Meet the artist bringing characters to life through the art of frame-by-frame animation.
Inspired by the people in the world around us, local artist Raymond Chiulli is creating hand-drawn and distinctive characters through 2d animation.
Creating digitally hand-drawn and distinctive characters is made even more mesmerizing through the art of frame-by-frame animation, a specialty of local artist Raymond Chiulli. His work is an inspiration for aspiring animators and makers alike, offering incredible insight into the intricate process of creating a character from the ground up. As a 2D animator, Ray's style and creative vision are captivating audiences everywhere with his eye-catching visuals and story-telling.
Get to know how Ray breathes life into his work through the painstaking process of drawing each individual frame. And you can often find Ray behind the counter at The Gallery in the Valley in downtown Geneseo, pen and digital drawing tablet in hand!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Ray! Also known as Ratchili. I’m a Geneseo native who grew up watching too many cartoons.
Describe your style of work. Why 2d animation, illustrations, and the creation of characters?
My style of work tends to be cartoony and expressive but with plenty of textures that keep things looking fun and organic. I gravitate towards 2D animation because of how it allows me to incorporate elements such as narrative, music, and acting into my art. I also just love the way art looks when it moves!
What is your creative process?
I’ll think of a theme I like for shirts or stickers (i.e. caffeine rat) and come up with a script for an animation that ties into it. If I like the idea and script enough, I’ll move forward with recording the voice lines and turning it into a full-fledged cartoon that pairs with physical items I’ve designed for sale. I find it helps to make the animations I make feel more tangible and the items I design feel more thematic and special.
How did you get into animation?
The internet flash animations of the early 2000s is what got me into animating. When watching animated films as a kid, you don’t really consider the possibility of being an animator since many of these films are produced by multimillion-dollar studios. However, when I first went on the world wide web as a child and saw that young people were making animations all by themselves in their bedrooms; it BLEW my MIND. Sure, these animations weren’t nearly as polished as full-fledged films, but it opened my eyes to what’s possible. Suddenly, I realized that I could take all these ideas, stories, and characters trapped in my mind and make them a reality.
Who/what are your inspirations?
I’m still mostly inspired by many of the talented artists and animators who rose to popularity online during the early-late 2000s; Namely David Firth, Yotam Perel, Zach Hadel, and Edd Gould. But I also find myself frequently inspired by the world around me and the crazy characters that occupy much of it.
Why LivCo? What drew you to the area?
As someone who grew up in Geneseo, I have a soft spot for it. Small communities like it have so much potential and so much good to share. I actually lived in NYC for a few years during college and as fun and as exciting as that was, I found it to be quite isolating. I’ve come to really appreciate the level of community places like LivCo can offer and it has been amazing seeing all the growth Geneseo has been making as of late. I want to continue to be a part of it and support all the wonderful small business owners that make this place so great!
Any upcoming projects or commissions you're excited about?
I’m the featured artist at The Gallery in the Valley in September, so anyone who wants to see me and my work in person should attend! I’m also currently working on two new animations to promote new shirts and hats I will be releasing in the near future.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Shop local! Support local! It makes the world a better place!