Laura Yilmaz

Laura Yilmaz profile picture

Senior Lecturer, Communication Design School of Design Innovation


Laura Yilmaz is an animation and art director specializing in 2D motion design and mixed media work. She has worked with a number of the most prestigious animation and motion design studios in her former home of Los Angeles, including Buck Design, Gentleman Scholar, Brand New School, ShadowMachine, Royale, and Logan. While heading the 2D animation department at Buck LA, she art directed the 2016 branded short film “Seed Matters” for the Clif Foundation, winner of the 2017 A-List Awards (silver), 2017 Telly Awards (silver), and shortlisted for the 2016 Clio Awards. Other client credits include Google, Facebook, Apple, Nike, and McDonald’s, as well as prominent nonprofit organizations such as the San Diego Zoo and Childline. She supports up-and-coming motion design talent as a contributing judge in the student category of Motionographer’s annual Motion Awards.

Laura’s personal work has screened at festivals around the globe, including Animafest Zagreb, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Animation Block Party, TAAFI, and the Seattle International Film Festival. Her films and music videos have garnered top awards at the renowned Black Maria Film Festival, Seattle Film Festival, Boston Film Festival, and have received multiple Vimeo Staff Picks. In addition to her work in film and animation, Laura is an avid indie game enthusiast and tinkerer. She has been a participant in the Swedish indie game accelerator Stugan, and serves as a Visual Art Jurist for the IGF Awards at the annual Game Developer’s Conference (GDC).

Alongside her professional career, Laura is an enthusiastic arts educator and former adjunct faculty in the Division of Animation & Digital Arts at the University of Southern California. She has taught animation courses and workshops at Studio Art Center 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. Laura holds an MFA in animation from the University of Southern California, and an AB in Japanese language & literature from Harvard University.

Research Interests

  • 2D Animation
  • Experimental mixed-media filmmaking
  • Animated documentary
  • Interactive narrative
  • Independent games
  • Motion design