Ahh, my favorite part, where I get to talk about me, me, me. But I’ll try to keep it relevant to the field of storyboarding. Still, kind of a long story. You see, both of my parents have worked in animation as storyboard artists. My mom recently retired from Disney after 30+ years as a storyboard artist. If you work in those circles, you might know Sharon Forward, and if you do, you definitely know my dad, Bob Forward. Love you guys! And so that makes me a Second-Generation Storyboard Artist. Cool huh?
Reared as I was by such talented individuals, and safe in the fabulous sunshine of Los Angeles, I thus grew up very artistic, drawing all my life, blah blah blah. I read and drew lots of comics growing up, and I’d say that helped prime my mind to understand the concepts of sequential art and visual storytelling. Also watched lots and lots of TV. That’s very important too.
Entering adulthood, I wanted to give a stab at being a “Fine” artist, but became hopelessly disillusioned and sort of segued into more technical interests, leaving art behind for a spell. Learned about computers and technology, nothing too hardcore, but it’s enough to say that I spent a couple of years repairing Apple computers, in the 2002-2004 era, when things were just starting to get cool.
One day I was delivering a computer system to a nice gentleman, and after I installed his system he tried out his new hardware while I stood by to watch. He had a Wacom tablet and was using a program I had never seen before, Painter, and he demonstrated the most marvelous things. That experience triggered something in my brain; that is what set me on my digital art path.
Lots of stuff happened afterward but essentially I quit my job, built a cruddy website, and advertised my newly developed digital art skills online, saying yes to pretty much anything that promised to pay. Through a process of trial and error, I trained myself to be a professional digital artist, and established a very loyal base of small clients, most of whom needed … storyboards. Not much later, I joined up with Frameworks, a great commercial storyboarding agency, and things really took off.
Today, I’m 40, storyboarding full time, with lots of digital art projects on the side, and I live in Studio City with my beautiful wife and two amazing children.