Island Pacific Academy alumna Erica Machida ‘15 has always had a passion for drawing, and she has turned it into an international career in animation.
“Ms. Sabine would support me a lot when she would see me drawing in class,” shares Machida. “She always said to remember her when I got famous – haha! Her consistent support of my goals always stuck with me!”
Machida may not be famous yet, but she already boasts an impressive creative portfolio, including her most recent work as an animator on the Netflix series Carmen Sandiego. After earning her degree in animation in 2019 from Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada, Machida landed a coveted position at WildBrain Studios (then DHX Media) in Vancouver where she animated on the third season of Carmen Sandiego. She also went on to work on season four, which just released on Netflix.
It was her impressive 4th year thesis film at Sheridan College that helped her secure her first position with a studio. “Musubi”, her short 2D animated film is an homage to her childhood in Hawaiʻi and is an action-adventure with menehune, mo’o, and musubi that took her a full year to complete.
“The goal of the film was to relive my childhood through the children’s books I grew up with and the forests and all that,” shared Machida. “It makes me happy and nervous for other local kids to see it, but I definitely want more representation for the islands in media.”
Machida is now back in Hawaiʻi, having returned soon after the start of the pandemic and before the US-Canada border closed down. She is currently working remotely for Six Point Harness as a freelance storyboard artist. She is no stranger to the Los Angeles animation studio as she completed a summer internship with them during her third year of college, where she worked on a season of the science documentary Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which aired on National Geographic.
Machida is happy to be back home and stays connected with the friends she made at Island Pacific Academy.
“I met a lot of great friends at IPA that I still keep in touch with today,” shared Machida. “Even after many of us left for school, we continue to meet up and it’s almost like nothing has changed. I was at IPA from second grade all the way up to graduation, and I’m grateful to have met so many awesome people during my time there.”
See more of her work on her website.