OSWEGO, NY Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Maggie Henry will celebrate her birthday in May.
But the big milestone in her life will occur in early March. That’s when audiences nationwide will see her name in the credits of a major motion picture.
“I will have some artwork in a movie, ‘Remember Me’ (coming out March 12). I worked with the art department, specifically the prop master and set designer, to create props for the main character’s (Robert Pattinson) artistic younger sister,” she explained. “These props are mostly pencil sketches that would be found in her sketchbook/bedroom/etc. There are a few scenes where my sketches may be in a closeup!”
She now has a whole new understanding of how many people it takes to get a film onto the big screen, she added.
“It was an exciting experience and March 12 can’t come soon enough!” she said. She can’t really tell anyone what she did or show them any drawings right now, she added.
Her friends want her to come and see the movie with them in Brooklyn, but she said her plans are still up in the air.
Her name will be listed in the “Special Thanks” part of the credits, she said.
“I’m really excited about that. I’ll probably watch the movie about a million times,” she said.
She was invited to come on the set during the making of the movie and see her work being set up. And, she met the star and the little girl who portrays the artist in the film.
The filmmakers gave her some general ideas of what type of art they wanted and allowed her to choose some others, she said.
“I had a lot of family members actually pose for me, and I’d superimpose their heads (with the stars’ features) on the bodies I drew,” she said.
There’s one ocean scene that looks an awful lot like Lake Ontario Ã¢â‚¬â€œ complete with seagulls, she added.
The movie also has another connection to Central New York.
“They needed a drawing on a napkin. There will be a closeup of a napkin, I think, that the girl is drawing on. I had to draw several stages of the drawing on like five or six different napkins. I got the napkins from a place in Pulaski,” she said.
A while later, the prop master called her, he couldn’t find the same style napkins and asked her to send some to him, the next day.
“I was in Brooklyn at the time. So, I had to call my mom and ask her to send it special delivery next day,” she said.
They were just the kind you pull out of a metal dispenser, but they had to be an exact match to the ones with the drawings on them, she explained.
Maggie graduated from Oswego High School in 2005 and went on to earn a BA degree in Communications Design: Illustrations from Pratt Institute. In 2006, she was recognized with an Outstanding Freshman award by Pratt at Munson Williams Proctor for best overall performance.
At the end of the (school) year, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn has people come in from the industry that view students’ works, she said.
“We have promotional things that they can pick up and take with them,” she said. “I lucked out, and they found me. Actually, I got the phone call on my last birthday, which was kind of cool.”
“They asked me to do a couple test pieces. It was between me and maybe two other people,” she continued. “I needed to adapt the artwork to look more like high school level because the character in the movie is about 12 and she’s supposed to be very talented. They needed not too sophisticated, but still well-drawn images; a little more raw than like I usually draw.”
She has been interested in art pretty much her entire life. When she was young, she’d draw on anything from newspapers to the sand along the lake shore.
When she was a first grader, she was introduced to painting through a class by Patricia Carson.
She is quick to credit her teachers for her success.
“I still strongly believe that without the help of the Oswego High School art teachers and the resources we had at OHS, I would not have gone in this direction,” she said, “I would love to do anything that would give back to the art department of Oswego High School.”
And, the feeling is mutual.
“Maggie Henry is one of the most talented artists that I have worked with during my 20 years at Oswego High School.Ã‚Â She possesses extraordinary natural ability, but just as importantly, motivation and focus,” said Melissa Martin, one of Maggie’s former teachers.Ã‚Â “Her creativity extended itself to every possible medium: drawing, painting, graphics, animation, ceramics and sculpture. There seemed to be no end to her abilities!”
It makes her feel good to win recognition, but, she has to challenge herself to do more artwork to continue to be successful, Maggie admits.
According to Martin, Maggie was awarded several Scholastic Art Awards, including a Best Graphic of Show that eventually went on to win a National Silver Key and the prestigious Fine Art Portfolio Gold Key.
Maggie also was awarded Best of Show in both the Sculpture and Fine art categories in the Annual Salmon River Oswego County Art Competition, she added.
“These are just a few of MaggieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s accomplishments,” Martin said. “I am very pleased to hear of MaggieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s continued success, but not at all surprised!”
During her high school career, Maggie was interested in computer graphics and design, but her focus shifted slightly during her college career.
“Oh yeah, that changed. I’m in illustration now,” she chuckled. “I realized that I wanted to do more painting and drawing and illustration kinds of stuff as opposed to a more experimental type of media.”
As for her style, she says she’s “all over the place.”
“I am currently working on two children’s books, both are about animals and nature (my favorite subjects)!” she said. “They’re different from paintings and editorial illustrations that I’ve done in the past. I go back and forth between traditional media and digital.”
She is collaborating with an author on the children’s books.
In 2006, she researched for historically accurate representations of characters for the book cover and inside pen and ink drawings for a young adult novel (Forgiven Warrior) written by Philip S. Ryan.
“I was approached by him, because I believe his son somehow heard of me in the high school,” she said. “It was kind of a neat little networking thing. That was enjoyable because it was historical and I got to research costumes and things for the Battle of Oriskany Falls, that time.”
She got to visit the historic site, which was kind of cool she says, “Because it was really close to where I went to school the first two years, (Munson Proctor in Utica).”
However, she has a few ideas for children’s books of her own and hopes to find someone to publish them someday.
“I love Oswego,” she said. “I’d like to do something someday that’s specific to Oswego.”
“It’s work. But it’s fun,” she says of her career. “It’s fun to get lost in a painting; and when your client sees it and loves it, you feel good about what you’ve done.”
As for her part in the movie, she says “I’m really looking forward to it. I still don’t believe it. Once I see it on the screen it will start to sink in.”
She never thought she’d be working on a movie, but “I knew I wanted to be an artist; always knew I wanted to be an artist somehow,” she said, adding her ideal job would be working for Pixar Animation Studios.