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Community Spotlight

Lucea Spinelli’s beautiful animations are haunting

We’re lucky to have the incredibly talented Lucea Spinelli on staff. Between managing the cats of MFAVN she manages to produce some much talked-about work. We asked her a few questions about her latest project. Prep your eyes for some treats.

You have a distinct style, not only in your use of animation, but in the subject matter, lighting, composition. What are your influences?

In large part my work is motivated by a desire to capture things we can’t see, so learning about the early “spirit photographers” such as William Mumler and William Hope had a big influence on me. Because ghosts don’t appear in reality, part of creating a good ghost is to understand how ghosts appear in people’s imaginations. Understanding this informs a lot of where and what I choose to shoot.


Please explain how you started using animation in your work. Was there a moment where you knew you were onto something special?

After playing around with some light photographs I accidentally fired the shutter and captured myself walking up the stairs with the lights trailing behind me. This inspired me to make it look like the lights were walking up the stairs on their own. From there the idea to make it into a stop animation clicked.


Your series of ads for MFAVN benefited from your style of whimsical visuals that pull you in and make you want to make something yourself. Tell us how the project got started, what the goals were and how you tackled it.

The big challenge of advertising for MFAVN is how to communicate the idea of narrative without favoring any medium over the other, in a few frames or less. After messing around with a couple ideas, applying light painting techniques to books stood out as being able to achieve these goals in the simplest most evocative way.


What’s next for you? Are you going to keep going down the path where touches of animation complement the piece? How about a full-on animated short? Yes, I’m leading…

I feel I am only at the beginning! Though a fully animated short may be a bit father down the road, I’m looking to start incorporating music into my work. Light and sound are very similar, so I think they would make a good pair.

Thanks for talking to us, Lucea! Check out more of her work in the gallery below. Click on the little dots to navigate. And you can see the latest on her site.

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