Meet Our Alumni

Our 50,000-plus Academy alumni are some of the most successful and sought-after professionals in art and design today. From award-winning ad campaigns and blockbuster games, to top grossing movies and innovative architectural designs, their work can be found in every corner of the globe. Here’s a small sampling of some of their recent accomplishments.

BFA Animation & Visual Effects / Animation Director at Digital Domain

Jan Philip Cramer

Avatar, Deadpool, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Homecoming: Jan Philip Cramer’s impressive professional career includes some of the highest-grossing feature films ever made. If you think luck had anything to do with his success in the animation industry, Cramer will be quick to set you straight. “No matter who you are, you have to put in the time,” says Cramer. “Do the work, and greatness will come.” Read More

Jason Sperling

MFA School of Advertising, Executive Creative Director for Reality Labs at Facebook

Jason Sperling is both driven and humble. His passion for doing meaningful work has made him one of the bright creative lights in the advertising world—and in worlds well beyond. The award-winning ad phenom, author, philanthropist, Tedx Speaker, Distinguished Alumni Award winner, and AdWeek list-maker believes that, “what makes you great is not luxuriating in your own successes, but using the successes of others to push you to do even better.”

Mark Cofer

MFA Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media

Mark Cofer never thought he’d make a living with music. Today, some of the biggest films feature his musical compositions. See what it took to transform this music lover into an accomplished film composer. Read more…

Emre Ekmekci

MFA Game Development – 3-D Art / Sucker Punch Productions

Senior character artist Emre Ekmekci brings his talents to the PS4-exclusive Ghost of Tsushima. Read more…

Ariel Jeong

BFA Industrial Design / Product Open Innovation Designer at Hyundai CRADLE

As an online student, Ariel Jeong went all in. She took full advantage of every advantage the online program provided her, including workshops, guest speakers, competitions. See how her hard work paid off. Read more…

Jacob Pepper

MFA Advertising / Creative Director at Pandora

An ardent hip-hop fan and overall lover of music, Jacob Pepper says working for Pandora has been a dream job. But notes that achieving his vision takes problem-solving skills, organization, and creativity. Read more…

Sadie Williams

BFA Graphic Design / Designer at Airbnb. Founder and Art Director, Greta Magazine

Sadie Williams created Greta Magazine as part of a class project. In 2018, the magazine was recognized by Graphic Design USA, and in 2020 it received a silver Design Editorial award from Graphis. Read more…

Ruby Wang

MFA Visual Development / Concept Artist at Flight School Studio

As art director on the award-winning VR Film Lutaw, Ruby Wang had the daunting task of managing a team from all over the world to create a consistent, believable, immersive, focused, virtual world. Read more…

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A Fashion Journalism Story: Styling People with Disabilities

BFA Industrial Design / CEO & ECD at Enlisted Design

Beau Oyler

Beau Oyler is a passionate design entrepreneur. His designs have received every major design award including Red Dot, Spark, IDEA, TheDieline, Wired Editor’s Choice, Best of Show at Dwell on Design, and more. His designs are defined by their beauty, intuitiveness, and usefulness. They are pleasing to the eye and a joy to use, and they impact people in tangible, lasting, and positive ways. Watch the video to see what makes Beau tick. Read More

Putri Tanjung

BA Communications & Media Technologies / Founder at Creativepreneur Event Creator

Dubbed a “game changer” by the Indonesian press, Putri Tanjung has taken the business world by storm. Her talk show and creative agency, Creativepreneur, has engaged over 60,000 millennial entrepreneurs. Read more…

Scott Borrero

MFA Photography / Director of Photography, LE TOTE

Scott Borrero has shot for Nike, Jeep, Nike, AT&T, Toyota and more. He is winner of AdoramaTV’s Top Photographer with Nigel Barker. He credits hard work and the Academy for his success as a photographer. Read more…

Jason Jeon

MFA Landscape Architecture / Environmental Designer at Code Four

Landscape Architecture student Jason Jeon took Game Dev classes to learn virtual reality. For his thesis, Jeon presented his detailed, realistic site in VR. He is landscape architecture’s future. Read more…

Kyle Kernan

School of Motion Pictures and Television / Producer at Half Moon Films, LLC

Acting, directing, editing, special effects, producing, makeup—Kyle Kernan has done it all. His 13 producer credits include Pas a vendre, named Best Foreign Short, 2016 Burbank International Film Festival. Read more…

Nina Fabunmi

MFA Fine Art / Visual Artist and Part-Time Art Teacher at San Francisco Unified School District

Nina Fabunmi studied real estate in Nigeria. But what she really wanted to do is paint. A series of paintings for Lagos, Nigeria earned her enough money to pursue her MFA in fine art at the Academy. Read more…

Dawn Carlson and Carol Perry

School of Interior Architecture & Design / Owners and Principal Designers at MAS Design, LLC

Dawn Carlson and Carol Perry met in a materials class at the Academy, where they gained the skills to have their designs featured in Vogue, Elle Décor, Better Homes and Gardens, CA Home + Design, and more. Read more…

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Jordan McCracken-Foster

MFA Game Development

Game Development alum is enjoying his new role as Character Designer/Visual Development Artist at DreamWorks, in their TV Animation Department. Read more…

Yi-Hsien Wang

M.Arch Architecture

Architecture graduate Yi-Hsien Wang won the 2021 People’s Choice Award at the AIA SF 2021 Design Awards for her design of the new Outer Mission Ramp Library. Read more…

Kristen Sanzari

MA Animation

Mattel Senior Designer Kristen Sanzari uses the knowledge and skills she learned at Academy of Art’s animation school to create unique, engaging toys for the popular children’s toy mogul, and other well-known brands like Disney and Pixar. Read more…

Tosin Coker

MFA Motion Pictures & Television 

Alum and multi-awarded, international filmmaker Tosin Coker talks about his experiences in film school, his greatest fears coming into it, and support he received that helped him prepare for life after school and, eventually, success. Read more…

Elham Sepehrjou

BFA Animation / Visualization Artist

Elham Sepehrjou left far away from home to pursue her animation degree at Academy of Art University. For her, being able to work on major Hollywood franchises like Spider-Man and Avengers made it worth it. Read more…

David Markowitz

BA Illustration / Lead Animator at Jam City

David Markowitz’s journey from Navy veteran with no formal creative training to professional animator for the likes of Jam City, Comedy Central, and Disney is a testament to hard work and skills training. Read more…

Ben Ellis

BFA Menswear Design / Fashion Designer

Ben Ellis is a Fashion Designer, Instructor at Academy of Art University and the Founder and Creative Director of ALIEN.ELEVEN, an Oakland-based socially and environmentally conscious fashion brand. Read more…

Jacqueline Rabot

BFA Fashion Design / Co-founder of Rabôt

Many companies say they care. Rabôt walks the talk—making silk colorblocked pillows from scraps for the East L.A. Women’s Shelter, and using eco-friendly fabrics, natural dyes, and deadstock fabrics. Read more…

Shiyu "Skylar" Li

MFA Acting / Executive Director at Five Elements Theater Company, LLC

Skylar Li’s work at the Theater for the New City in Manhattan’s East Village combines her acting, directing, and teaching skills to help build bridges between her native Chinese and American cultures. Read more…

Kyle Yugawa

MFA Web Design & New Media / Product Design Lead at VSCO

The Academy improved Kyle Yugawa’s ability to generate creative ideas to solve design problems, and gave him the tools to execute them. Since graduation, he applies those skills to his professional work. Read more…

Kelsey Martin

BA Game Design / Character Concept Artist, Velan Studios, Inc.

Before earning her game design degree, Kelsey Martin leveraged connections she made through networking and skills acquired from taking classes across disciplines to land a full-time job at Telltale Games. Read more…

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