Hello, I am Simon Tofield. And this is The Simon's Cat Story.
I've always loved to draw. As far back as I can remember, I've always been drawing.
As a boy grew up in Leighton Buzzard, I loved to draw wildlife. I was especially interested in drawing birds. And I'd draw on any paper I could find.
I got my first cat when I was nine years old. Her name was Shelly. And she was very shy, very timid little farm cat.
As I got older, I kept on drawing and drawing. Still wildlife was my favorite subject. But also I started to get interested in doing animation round about that time, too.
I thought I'd teach myself to animate by creating flip books, which were basically big fat pads of paper, which I drew in from the back and worked my way forward. When they were flicked, they created animation. And I was hooked.
Drawing was the only thing I can really do, so I became an animator. Back then, we used to sit at old wooden light boxes drawing on animation paper. I work like this as a commercial animator for about 13 years, mostly doing adverts for TV.
I thought I had better have a go at making digital animation. I needed to teach myself this new way of animating. I was still drawing hundreds of pictures but drawing them onto the Wacom tablet, straight into the computer.
So I made my short film about my own cat Hugh trying to get my attention in the morning to be fed. Although I didn't know at the time someone copied this little film off my showreel and uploaded it onto YouTube. And by the time I saw it, and realized what happened, the film had become very popular.
So in 2008, we launched the official Simon's Cat YouTube channel and the Simonscat.com website. The character of Simon's cat still doesn't really have a proper name, but in real life, I've got four cats: there is little Jess, big Maisy, greedy Hugh, and fluffy Teddy. And so between all four of them, they give me loads of ideas and stories for Simon's Cat.
People often ask me why don't we release Simon's Cat films more often. The truth is it takes about two to three months to make a Simon's Cat film. I first work on the story idea and then it takes most of that time to get the animation done. I've got a small team of very talented animators helping me now. I direct the episodes and then we work together to create the films. Although we're working on computers, Simon's Cat is all hand-drawn animation. It's made frame by frame and it just takes a long time to make each episode.
I'm still drawing all the time, filling up sketch book with ideas for stories and gags. I feel really lucky to be doing what I love. And it's fantastic to know there's an audience out there waiting to see what Simon's Cat gets up to next.
- 「試著做」- Have A Go At
I thought I had better have a go at making digital animation.