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How to Create an Effective Storyboard Even If You're Not an Artist - A business team in a meeting
How to Create an Effective Storyboard Even If You're Not an Artist - A business team in a meeting
Alex Mcomie 107x107
Mar 3, 2022

How to Create an Effective Storyboard Even If You’re Not an Artist

You don’t need to be a professional artist to come up with a compelling narrative and turn that concept into a reality.

However, it’s easy to end up with something that falls short if you don’t take the time to plan out your ideas through a detailed storyboard.

Even if you’re tempted to start working on the final product right away, it’s important to remember that storyboarding is a critical step in narrative development — particularly if you don’t have professional experience in creative production.

Let’s take a look at some key storyboarding tips that every creator should be aware of.


1. Start with Story Beats

No matter what style you have in mind for your upcoming project, the storyboard needs to start from the most fundamental elements of the narrative.

It should focus on the main characters, their central conflicts, and the key events that move them forward through the story.

You’ll have a chance to shore up the details later on, but the initial storyboard should at least reflect a logical progression in which each beat flows naturally from the one before.

Storyboarding is the time to think of the big picture and how your content fits together as an organic whole.


2. Work with a Professional

Naturally, the first thing you should consider in this situation is whether it could be worth collaborating with someone who has the skills and experience necessary to produce an ideal storyboard.

Even professional creatives often hire storyboard artists to help with this stage of the creative process.

Of course, the partner you work with will have a dramatic effect on your results.

Search carefully for someone who has relevant experience and seems like a good fit for your unique project.

You should also stay closely involved with your storyboard partner throughout the creative journey.

Two-way communication is key for developing a shared vision and getting the most out of your narrative ideas.

It might take some back and forth to come up with a storyboard that you feel confident in.


3. Storyboard with Words

When you hear the word “storyboard,” you probably think of a set of sketches or drawings that illustrate the proposed narrative.

While storyboarding often involves visuals, the truth is that you can create a great storyboard with nothing but words.

If you aren’t confident in your drawing skills, consider writing down the instructions you would give to a professional storyboard artist.

Getting your thoughts on paper will help you see how everything fits together without requiring you to spend the time or money involved in producing a visual storyboard.

Of course, creating a written storyboard will also make it easier to transition to a traditional storyboard if you ever decide that you need a visual device.

Creators who are unsure about how to proceed should think about starting with a word-based storyboard in order to flesh out their ideas.


4. Leverage Storyboarding Apps

There’s an app for everything in 2022, and storyboarding is no exception.

Regardless of your creative style or your typical approach to storyboards, you should be able to find a great mobile or desktop app that offers everything you’re looking for.

In fact, creators don’t even need to spend any money to access powerful storyboarding features.

Canva, for example, gives users a deep library of stock assets and templates plus helpful editing tools at no charge.

This list of the best storyboarding software in 2022 is a great way to start if you’re interested in working with a digital storyboarding platform.


5. Take Your Own Photos

If you don’t want to draw a storyboard, you always have the option to create a visual guide through photos.

Taking the relevant images doesn’t involve nearly as much work as filming full scenes or even abbreviated versions, but it can have just as strong of an effect when you’re creating a storyboard.

Even if you don’t have the resources to put together professional-quality shots, you’ll still be able to develop a rough idea of how you want each scene to appear.

You can always make adjustments to that starting point later on as you come closer to creating a finished product.

Of course, you might be thinking of some details that aren’t easy to show in a basic photo.

Don’t be afraid to use Photoshop or another image editing tool to tweak your image and ensure that it comes as close as possible to what you have in mind.

You can also supplement with captions and descriptions that explain what will happen in the scene.


6. Think About Audio

A storyboard usually only contains visuals and maybe some text, but audio is also important to almost any kind of visual media.

Instead of adding audio at the very end of the process, it’s a good idea to consider the audio as you create and edit your storyboard.

If you have a clear image of how a scene should look, ask yourself how you want it to sound to create the right impression.

We can help you connect with American English voice actors if you need a narrator to set the scene and get viewers interested.

You should also think about the music you want to accompany each part of your storyboard.

You can always change things up later, but it will help to come up with at least a rough idea while putting the storyboard together.

In general, the more work you do at the storyboarding stage, the easier it will be to put everything together later on.

Try to fully develop your ideas about how each scene should go rather than being content with a basic image or drawing.



You might think that you’re ready to get to work even without a storyboard, but storyboarding is vital for anyone who wants to create an engaging narrative.

These tips will help you get more out of the storyboarding stage and find ways to make your existing ideas even more compelling.

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