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Osian Efnisien & Dante Zaballa Poster Q+A!

‘Curious World of Animals’, the short film by Osian Efnisien and Dante Zaballa, was screened at Cardiff Animation Nights in May 2021. Now, the team are back with an even more incredible job: the branding of Cardiff Animation Festival 2022. We had a little chat with them about how they went about it.

Can you tell us who you are, what you do, and how you both first met?

Osian: Hellloo, my name is Osian! I’m an artist and I live in Wales!

Dante: Hi! I am an uneducated animator from Buenos Aires, Argentina, now based in Brooklyn, NYC. We met in Berlin, at Pictoplasma in 2013… nearly a million years ago!

Osian: I’d been invited to speak that year, and Dante had animated the festival’s main ident. We met at the after-party – I sat down next to a huge moving pile of swirling bits of paper, all covered in super-bright psychedelic drawings. Then a hand popped out of the pile, and then a head. “Hello, pleased to meet you!” it said. That was Dante.

Where did the original idea for the poster come from?

Osian: I’d been doodling suns for weeks (little smiley ones), and they gradually turned into black holes (little smiley ones). When I was asked to do the poster, it had to be suns or black holes (little smiley ones) having a big pink party!

I’m also massively into science and stuff – I don’t really understand it, but it relaxes me to read about it. I find it reassuring that there are people out there who apply their intellects to making sense of the universe. Artists work to the same end of course, but just end up muddying the waters even more! .... Fun!

Osian – As well as animating, you also create sculptures & jewellery. How do you decide what medium to use for an idea?

Osian: I go where an idea takes me. Each piece – be it a piece of jewellery, a gif or a sculpture – takes me somewhere. I quite often disappear down rabbit holes pursuing one idea or another, never to be seen again! I’ve got an awful memory for it! I’m like a goldfish! Like a goldfish in a rabbit hole! A distracted one! But I draw it all, make it into things, so it’s ok!

A screenshot from the animated short film 'Curious World of Animals'. The image shows simple drawings of several animals, including a black cat, a snake, a tiger, a zebra, a raccoon and a panda. They are all in bright colours on a bright pink background.

(Curious World of Animals, 2021)

We love your short film ‘Curious World of Animals’! What led to you collaborating on it? What did the process of coming up with the animal facts look like?

Thanks! We’d wanted to do something together for a while, and got the idea of making a documentary together using Osian’s animals as a starting point.

The idea was to do something where we could do whatever we wanted! Weird colours, shapes, odd story trajectories, anything went! I guess the only “rule” was that we both had to like what we were working on.

Dante – Your work has been in several animation festivals since 2012. What is your favourite thing about the animation festival scene?

Dante: Oh, well, I think there is a very interesting and supportive animation scene at the moment. I really enjoy attending festivals and being able to meet the creators and workers of the industry. There is a lot of passion behind every project and every festival. Being able to share experiences with colleagues is wonderful. And it is something I truly missed during these years of lockdown.

Do you have a favourite animated short? What is it?

Osian: I’m really into The Moomins at the moment. The Hungarian(?) fuzzy felt ones. They count, right?

Dante: Oh, it’s hard to choose one. I could say that any short film from Manabu Himeda draws a smile on my face.

Where can we see more of your work?

Osian: I don’t even know. On the internet sometimes. I have some Instagram accounts, which I use as a kind of diary to put things, to keep them safe. I have six followers – I read up about it on the internet and I think I am “shadowbanned”. I am human spam!! Ooh, and I have a website, but I’ve forgotten the password! You can buy my jewellery at the collector’s gallery in Brussels, and I have shows sometimes.

You can watch ‘Curious World of Animals’, and the 10 other films that were screened at the May 2021 Cardiff Animation Nights, at the Past Programme page on our website.


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