by Inigo del Castillo in New Events on Friday 14 March 2014


We’re big fans of this new initiative by one of our favourite illustrators, award-winning graphic novelist Rafael Grampá. Absolut recently teamed up with Grampá in a project called ‘#NextFrame’ that allows him the opportunity to push the boundaries of his work by creating his first 3D animation, titled Dark Noir. The videos below give a fascinating perspective on the process. We were captivated.

#NextFrame was an ongoing demonstration with Grampá, who shared the frame-by-frame drawings as the story progressed, unfolding a story created by the imaginations of many. After so much brainstorming, the finished product will premiere this Saturday at MADE, a culture and creative space by Absolut in Berlin. If you’re in the city, get along and check it out. This will be one of the cultural events of the year.

It’s always been Grampá dream to create an animated movie. He says: ‘I am always looking for ways to transform my work. With Next Frame, I have a chance to do something I’ve never done before by co-writing the story with users online, and also by turning the illustrated story into my own animated film. It’s a very exciting project, and I am happy to be working with a brand that allows me to try new things in the way I work’.

LAEM: What was your initial thought when Absolut first approached you do to this project with them, considering you’ve mostly worked on comics and graphic novels, and now you’re working with a vodka company?
In art, there has always been the figure of the patron. It could be the independent artist himself, or a publishing-house, a recording company, a gallery, and so on. In this case, the patron is Absolut. In this project, I create a story, characters and I direct a short animation, which is completely my own work, with total creative control. Much more control than a publishing-house generally offers when they invite someone to write and draw one of their characters, which are the products of big conglomerates.

LAEM: What kind of ideas are you looking for: what qualities would make an idea stand out from the rest?
Ideas that go with the story and the world that I’ve created. It’s not the quality of the drawing but how much the idea fits with mine.

LAEM: Being an artist usually entails a lot of solitary work. How important are collaborations in your creative process?
I can say that there is nothing more inspiring than seeing thousands of people all over the world wanting to be part of your project.

LAEM: How does it feel that your first ever 3D animated film will be a product of many creative minds working together, and not just your own?
It’s like having a child with your blood and your surname but with shared custody.

LAEM: Did you already have an ending in mind for Next Frame, or is that up to your collaborators as well?
I can only find out if a story works if I have the ending. After I’ve created a good ending, I can begin to tell the story. This project was no different.

LAEM: As a multi-awarded graphic novel creator and writer, what’s your best advice for aspiring creatives?
Don’t wait for an invitation. Give yourself the best invitation you can think of, and make your ideas a reality.