Laura Emel Yilmaz
John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts
Laura Yilmaz is a Los Angeles-based animator and animation director, specializing in traditional hand-drawn 2D and mixed media work. She holds a BA in Japanese Literature from Harvard University and an MFA in Animation & Digital Arts from the University of Southern California. Laura has worked on a number of notable commercial, television, and music video projects at various studios around town including Buck, ShadowMachine, Royale, Mirada, and Logan. Her credits include clients like Google, Facebook, Apple, and McDonald’s, as well as the Katy Perry “Roar” music video, which makes her a god among her 12-year-old cousins. She is currently a lead animator at Buck in downtown LA.
Laura’s personal work has been screened in festivals around the globe, including Animafest Zagreb, TAAFI, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Animation Block Party, and the Seattle Film Festival. Her MFA thesis film “Places Other People Have Lived” was awarded Best Animated Film of the 2012 Black Maria Film Festival, a Spirit Award at the 2012 Seattle Film Festival, and was a featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick and semi-finalist in the 2012 Vimeo Festival Awards.
Her recent directorial work includes a series of animated shorts for Comedy Central’s “Triptank,” and the music video for “Dum Ditty Dumb” by J-pop artist Crystal Kay, which received a Vimeo Staff Pick and was featured on Fuse TV.
Outside of USC, Laura has taught animation courses and workshops at Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy; California State Summer School for the Arts in Valencia, California; Immediate Justice in Los Angeles, California; Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska; and Amagezi Gemaanyi Youth Association in Kampala, Uganda.