by giuliamutti

Mapo Mapos, aka Mauro Carraro, is an animator and film maker based in Geneva, Switzerland, where he currently works for Nadasdy Film. Originally from Italy, Mauro has art in his genes. The grandson of a sculptor and the son of an architect, he has studied Art since his years at high school and became interested in animation in his early 20s, although he has always been keen on painting, photography, graphic art and illustration.

After graduating in Visual Design from the Polytechnic of Milan and completing a master in 2D and 3D Animation in Turin, Italy, Mauro moved to Arles, a town in the French region of Province, where Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh spent the years prior his death. And it was here that, due to the inability of French people to pronounce his first name, Mauro started using his nickname of Mapo.

During his second year at Supinfocom Arles where he studied to become animation director, Mauro was among the directors of Muzorama, a delightfully creative short 3D animation film inspired by the work of Parisian illustrator Muzo. During his final year Mauro worked on Matatoro, a beautifully made film about bull fighting that combines traditional animation and 3D technology.


Mauro’s characters don’t normally speak, but make some sort of guttural sounds on a background music. However, the project Mauro is currently working on will include some dialogues. Hasta Santiago – this is the title of Mauro’s latest work which he began in January this year – is an autobiographic project about his two month road trip to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The protagonist of Hasta Santiago is Mauro’s alter ego. Although he never does any close ups on his character, Mauro said he looks very much like himself and will be dub him using his own voice when speaking French.

What impressed me the most about Mauro’s work is the fact that he draws every single move and change his characters and scenes make. When he told me that he is planning on making an 11 minute film by December, the only thing I could think of was the endless amount of sketches and drawings he is going to make! At the moment Mauro is working alone as he is still in the pre-production stage, but he will be helped by other animators and colorists as the project continues. He explained to me that one needs roughly three years to make a short film: one year and a half just to seek the funding and another one and a half year to make the actual film.


Although Mauro is a loyal supporter of traditional animation, he can’t help but use technology at some point. Among the softwares he uses, Mauro named the Adobe packet, including Photoshop, After Effects and Illustrator. He also uses Adobe Premiere for the editing and 3D Studio Max for the modeling, animation and rendering. For Hasta Santiago, however, he is only using After Effects as it is entirely hand drawn. Mauro said it’s mainly, though not only, about practicing, but that there’s a lot of theory behind all his work as well.

The winner of several festivals and competitions around the world, Mauro, at the age of 27, has the best years of his career in front of him. So aspiring animators, treasure all his tips and you may one day become the next Mapos.

Photos: with permission from the artist.

Videos: vimeo.