Take this Totoro drawing class from Studio Ghibli

You don’t even have to leave your bedroom to do it!

by Douglas Greenwood
15 May 2020, 12:31pm

Still from My Neighbour Totoro.

Sorry but, at this point, we are all desperately grasping on to wonder and magic wherever we can find it. We’re revisiting childhood classics, getting lost in the cutesy capitalist hellscape that is Animal Crossing, and are picking up the hobbies we haven’t fully engaged with since we were 10 years old. Life is hard as shit right now, so why wouldn’t you do something that would lift your spirits? Just promise us that you won’t start riding a scooter if you’re over the age of 13, okay?

Why not spend your spare time mastering your drawing skills instead? Whether you’re a dab hand with a pen and paper or completely inept, you can now get lessons from one of the world’s masters of animation: Studio Ghibli’s Toshio Suzuki.

In a video posted on YouTube earlier this month, the producer, animator, and former head of Studio Ghibli showed us how to draw the titular cuddly sprite from the 1988 classic My Neighbour Totoro. Painted with simple, elegant brush strokes, it’s a drawing designed to be easily replicated by the schoolchildren of his hometown of Nagoya, Japan, which is currently in lockdown. We’re letting you know it’s okay to be a little older and taking part in the fun too.

The secret to getting it right, according to Toshio, is all in his big, wide eyes. "This is something you can do at home,” he says. “Everyone, please draw pictures.”

Who knows? Maybe you’ll soon discover your new talent is recreating the cutesy characters of the esteemed animation house. Does anyone know if that job is still going?

My Neighbor Totoro