A million of something is a lot. A million subscribers puts you in YouTube rarified air. And yet, animated YouTube series Simon’s Cat recently reached 3 million. That’s a HUGE number, an outrageous number when you consider the sheer amount of content that viewers have to consider on YouTube. Simon’s Cat is a beloved institution of not only the cat genre on YouTube, but all of videodom.
Of course, series creator Simon Tofield is taking the achievement in stride, acting as dryly pleasant about it all as the series that bears his name. And that in and of itself is a major achievement for a YouTuber — modesty accompanying success. Simon hasn’t seemed to have gotten swept up in the hype of what his series has accomplished. If anything, he’s content to share the joy with his friends, his family and his cats. We should all get to be successful doing something we love.
If you readers want a primer in the way to handle success in your chosen industry, take a page from our interview with Simon. Also, maybe learn to draw and get some cats.
How did your cats celebrate the 3 million subscribers milestone?
Simon: My cats’ busy day of sleeping, washing and eating were unsurprisingly uninterrupted by this fantastic news!
How did you celebrate it?
We released a “thank you” video thanking our fans for their amazing support!
Is there one of your cats in particular that provides the basis for the “Simon’s Cat” adventures? Or do they all contribute in their own way?
Hugh was the initial inspiration for my first film, “Cat Man Do,” but since then each one of my cats has contributed in their own unique way. I have realised that cats are a lot like humans — they all have their own personalities and characteristics, and having four cats gives me loads of new material for gags and jokes.
Has joining the Frederator network allowed you to increase the speed of your output? Or are you content to go at your own pace?
The Frederator network hasn’t affected the quantity of our output. However, they have been really helpful and supportive with the release of our latest films. We have loved being in partnership with them and sharing our knowledge of YouTube and animation.
How has being a part of an MCN helped “Simon’s Cat”? Has it hurt it at all?
The Federator MCN has given us loads of support and helped us reach a new and exciting audience.
Do you follow other cat channels on YouTube? If so, who do you like?
I wouldn’t say I follow any particular cat channels on YouTube; however, I do watch a lot of cat videos! I find them great for inspiration when directing my own films.
Why do you think “Simon’s Cat” has resonated on YouTube the way it has?
My animation focuses on cat behaviour — I think this is endearing for lots of “Simon’s Cat” fans because they can see their own cat in our films.
What’s your advice to YouTube animators who’d like to achieve your level of success?
Stick to what you know. I was an animator who loved cats and was fortunate enough to combine the two. Try finding something you are really interested in and know a lot about and combine that with your animation. Also, don’t be afraid to try new and different animation techniques.
What’s next for “Simon’s Cat”?
We are developing a crowdfunding campaign that will be hopefully launched in July. This is to develop a longer episode of “Simon’s Cat,” in colour! We are really all excited about the possibilities that crowdfunding can offer and we hope that our fans are excited about the project too!
Share this article because it’s nice to make others happy. And this article likely will (unless they’re the rabidly jealous type).
Here are more good interviews with animators: