Owen Yoshino

Owen Yoshino

Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa alumnus Owen Yoshino, who grew up in Japan and Lahaina, Maui, has certainly lived by that motto.

At Walt Disney Imagineering, he has designed for rides and attractions such as Space Mountain and the Disneyland 50th Anniversary Celebration, in addition to Themed Entertainment Association award-winning projects such as Mission: Space, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buccaneer Gold at Disney Quest and Millennium Village at Epcot.

It was the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa that initially provided the path to Disney. “The support that UH Mānoa gave to the Disney Imaginations program that really gave me the opportunity to connect with the company,” said Yoshino.

Yoshino participated in this highly competitive program and came in second place in the nation with his ride concept Dreamspell created with students from the College of Architecture and the College of Engineering. It landed Owen a six month internship in the graphic design department of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Yoshino says that, “One of the great things about UHM and the fine arts program is that there are two paths, one focused on style and visuals and the other focused on the conceptual. I took the conceptual path and I was so grateful to the instructors who pushed us to think about what we were trying to express.”

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Yoshino and son collaboration

Owen Yoshino excitedly shows off his young son’s scribbles which he turns into amazing works of art every day. “I bought my son an easel for his first birthday. Half a year later, he started drawing on it using crayons. I’ve been embellishing his scribbles by drawing over them, interpreting his lines with my imaginations. We’ve been doing this collaborative art for almost two years now, creating more than 400 unique pieces which I’ve been posting (almost daily) on Instagram.”

Read the full story on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Alumni website for more about Yoshino.

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