Local digital media group wants to keep creatives in Honolulu

Hawaii Association of Media Arts wants to unite local creative talent with Hawaii's digital media and interactive entertainment industry professionals.


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Hawaii Association of Media Arts held its first meeting in September 2012 at Nextdoor in downtown Honolulu.

Photo: ed white, hawaii association of media arts

A local group of digital media producers want to connect creative people in Honolulu with likeminded talent.

Hawaii is a beautiful place, but it can be hard to make a living as a creative type. Tired of losing illustrators, graphic designers, web gurus and more, the Hawaii Association of Media Arts, also known as HAMA, formed last year in an attempt to keep creative talent here.

“We do a lot of great work in our industry, but little of it is known about here in Hawaii,” says Todd Robertson, who is HAMA’s founding member and president of Honolulu-based Hyperspective Studios. “A lot of the work we are doing are actually exported.”

Robertson and HAMA’s members hope to change that. The group plans to meet on Wednesday at the state Capitol to unite folks around town—film producers, web and app developers, videographers and more—with other industry professionals.

“We want to showcase the work and get the legislator to understand that there are a lot of people doing this type of work, incredible work, really high quality exportable work that people outside of Hawaii will get really excited about,” says Craig Crisler, who is also one of HAMA’s founders.

HAMA is supporting legislation to help grow local businesses within the industry. State lawmakers are considering legislation called the HI Growth Initiative, appropriating $20 million to fund the development of entrepreneurial businesses in Hawaii.

Full disclosure, as a magazine, we’re also interested in keeping creative types in town­—so they can help make our magazine look great. Our new design director Erik Ries is a member of HAMA himself and is actively looking for local freelance illustrators, photographers and designers.

“There are a lot of people out there who know about new media, but we don’t know where to find them right now,” says Ries. “It’s kind of word of mouth, so we really want to promote that industry and keep the ones who are here.”

Hawaii’s entrepreneurs are gathering at the state Capitol, 415 S. Beretania St., from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. for Entrepreneurs' Day. For more information about HAMA, visit hamahui.org.

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