County: King County
Stefan Gruber is an experimental animator and performance artist. He creates hand-drawn, digitally finished experimental animation shorts. He is animation department founder and teacher at The Nova Animation Project and the founder of Seattle Experimental Animation Team (SEAT).
Stefan received 2013 GAP Award funding to offset living expenses in the two year process to create the second part of his animated short series, Both Worlds. The series uses both hand-drawn techniques, as well as digital, and will premiere at Open Flight studios in 2015.
Stefan received 2006 GAP Award funding to help defray expenses while working on his film project, Petting Zoo. A seven-minute animation piece built using hand-drawn animation techniques both on paper and directly painted into a digital format. With each cell hand-drawn (in both formats), the artist estimates it will take two years to complete the film.
Stefan also received a 2001 GAP Award.
As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Stefan met with 14 teenage filmmakers from the Swinomish tribe north of Seattle. They first talked about texting for 10 minutes, then shut down their cell phones, watched several shorts of his animations and did Q&A in between. Stefan shared his archive of hand-drawn frames and they chatted about the labor and patience involved. Also discussed was early use of the gel-pen medium and what kind of animation the kids have made. Some brainstorming occurred about what kind of program they might like to have on the reservation. This was a wonderful connection to make and the beginning of a new partnership between Stefan and Native Lens, a program which supports the growth and expression of Indigenous youth through digital media making, which hosted the event.