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The Simon’s Cat Story (A Draw my Life)

The Simon’s Cat Story (A Draw my Life)


Hello I’m Simon Tofield, and this, is the
Simon’s Cat story. I’ve always loved to draw, as far back as
I can remember I have always been drawing. As a boy growing up in Leighton Buzzard, I’d
love 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 she was a very shy, very timid little farm cat. As I got older I kept on drawing and drawing,
still wildlife was my favourite subject. But I also started getting interested in doing
animation a round about that time too. I’d thought I would teach myself to animate
by, creating flip books that 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 could really
do so I became… An animator. Back then we used to sit at old wooden light
boxes drawing on animation paper. I worked like this as a commercial animator for about
13 years, mostly doing adverts for TV. I thought I’d 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 it at the time, someone
copied this little film off my showreel and uploaded it onto Youtube. And by the time I saw it and realised what
had happened the film had become very popular. So in 2008 we launched the official Simons
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 have four cats, there is little Jess, big
Maisy, greedy Hugh and fluffy Teddy. And so between all four of them, they give
my 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. Ive got a small team of very talented animators
helping me now, I direct the episodes and we work together to create the films. Although we are working on computers Simon’s
Cat is all hand drawn animation. It is made frame by frame and it just takes a long time
to make each episode. I am still drawing all the time, filling up
sketch books with ideas for stories and gags. I feel really lucky to be doing what I love,
and it is fantastic to know that there is an audience out there waiting to see what
Simon’s Cat gets up to next.

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