My Story

My name is Simon Wild and welcome to my blog where I help creators and aspiring filmmakers demystify the process of visual storytelling by fusing imagination with technology.

This is my story.

I hope you enjoy it...

Digital marketing and blogging with Simon Wild

Lost bags, Swiss Rolls and a new thing called the internet

'Well if there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet it's farthest from.'
Luke Skywalker - Star Wars A new Hope

I’ll begin with my Junior School years as everything before that was mostly an overproduced flood of splashy fridge paintings and ill fitting trousers.

I attended St thomas Moore, a relatively small catholic primary school. In every school photo, I sported a lovely black tooth which just wouldn't go away, having bashed it on a kitchen chair when I was six years old. It made me so self conscious, I daydreamed for years about pulling that tooth out. It seemed that from an early age, the universe had already diminished my chances of fitting in.

Thanks destiny.

At school I was considered distant, living in my own head, dreaming of superheroes, hobbits and Jedi knights. 

All I wanted to do was join the Rebel Alliance and turn my life into a movie.

Parents evenings were a blast; ‘Simon spends most of his time unfocussed and staring out of the window. He must try harder.’

I never felt I belonged in school. The only things I truly loved to do was read and draw and take photos when I could get my hands on the family camera. So I drew on everything, including myself and my desk. 

That made my teacher quite shouty.

But as the the green shoots of my artistic endeavours were slowly being recognised, I was awarded the highly prestigious annual task of drawing a life-size picture of Jesus for a school Easter festival. After 3 weeks of intense shading and growing so bored of the same drawing, I deliberately gave the Lord eight fingers on his right hand to see if anyone noticed.

They did.

My parents were called.


Moving through a strict catholic school as a slightly chubby, scruffy haired, disorganised daydreamer with low self esteem certainly had it’s challenges. I was the ultimate misfit. I was doing nerd, before nerd culture was a thing.

I had a crooked fringe that rose up on the right side of my head, from years of comfort playing with my hair, which my mum would always cut. I was the worst kind of walking advertisement for her home hairdressing business. 

A few bullies came and went over the years (including a couple of nuns who were actually my teachers)

May god bless the nuns.

'I've just had an apostrophe' Smee - Hook

Just before it was time to head to senior school, I spent the whole of the summer holidays dreading it.

Toward the end of my first day I somehow lost my brand new Puma school bag, containing all the newly issued text and exercise books for my classes. Instant inner humiliation. What a fabulous start.

As I moved up through senior school, I discovered five crucial things:

1. I developed a talent for making my teachers laugh . . .
And boy did I capitalise on this. This spared me from many detention slips

2. I discovered what an introvert was . . .
‘One of these kids is not like the other….’

3. I was good at drawing cartoons of small people with enormous heads . . .
So I drew them on my friend’s hands for a small fee which sometimes covered the costs of after school ice cream. My first true taste of entrepreneurship.

4. I made the best Swiss Roll in Home Economics class . . .
I gave slices of Swiss rolls to girls on the bus I was secretly in love with. It's not the best strategy if it's not accompanied by conversation. I think I just came across as a weird cake stalker.

5. I couldn’t do sports for toffee . . .
It turned out you were never as clever as you thought you were, writing your own sick notes to get out of P.E lessons.

But I slowly became more artistically minded and less academic, opting to kick maths and science to the curb and immerse myself in drawing, inventing, writing and making. I was starting to find my world.

And it felt a little like home.

I took art very seriously, to the point where I began organising drawing classes at lunch times, teaching my friends how to draw Disney characters.

My diligent students soon realised, if you could draw a figure of eight laying on it’s side, you could most probably draw Donald Duck.

'My mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the way we expect.'
Luna Lovegood - Harry potter and the Order of the Phoenix

On the last day of school, my brand new Puma bag that went missing for my entire school life, showed up in an open locker, complete with all of the books untouched, still shiny and new. I must have walked past that bag every day for five years and not once thought about checking the lockers. 

And there it sat all that time, probably sniggering to itself every time it saw me.

I guess that bag really wasn't for me.

Was it a sign? Maybe.

Was it a cleaner just lifting the bag off the floor so they could run a mop across it? Probably.

As I left the school grounds for the last time, I remember peering down at all the signatures of friends on my school shirt and I realised in that moment how I wanted to spend my life.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with the contents of the lost and found bag I carried home on my shoulder...

‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore' Dorothy - The Wizard of Oz

I studied Graphic design at college for the next two years. I fell in love with animation, films and illustration, spending every waking moment making zines, comics and watching the films of Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam and Steven Spielberg. 

I made cine films of anything that moved and edited them with glue, tape and dreams of Hollywood.

And while most of my friends were discovering beer and girls on park benches at sundown, I had the Imperial March in my ears and I made starships and contraptions out of toilet rolls, coat hangers and counter-levered mechanisms, built from string and washing up liquid cartons. All so I could make films with my trusty cine camera.

My crowning achievement was a device that allowed me to flick the light switch off from the other side of the room without having to leave my bed. To this day, it remains the best 1 minute, badly edited, poorly lit science fiction film I’ve ever made. 

Ahh, the analogue life.

At that time I also listened to every film score I could get my hands on and I must've read a hundred film director biographies. 

Storytelling was firmly beginning to shape the way I saw and understood the world...

'That's usually when the ground falls out from under your feet'
Indiana Jones - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

My university years were a stream of peaks and troughs. Or like a rom com that never reached the third act. I enrolled on a degree in Visual Communication at Suffolk College, studying film, design and everything creative in between.

It all started well enough. I made great friends who were always up for a midnight mission, like stealing a thousand milk bottles for an experimental typography project.

There were parties, movies, adventures and pizzas. And one or two traffic cones on the heads of statues. The usual stuff.

And then I started failing my assessments. My grades imploded and my interest in anything creative seemed to almost fall apart over night. My confidence in my abilities broke down. I realised I’d been hiding something away deep inside for a very long time:

I Never truly believed in myself. I never thought I was good enough.

It had a massive impact on me, which left me feeling alone, lost and without the solid creative purpose I hoped I would find.

I didn’t exactly graduate with cake and fireworks that year. I moved back in to my parent's house and shrunk into the shadows of my own existence; a place I thought I’d reside forever...

'Nothing is gone forever, only out of place.'
Mary Poppins - Mary Poppins Returns

For quite sometime I found myself with big dreams and none of the confidence to shape them. But one sunny spring morning, a friend paged me (yes, paged!) with an opportunity he described as being ‘too good for me to miss.’

He had secured me a meeting with a film maker at a local media centre, who was looking for someone to teach animation workshops.

I initially worked hard to talk myself out of it, but eventually I scrambled the courage together to show up.

And that meeting changed everything.

I was eventually hired as a general runner, fetching film kit, writing call sheets and making the tea. All the jobs no one else wanted.

I loved it. 

Little by little, opportunities grew from different corners of the building and although I didn’t realise at the time, a twenty five year career in creative freelancing had just tapped me on the shoulder to introduce itself. My confidence had been restored.

I moved up to production assistant and one of my first jobs was trying to make the internet work. 

Tricky things those 56k modems.

In the years that followed, I took many amazing creative jobs, met many wonderful people and acquired many valuable skills. 

And nine times out of ten I said yes to a project when I didn't have the faintest clue how to achieve the desired result. I leaned in, learned everything I could and hung on for dear life:

  • Teaching animation workshops
  • Editing films for directors
  • Making my own animated films for tv and festivals
  • Working in post production and vfx for tv companies
  • Working as third assistant director on independent films
  • Doing social media marketing for creative agencies
  • Exhibiting artwork in Top London galleries including Tate Modern
  • Freelancing in Editorial Graphic Design & Illustration
  • Working as a senior art director in the film industry
  • Working as a visuals coordinator for music festivals
  • Working as a featured artist in Hollywood blockbuster movies
  • Writing and illustrating children’s pop up books for a major UK children’s publisher
  • Creating graphics, advertising and content marketing for London bars and clubs
  • Producing branding and illustration for The Orient Express
  • Product photography for stationery and food magazines
  • Running a successful Print on Demand business
  • Digital Marketing for theatre companies
  • Designing, filming and creating online courses and membership programmes for artists
  • Public speaking on creativity
  • Writing art exams for national awarding bodies
  • Designing fridge magnets for my mum

It wasn't easy. I didn't have all the answers by a long shot. For every three times I succeeded, I probably failed at ten. But I figured it out along the way and it was safe to say I'd turned a pretty big corner, one I never thought I would.

I finally had the things in my bag that made sense and no one could ever take it and hide it from me in a random locker ever again.

This genie would never go back in the bottle...

In full director mode 

Working with Matt Smith on The Crown 

Art directing a pilot for children's TV

'Do or do not. There is no try.'
Yoda - The Empire Strikes Back

Alongside my freelance career, I became an art and design lecturer, at the same college I once struggled at as a student. 

I entered the job with a determination to always be there for my students, to always support them and give them the very best chance of success. 

For 23 years, I ignored the curriculum as best as I could and I mentored thousands of students in how to tell their creative story, brand themselves effectively and design the creative career of their dreams.

I introduced the hero’s journey in just about everything I taught as a way of producing a framework for personal achievement, creative fulfilment and success.

So thank you Joseph Campbell, you remain to this day, my hero.

I saw Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orio- er, no that's a lie.

I helped to recreate Star Wars being out of cardboard boxes and dustbins, giant mythical creatures designed from plastic cups,  entire films reduced to 1 minute puppet shows and an endless stream of lives transformed.

I've been able to take all of this experience and create a hybrid freelance career where I offer videography and digital marketing support to clients, as well as support other creators to get to where they want to be.

Directing the Galactic Cardboard Empire

Where I am Today

Blogging and digital marketing with Simon Wild

After two decades working in freelance design the visual arts, i am no focussed on creating work which focusses on immersion and new technologies. My site is a growing resource to help others find their visual storytelling voice, whether that's through Generative AI image making, filmmaking or experimental video .