I’m not sure how many of you are aware of film storyboard artist Elizabeth Colomba; I sure wasn’t, and in case you weren’t either, I wanted to profile and share some of her fascinating work.
What’s worth noting is that Colomba has done extensive storyboard and visual consulting work for many films including “Romeo and Juliet,” “Beloved,” “Slums of Beverly Hill,” “Waist Deep,” “Next Friday,” “The Wood,” “A Single Man,” “Catwoman,” “Amelia” and more.
For those of you not familiar with what a storyboard artist does, Colomba is hired by film production companies as a professional illustrator; she creates comic-book like drawings or sketches, which filmmakers use in order to help visualize the story’s narration.
Although she may be hired to sketch individual or particular scenes in films, according to a 1998 interview by tipjar.com, her work for a film like Rick Famuyiwa’s “The Wood” for example, demanded her to draw almost every frame, which would be quite a feat.
Colomba said, “My partner Kasia Adamik and I had to storyboard the whole movie. They had the money for a month, so we did everything we could. We didn’t finish it, but there was a lot of work. There were action scenes. Even simple scenes were drawn. You could read the whole story from the storyboards.”
Colomba is of Caribbean heritage (Martinique); she was born in Epinay Sur Seine, a suburb in Paris. Her passion for painting started at the age of six. She achieved a first class high honors degree upon graduating from college in Paris. She obtained work in the late nineties at an advertising company. However, she was disappointed with the lack of creativity and control over her work, so she moved to L.A. to pursue a career in painting and storyboarding.
Colomba credits work by masters like Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Edgar Degas, Johannes Vermeer and Diego Velazquez as inspiration and influence over her works.
We rarely celebrate the necessary work of those *unknowns* behind the camera, especially Black artists (the actors and directors typically get most of the attention), and we will do more of that.
I love her Victorian-age paintings (see below) and the artists whose works she has been influenced by. I’ve always wished I had the talent for painting like this. Oh well…
These days, Colomba is less focused on her work as a storyboard artist, spending more of her time on her painting. In fact, most recently, she participated in a conference (on March 4, 2017) that explored intersections of slavery and fashion with presentations from scholars, artists and designers. It took place at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn, NY. She continues to showcase her work around the world.
Visit her official site at elizabeth-colomba.com to see some more of her work and to read their very interesting back stories.