Lynn Tomlinson, M.F.A.


Associate Professor & Assistant Chair

Lynn Tomlinson

Contact Info

Media Center, Room 201B
Monday, 12:30-2 p.m.
By appointment on Zoom


M.F.A., Interdisciplinary Studio Art, Towson University

M.A., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

M.A., Art Education, The University of the Arts

B.A., English, Cornell University

Areas of Expertise


Fulldome and Immersive Media

Visual Effects

Film and Media History and Theory

Digital Storytelling


Lynn Tomlinson is an award-winning director and animator. Her short films have screened around the world at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery, The Pompidou Center, and at prestigious international film festivals including Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. She is known for her unique clay on glass animation technique, animating moving clay paintings that transform and shift perspectives. Her current work explores environmental themes, often imagining how non-human beings might view humanity's impact. For her body of work, she received the 2022 Baker Art Award for Film/Video, and the 2021 Edison Innovation Award from the Thomas Edison Film Festival. During her career she has received several Independent Artist Awards from the state arts councils of Maryland, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Beginning in the late 1990s Tomlinson’s animated spots appeared on PBS Kids, Sesame Street, and MTV.

As Associate Professor of Electronic Media and Film, Tomlinson has developed and taught courses in creative production and media studies, including Expanded Animation, Visual Effects, Media Analysis: Contemporary Animated Shorts, and Non-Fiction Storytelling. Before joining the EMF faculty in 2014, Tomlinson taught at Maryland Institute College of Art, Cornell University, and the University of the Arts. As a visiting artist she has presented her work at the University of Michigan, Bennington College, Tainan National University of the Arts, Pratt Institute, Bowling Green State University, Cornell University, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of the Arts, Park School of Baltimore, and Interlochen Arts Academy, among other schools and colleges. She received a prestigious teaching award from the University Film and Video Association, and two Innovation in Teaching awards from TU. She regularly serves as a mentor for students interested in animation and the hand-crafted, magical side of media creation, research, and scholarship.

Research Interests

Actively involved in research and creative inquiry that expands the definition of animation, Tomlinson recently received TU School of Emerging Technology seed funding to work towards developing an interdisciplinary fulldome production lab to work with students to create immersive videos for Towson University’s planetarium. In 2018, she received a COFAC CoLab grant for AquaDome (2018), a collaborative fulldome film created by over 100 students and faculty participants. In the spring of 2020 she released Reverie de Giverny, a 360º VR film inspired by Monet’s immersive water lilies paintings, supported by a Towson University Faculty Development and Research Committee Grant. Tomlinson’s other new media projects include Kendra’s Bay (2016), an animated digital puppetry performance at Light City Baltimore. Curatorial projects include Sister Cities Animated (2019) and the Cross-Pollinated: Hybrid Art Abuzz (2015) exhibition in TU’s Center for the Arts gallery. Tomlinson’s writing has appeared in Animation Journal; Animation Practice, Process, and Production; Con a De Animación and HyperRhiz: New Media Cultures.

In the News

Lynn Tomlinson was featured in the news story “Animating outside the box,” about her exploration of immersive animation and plans for a full-dome media production lab at TU. 

Research Projects

illustration person in a storm

Ten Degrees of Strange

Tomlinson directed and animated the music video “Ten Degrees of Strange” (2021)  to accompany the lead single from Lost in the Cedar Wood, an album by British musician/actor Johnny Flynn and writer Robert Macfarlane. Accolades include: Vimeo Staff Pick, Official Selection Annecy International Animation Festival, Best Commissioned Film 2022 Ottawa International Animation Festival, Best Commercial Film at ASIFA East Festival. 

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elephant illustration

The Elephant’s Song

The Elephant’s Song (2018), the true story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, set to a rollicking tune by Sam Saper and performed by the band Trucker Talk with vocals by Deletta Gillespie and Brooks Long, has screened in over 30 festivals around the globe, from Hollywood to Hiroshima, Ann Arbor to Athens, receiving 18 awards, including: Global Insights Stellar Award from Black Maria Film Festival, Short of the Week, Vimeo Staff Pick, and broadcast on the ARTÉ channel. 

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house sinking in water illustration

The Ballad of Holland Island House

The Ballad of Holland Island House (2014), the true story of the last house on a Chesapeake Bay island slowly sinking into the rising seas, is set to a ballad with Tomlinson’s lyrics performed by the folk duo Anna & Elizabeth. First Prize Winner of Greenpeace’s “Postcards from Climate Change,” included in the Museum of Modern Art’s education department’s permanent collection, and released theatrically as part of the Animation Show of Shows.

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Courses Taught

  • EMF 380: Visual Effects I 
  • EMF 487: Visual Effects II
  • EMF 475: Film and Media Analysis – Contemporary Animated Shorts
  •  EMF 476: Expanded Animation