Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Free Time!

As a storyboard artist you can have a few days here and there when you're not booked. This tends to be one of the more stressful aspects of being a freelancer.  I think that most freelancers that work on a project to project basis usually have the benefit of having multiple days if not weeks of work to look forward to.  This generally isn't the case in my work.  Most projects are 1-3 days long for ad work in particular but you can just squeak by on 1-1.5 days of work per week financially if you have a decent day rate. Thus, as a storyboard artist you tend to have some open time to pursue other interests.  I have several projects outside of storyboarding such as a stopmotion film (the set is nearly complete and I'll have pictures up soon), drawings, advertising online/print materials and a variety of other things that I do to advance my artistic endeavors.  This is a sculpture that I just finished yesterday.  The photos are really crappy because I used my phone camera but I'll be taking some portfolio quality pics soon.  I'm a huge fan of vinyl toys and definitely would like to produce some of my own at some point. If you're not familiar with the phenomenon check out  Summed up, it's designer toys that artists sell for $$$. I'm hoping to do at least three or four others this year and start developing a toy portfolio. I'll tell you that I don't have the slightest idea of how the market works but I'll be ready if opportunity knocks as it tends to do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Eel

Here is an example of a storyboard for short film that I did a few key illustrations for.  Though I'm not usually given direction to this extent, the Director of the film was able to give me a good description for a few frames. 

This is one of them: 

"Fred, naked, paddles the shitty boat with his shackles still on. as the two hicks chase him. One has a shotgun pointed at the boat, the other points wildly at Fred with a Catfish hanging from his hand. A frantic scene.

Frame: Fred in a medium shot to the right of the frame, paddling on murky waters. On the left of frame, in the distant background: the hick with the shotgun. The other hick is a few feet further up. A row of dead catfish is in the middle of the frame in the background, with a dog barking beneath it. 

Colors: Earthy. deep greens for the bushes on the edges of the frame, brown water, some sky (grey-blue)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Here we go. My very first blog!

Hello Internets!

My name is Wes and if you're reading this you are one of the first to take a peek in to my professional life as an illustrator living in New York City. The purpose of this blog is to both let prospective clients see the most up to date work as well as bring friends and family updates and insight to what it is to be a storyboard artist. Many people aren't familiar with what the job of a storyboard artist actually is and it's likely due to the fact that it's a very rare niche' job (God knows I've had to explain it enough). So there's a third reason for this Blog: to help explain my job as well as perhaps help those who are looking become storyboards artists themselves understand what they're in for. I've been at this for about 6 years or so and my very first job was for an NYU student (Robbie Pickering) for a short film called Prom Night. I completed the job is probably about a week and was paid about $200 bucks and after recently taking a look at those boards I think I should have been the one who should have been paying the $200. I think that I did maybe 4 or 5 more projects like that for $200 when I could work it around my job at the time which was as a graphic designer. After that, which probably constitutes for about a year of time, I started getting overflow work from a friend of mine who had been a storyboard artist for years for a whopping $500 per day. When ever given an opportunity to get this type of work I would take vacation time to do it (or fit a couple sick days in there if it was for a day or so). After another year or two opportunity struck and there was a merger in the design department with the company that I worked with and I was given the option to leave with $10,000 and the option for unemployment and I jumped at the opportunity. Over the next year I grew my clients and became a professional storyboard artist (a dream come true) and I'm still doing it today. It's a very fulfilling career with great pay and you generally only work a couple days a week per ad job which has been the bulk of the projects that I've had the opportunity to work on (if you're interested in what clients check out my resume at

Well that's enough for now but I'll be playing catch-up this week and adding attachments of recent work as well as beginning a job to job status update of what's going on in Wes's world of storyboarding!