with keywords so that the search engines give you a higher ranking. There are plenty of good articles online about driving traffic to your website.


The following websites have a section for storyboard artists to add their links. They are,,,,,, and

La411 (there is also one for NY called NY411) is the only one that costs money. There is a $50 registration fee and then every year after, your listing is free.

If you're not at the point where the clients are calling you, then you should generate business. There are a few ways to do this. You can send out emails to commercial and film directors, advertising agencies, commercial production companies, live event designers, music video production companies, stunt coordinators, video game companies, theme park designers and special effects houses. These types of companies will need shooting boards, presentation boards and sketch artists. You can find contact info for these companies in LA411 and other online directories.

Storyboard agents are not absolutely necessary. It depends on what city you live in. If you are in a smaller market town, you may want to have an agent to see if it works for you. When you get good at marketing yourself and can keep a steady flow of work coming in, you may decide that you do not need one.

Professional storyboard artist charge anywhere between $600 per day and higher. It is up to you to know the value of your work. Rates are listed in The Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines. It is published every year by the Graphic Artists Guild. When a client contacts you about your rates, get all the details you can and be able to tell the client how many frames you are able to do in a day or how long it will take you to complete the project.

Negotiating the rate is something that you will have to get a personal feel for. Pricing yourself too high may cause the client to go find another artist and pricing yourself too low is not going to make you much money. Some clients may ask you to lower your rate based on the promise of giving you more work in the future. You can tell the client that if they do indeed need more work from you in the future, you will consider a discount at that time. It also helps to research the client to get an idea of how established they are before you give your quote.

Once you and the client agree on a job; make sure that you write up a contract that details the price, what the job entails and when payment is due. I usually take a 50% deposit up front and the balance due upon delivery of the completed artwork.

Be sure to discuss up front whether additional charges will be added due to revisions. I will charge extra if the client decides that he wants something changed that we never discussed up front. If changes were necessary due to a misunderstanding on my end, then I do not charge any additional fees. Good communication will keep changes and misunderstandings to a minimum. I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

-Alex DeLeon

Here are a few good videos on storyboarding.


© 2011 Alex DeLeon , All Rights Reserved, Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited