Storyboard artist and illustrator Alex Chiu is very much inspired by anime and manga. In fact, it was at the age of 10, when she first started reading manga that she started considering illustrating as an actual profession.
“I always doodled as a kid according to my parents,” she explained in an interview with Concept Art Empire. “But I don’t think it was until sophomore or junior year of college when I narrowed down my career path to art.”
Of course, this all changed a couple of years later when she found herself working for some of the biggest names in the industry. Currently working as a storyboard artist for Netflix, she’s also worked in the past for Marvel Animation, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network. An impressive CV to say the least.
Now fully committed to her anime-inspired art, she admits it took her some time to feel comfortable with her “geeky” preferences. “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, it’s best to showcase a bit of variety. “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,” she says. Inspiring illustrators and animators, take note!