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Meet Ladin Kazman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ladin Kazman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ladin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. As a small child, I spent my time sitting on the floor, drawing and painting all day. I loved making my own picture books. I would staple a bunch of paper together and write the story of my book and illustrate it. Like all children, I watched cartoons on TV all the time. One day, I was seven years old, my mom was reading the newspaper and saw an article titled ’10 Movies Your Children Should Watch’ so she went and bought all the movies on the list. I can’t remember all of the movies we watched but one stuck with me: Spirited Away. Spirited Away was nothing like other animated shows and movies I watched before. I didn’t have a clue animation could have so much impact on people and touch on many important matters. This movie inspired me so much that, while I didn’t know back then, I decided to be an artist and a storyteller! We ended up buying all Hayao Miyazaki’s movies and watched them together. Ghibli movies influenced me a lot when I was growing up.

Every time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I would have a different answer. I remember I wanted to be an astronomer at one point. My indecisiveness came to an end in freshman year of high school. I became more invested in animation and I started doing some research on animation schools in France and the United States and found CalArts. As a shy, introverted kid I had a hard time in high school. I found comfort drawing when I came home. I was really excited and motivated to pursue my dream so I worked hard. I took my sketchbook wherever I went and drew everything I could see.

Now I’m soon-to-be a fourth-year student at CalArts and I’m so happy to be here. I’ve met so many amazing people and had so many valuable experiences. I’m excited to see where I will be heading next!

Has it been a smooth road?
I was very fortunate on my journey. My family and friends gave me a lot of support along the way. Yet, it was hard to adjust to a new country, leaving all the people I know. I struggled a lot and learned a lot. I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and got myself familiarized with a lot of different things and situations.

Also, being surrounded by so many talented and amazing people, I can’t help but compare myself to them. I doubt myself a lot and it affects me and my personal work negatively. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to fail and making mistakes is a big part of growing. I’m taking everything one step at a time and getting one step closer every day to where I want to be. I’ve been discovering my strengths and learning to appreciate myself.

Please tell us more about your art.
Currently, I’m an animation student. My focus is character design, but I also do illustrations, background design, animation and comics. I’m very interested in how people or animals move, act and react. My goal is to capture small moments in life. Like Miyazaki did to me, I want to have impact on people’s life through my art and storytelling.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Matt Herring

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