Storyboard artist and illustrator Alex Chiu has worked with the biggest names in the industry. Those include Marvel Animation, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network. Currently working as a storyboard artist for Netflix, Chiu’s style is very much inspired by manga.
“I always doodled as a kid according to my parents,” she recalled in an interview with Concept Art Empire. “But I didn’t really pick up the pencil and draw everyday with the intention of getting better in some shape or form until I was 10.” All that changed when she started reading manga. “I considered it when I was in high school and deciding where I wanted to go to school,” she said, “but I don’t think it was until sophomore or junior year of college when I narrowed down my career path to art.”
Her work is very much character-driven, with cartoon-like people being her favorite subjects. But she also very much enjoys drawing pigeons and lizards. “In high school a bit and in college, I was afraid to like anime,” she admits. “I thought I had to exclusively like Disney and that enjoying series like Naruto and One Piece was a bad thing. It took me a while to accept and understand that there are a lot of people that like both, and that’s totally fine!”
According to Chiu, when it comes to storyboarding, your drawing ability serves as a clarification vehicle for your storytelling skills. “I think typically you want to showcase a bit of variety,” she says. “Action, comedy, and drama. If you can hit all 3 of those beats in, let’s say, 1 large sequence and 1 or 2 additional shorter ones then that’s pretty good. But don’t forget to keep it short and sweet.”