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Meet Alexa Elizalde

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexa Elizalde.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Growing up, I’ve always been interested in animation and toys, but it seems to me that I’ve never grown out of it. I’ve always loved drawing and gifting doodles to my friends in elementary school. So, it would make sense that I would want to pursue a career as an artist. However, when I got to high school, my outlook changed and I was so certain (as certain as a teenager could be) that I was going to pursue a career in acting and theatre. After I graduated high school, I was having doubts whether or not being an actress would work out for me. I then made the decision to jump from a very competitive industry into another one, animation. I spent two years getting an Associates in Fine Art at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona to build a basic understanding in drawing, composition, and design. After that, I transferred to Art Center College of Design to build a portfolio for storyboarding. Again, I felt so sure of what I wanted to do, but after the first term, I realized I hated redrawing the same drawing over and over again, I realized that maybe storyboarding wouldn’t be the right career path. After that discovery, I pursued a journey into 3D modeling for CG animated films. Guess what happened next? I changed. Again. (To be fair, I’m only 20 something. How is it possible to choose what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I landed an internship as a sophomore at Hasbro to design toys for the Disney Princess team. This I believe was a catalyst in changing my career path into something I felt like was more for me. I fell in love with creating something that I knew was going to have an impact on a child’s life, even if it was in a small way like a favorite doll to play with. After my time at Hasbro, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern at Mattel for the DC Super Hero Girls team during my junior year. I’ve been interning at Mattel since and now I’m a senior. So, I guess you could say I really love making toys.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think the main challenge was battling with my internal self and thinking about what I really wanted out of a career. I think what I realized in my path as a designer was that I felt that I had more freedom to create and innovate in the toy industry than I would in the animation industry. For example, in animation, 9 times out of 10 I would be designing someone else’s idea or concept. In the toy industry, whether it would be for licensed toys or new IP, there’s so much more room to be a creative, put your own spin on things, and even pitch your own ideas.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
At the current moment, I am still interning at Mattel working in Dolls and New IP. I’m proud of how Mattel is a leader in the industry by adhering to ethical standards while also keeping up with trends and what kids and parents want.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My first time watching the Last Unicorn.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Caitlin Marie Walker

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