Woohoo! In addition to the previous Nutella spot, I happened to do the boards for the most recent follow up- “Spread the Happiness!”  Once again produced by my great clients at Brand New School.

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OMG pancakes!!!

They are playing this spot a LOT on TV right now- which is great, since it rocks!  It’s fun, it’s pop, it’s delicious.

The challenges involved in this spot were finding a fresh take on simple transitions and how best to style them in an appetizing way and choreograph them best to the music.  I drew a LOT of frames for it, as we would build many animatics to see what worked best- there was a lot of experimentation with different kinds of wipes and reveals.  But that’s the best way to get things perfect!

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I always enjoy drawing families having fun.  It turns out though, one thing that is hard to draw is people sitting around a table.  It sounds simple but it’s really tricky because you have to draw in near perfect perspective just to get the height and distance relationships right between the chair and the table, and then again for the people who actually sit in them.  If you draw it wrong, all your chairs will look like they are different sizes, or even like your actors are sitting on phonebooks or booster seats.  It’s tough!  One of those things that you only notice if you do it wrong, and since I think mine turned out pretty decent, I have to make a point about it 🙂  I left the extra “empty” space at the top of the frame because at one point we weren’t sure if there would be text, logo, or slogan superimposed there.

Here’s a great drawing of a product shot- always important to draw the product really well!!!

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Here’s the full board sequence:


And for comparison, here’s the final commercial!  Turned out pretty cool!


It’s a fun song, but when you work with the editors and animators that have to cut the commercial together, you have to listen to the song over and over and over and over again until it loses all meaning.  Yup, there’s a limit to how much happiness one can take!  Ha!

Thanks!  See you next time.


Storyboards have been around quite a long time, always lurking behind the scenes, but it seems like in recent years the profession is getting more recognition, and that’s exciting.  There’s all kinds of new resources popping up and so I want to also collect some links to those sites and artists that might additionally prove interesting to readers of this blog- after all, I don’t really use this site so much as to teach about storyboarding; it’s really a glorified demo reel to show off work that I’m proud of.   Actually, it’s the only one I know of that deals with personal case studies of commercial storyboarding, but in time, there will be more.  I’ll informally collect them in a list below, and the newest additions will be at the top, but newest is not necessarily greatest, that’s just the order of discovery.  If you know of a link that I should add to this list- comments are open below!  Note – I might as often post a link and discuss why it’s NOT a useful resource, even if it purports to be.

Sharon Forward – http://sharonforward.blogspot.com/ – That’s right, my mom’s website, yes, she was a professional storyboard artist for like 30 years or something- she’s retired right now but there are some fun animation storyboard animatics there, from her time at Disney, which was quite a long time… She probably won’t post new things but that’s understandable.  Having parents who were storyboard artists gives me the right to go blah blah blah and neener neener because of course I know what I’m talking about, because my parents were storyboard artists.  But in all seriousness, I’m very proud of my parents and I owe everything to their hard work ethic and talents, but no, they never got me any jobs or industry contacts- remember, I work in advertising, not television or feature animations.  It’s entirely different.  I made my own way and I’m proud of that too.

StoryboardArtists.com – http://www.storyboardartists.com  I’m understandably hesitant to endorse what I suspect might be the educational arm of Famous Frames, the site’s sole advertiser and competitor of the agency I work for, but aside from my blog, which you already know about, there are so few other websites that discuss storyboarding for commercial advertising as well as tv shows and features, and perspectives into the daily grind of artists like me.  It’s a young site, so who knows if it will have much of a future, but for now I like the direction that it’s going in and if you like my blog, you might like their articles- but if you are looking to hire storyboard artists, go to Frameworks-LA.com and contract with them instead.  Ha!  But honestly, I like the layout, content, and the direction (an actual industry blog) so give it a look- it’s the closest thing to my site I’ve been able to find.  I can’t do all the work 🙂

StoryboardArt.Org – http://storyboardart.org/  I’ve followed the progress of this site since it launched and it’s gone through some evolutions- first it appeared as a discussion/job posting board and then a website offering free (and pay) tutorials.  I can’t be sure but I don’t think it’s getting much traction in either of those categories.  I keep clicking on the links trying to find some actual drawings of impressive storyboards (because frankly, I like to learn from others and I’m curious what insights they might have) and what I keep finding are paywalls and really scribbly drawing samples.  They have started blogging about visual storytelling case studies, providing insights into problem solving and decision making in the field of storyboarding, which is a step in the right direction.  They also post info about upcoming educational events and conferences that you might be interested in.  I suppose that in many corners of the storyboarding field, all that matters for the artist is to quickly gesture loose lines and keep continuity.  If that’s about your interest level, then check it out.  But in competitive commercial storyboarding for advertising (my field), your artwork must be rapidly executed to a stunningly beautiful finish and crystal clear readability, and I just don’t see any samples of that here, so just understand that what you learn at this site might only take you so far.  It’s not representative of the entire field, but for that matter, neither is my site!  HA!

Temple of the Seven Golden Camels – Everything Mark Kennedy knows about storyboarding – http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/  Words of Wisdom from a pro.  This is a great site, great writing, gets really into the craft and the storytelling, great histories, and tons of content.  A director I work with turned me onto this site, and I enjoy catching up on updates every once in awhile.  I wish I was as diligent with updating!  Then again, I’m extremely busy.  My major gripe with this site is I can barely find any of the guy’s storyboards anywhere on it.  He writes in depth about the profession and everything he writes is absolutely great, but I would love to see more samples of his professional work.  He’s got some great links and resources as well, so bookmark this one for sure.

Illustration Art by David Apatoff – http://illustrationart.blogspot.com/  This is my personal favorite site, and it’s not even about storyboarding, it’s just really well written and interesting musings and histories about the illustration industry, past and present.  Well worth a look and another site with GREAT links and resources.

Storyboards – http://pixar-animation.weebly.com/storyboard.html  This is a simple little site that clearly shows great examples of animation storyboards and their use.  Take a peek and learn why they are essential to pre-production in all visual storytelling.

Animation Treasures – https://one1more2time3.wordpress.com/  This site is a little cryptic – I have a hard time pinning down exactly who’s site it is, and what they do professionally- and you have to hunt around but you can find some very interesting samples of animation background paintings and other great design inspiration.  I love this kind of stuff but your mileage may vary- worth a peek.

The Golden Age – http://thegoldenagesite.blogspot.com/  Again, it’s unclear who’s site this is… but I like to come here and steal a read at all the old comic book scans they have.  You have to hunt around a bit but there’s some real treasure there, if you like that sort of thing, and I do.

Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine – https://pappysgoldenage.blogspot.com/   It might seem like I’m overly attracted to these old-school comics sites, but Comics and Storyboards are closer kin than most realize, so don’t knock it.  A fun site to wander around in, great hi-res scans of comics you’ve never heard of.

Art Tutorials – http://art-tutorials.tumblr.com/  A repository of good and bad tutorials for the digital age, plus good links and resources.  And some bad.  Proceed with caution…

Tell Forward – http://tellforward.blogspot.com/  He told me all right!  Ha!  Just Kidding- this one’s a bit cerebral but some good insights here on storytelling…

I’ll post more later!  This will be a “living” post and may grow quite large with time.  And, I would love to hear if you know of other websites like mine, or found resources that other readers of this blog might like to check out, so comment below and let me know!




Here’s a fun spot I worked on earlier this year for my great clients at Mirada.  It’s a charming commercial for lemon-scent Pine Sol, and to provide a brief backstory: the agency had “tested” a wacky concept of small soldiers and ballerinas chanting “powerful clean” and “lemony fresh” as they jumped into a Pine Sol bottle.  And it tested well.  Like, CRAZY well.  So we were asked to put together a pitch on how we might take that concept and flush it out into a fun character animation spot.

The concept is super simple so all the nuance and storytelling is in the directing and camera angles, and really making sure the characters are on target and doing their thing, and so the success here would come down to the execution of the concept.  Aside from the storyboards, there were character designers and concept artists working as well, but we were working concurrently so I didn’t have any direct reference for what anything should look like, so I had to charge forward as best I could.

We actually did have an “angle” if you will- the director was very interested in attempting to channel some of the very popular Taylor Swift video for “Bad Blood,” as in, to make sure we charged the lemony fresh ballerinas with a kind of kick-ass spin.  Something different!  I thought it was a great twist, and you can see in the frames, especially in this one:


Hardcore Freshness Ballerinas and Scrub Soldiers (complete with assault mops), in Pine Sol style, and miniaturized, in a typical household kitchen.  I could picture that pretty easy.  Here’s the boards:


The client apparently loved the boards, because they were not only awarded the job, but they ended up not needing me to revise any of the frames- which is a pretty awesome deal!  Here’s the finished spot:

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Not bad!  Looks like they did away with the “Bad Blood” references- we are back to cutesy ballerinas, but I think that might be a good move, given the overall timing.  Spot looks great.  And I’m glad they kept in the “lemon” parachutes- that was my idea!

See you next time.

Here’s a quick sweet little project I boarded a while back – one of those synergistic multi-product subtle mega-mercials masquerading as a network PSA – tips for a fun “date night!”


Here, a couple starts out there morning routine as usual- but then in a moment of whimsy, it strikes them to spice things up a bit and go on an impromptu date night!  All with the help the Hallmark Channel’s suggestion of a “Date Night” jar of fun date activities, and of course, great products from Proctor and Gamble, like Crest toothpaste and Pantene hair spray.

They dress their best, pick from the date night jar, and the winner is: ‘Rent a Convertible and Buzz up the Coast for some Seafood!’  Sounds like fun!  Here’s the boards:


What I like most about these boards is the great way I pulled off a natural depiction of the “everyday couple.”  The first couple frames of the pair brushing their teeth, being casual/typical/routine, and then simultaneously coming to the same notion- “are you thinking what I’m thinking?”  Blowdrying their hair, picking out clothes, checking their makeup- it’s really important to be able to convincingly draw the normal, everyday stuff, and making it appealing, and I was lucky to have this practice.

I don’t know if they ever did make this commercial, so I don’t have the final vid to show you either way, but no biggie, it’s all about the boards anyway!  See you next time!


Here’s one I’ve had on ice a while now- an old pitch, that we didn’t get awarded, and thus I’ve not really been able to present, but enough time has passed that we can risk a look at my work, and hope nobody minds.  It was a rare “throw your best efforts and time at this project” kind of assignment, and I had 3 days to turn around some serious quality work- presentation quality board for a pitch on Duracell, for an anthem-style spot, something epic and inspiring and durable- something to remember.

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The creative concept for this project is a little abstract but also very effective- the engineering and precision that goes into Duracell batteries on the micro scale goes on to influence the engineering and precision on the macro scale further down the line.  Through juxtaposition of imagery, micro and macro, we see point by point comparisons of how the dedication of craft is passed through from creator to creator.  The narrative is driven visually so I encourage you to view the whole sequence and see if you can pick up on the intent.  I’m proud of this work and happy to show it to you, here’s the boards!


Hope you liked it!  On this project, the direction for whole spot was detailed out in dozens and dozens of vignette descriptions as provided by the creative director- shot by shot, and so I just did my very best to draw what was written.  It’s always amazing to me how talented directors can see the entire spot in their minds, and when partnered with a talented board artist, can really put together something special.   I loved this job, and what a shame it never got made.  Oh well, that’s how it goes!

Here’s a very fun spot I did a while back for Red Bull/Audi;  a little cross promotional effort to reinforce mutual branding and associations.  Basically, it’s a mini-documentary of an extreme sports spectacle: a never-before-seen coordinated group of stunts with multiple flight technologies being expertly demonstrated, and beautifully shot.

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This kind of event is more “captured” than executed according to shot list, so there’s some amount of looseness between what’s intended and final outcome- but I was able to help out by drawing up some nice presentation-style frames to help sell through the concept- and these shots were detailed very specifically by the director, who included great references for the planes, vehicles and locations.  That helps a lot in making the boards come through as intended and being the most helpful in terms of advancing the production.  I like that storyboards can be useful in a production like this, even though it’s also a known thing that on the day of the actual shoot, they’ll have to just roll with however things come out.  If you ask me, that’s the REAL stunt!  Ha!  Here’s the boards:


And here’s the final spot:

Very cool!  Thanks for checking in.