Messy Storyboards Are Still Good Storyboards

Whenever storyboards come up in my workshops there is always a group in the class who exclaim that they could never use storyboards in their work because they can’t draw. Their storyboards would be too ugly and messy so they should just skip them all together, right?


Messy storyboards can be hugely helpful, no matter what you think of your drawing ability. Quick, scratchy storyboards force you to get your animation ideas out of your head. They make you think about what you want to animate, how you want to animate it, and the overall flow. They become a visual checklist of what you’ll need to create and how it will work. All of that helps you work faster! (And smarter!)

Storyboards don’t have to be pretty to be useful. They only have to be pretty when they’re a client-facing deliverable. Any other time they can be as messy and chaotic as you’d like as long as they are meaningful to you.

Design and Content project messy storyboard

A messy storyboard with lots of scribbled notes and arrows.

Smashing messy storyboard

I doubt this one makes sense to anyone else at all, but scribbling all this down saved me a lot of time in the end.

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