Senior Paige Plagenz ('19) is an impassioned writer and visual artist, as well as a dedicated student in the IB Diploma Programme. At the age of 17, she published her first illustrated children's book Cookie Moon. We sat down with Paige to discuss her new book, her art, and where she finds inspiration.
Q: What inspired you to write a children's book specifically?
A: Well, back [in] Freshman year, I wrote a little story in my English writer's notebook for HFLC, and it was just for fun. Mrs. Orloff came to me and she saw it in my book and she was like, "This is really cute. I think you should maybe publish this." I got really excited about it, but I didn't really know how to publish or anything. So, a couple years later, I had a friend who—well my mom's friend—had published a book and so she kind of talked me through how to do that and that's how I did it.
Q: What was the publication process like for you?
A: The publication process was very long and it was pretty tedious. 'Cause like, in between each step, there would be a couple weeks or a month between when you would get back the next draft or whatever was happening. But it went pretty well, I'd say, overall.
Q: Do you plan to pursue art beyond your time in high school? If so, in what ways?
A: I definitely want to pursue art in the future. I'm hoping to go to art school and I want to major in illustration or animation, so either way. I think it would be really cool to publish more books in the future and do illustrations.
Q: What's your favorite medium to work in?
A: My favorite medium is definitely 2D colored pencil or pencil and graphite.
Q: Who or what inspires you most?
A: Well, my mom definitely encourages me a lot to do what I love and that's been inspiring.
Q: What advice would you give to any other high schooler trying to put their art out into the world?
A: I would say just do it. Push yourself to do it, even if you don't think you can, and try to find people who have already done the things that you're looking to do and just talk to them and don't be afraid to ask for advice.
Plagenz with her former English teacher Mrs. Orloff
Plagenz posing with two children with their copies of her book Cookie Moon