Dare to Excel: Maggie Westhoff

Posted 11/15/21

Warrenton senior Maggie Westhoff knows where she wants to go in life and is on the fast-track to get there. The aspiring artist and graphic designer is taking five college-level classes this year so …

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Dare to Excel: Maggie Westhoff

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Warrenton senior Maggie Westhoff knows where she wants to go in life and is on the fast-track to get there. The aspiring artist and graphic designer is taking five college-level classes this year so that she can more quickly get to studying what she wants to learn after high school.

Although she is most interested in the arts, Westhoff excels in all her classes, seeking out challenging courses where she can learn about different interesting topics. Westhoff plans to go to college, graduate a year early, and pursue a career in graphic design, eventually aiming to be an art director for a magazine or website.

“I would love to be a full-time artist, but realistically I know that I also need to make money to buy paint, so graphic design seems like a good fit,” Westhoff commented.

On the side, she has already turned her artistic interest into paid work, doing window and wall paintings for area businesses and creating tattoo designs that artists purchase from her. Many of Westhoff’s family members are tattoo artists, which she said provided her with an early interest in artistic expression.

Q: Is there a high school class you’re really interested in?
“I’m really interested in Spanish and Spanish culture. I’m going to Costa Rica and Panama next year as a class trip.”

Q: What class do you find challenging?
“Physics. I don’t have a problem with math, but applying the math to (physics) problems is really challenging. ... It’s one of my harder classes, but it’s the class I probably enjoy the most because it’s challenging.”

Q: Has anything helped you with that class?
“Just the teacher alone, Mr. Shaw. He stays after school a lot to help me with problems. It’s not something you can just Google and figure out.”

Q: Who is an important mentor for you?
“Probably Mr. Shaw. Whenever I find myself slacking, he’s the first one to comment on it. And then also (senior counselor) Ms. McDaniels. ... She’s helped find the happy medium of keeping my mental health up and keeping my school grades up.”

Q: How do you keep your work and school organized?
“I literally plan my whole day out from start to finish, with times on everything. My friends think I’m crazy for it, but I think it’s working. I have a very detailed planner at home where I write it all down.”

Q: What are your plans for college?
“I’ll attend St. Charles Community college for a year to get my gen-eds done. ... Then after that I’m going to transfer to Lindenwood and get my degree in graphic design there.”

Q: Do you have a favorite style of art to work in?
“My favorite medium would be oil paint, although I don’t use it much because it’s very expensive. You can come back to it two weeks later and it’s still wet for you to blend with.
“For style, I really like realism. That’s something people don’t expect from me when they look at me, but I really like realism with bold colors. That’s also what I’m best at painting.”

Favorite food: Pasta
Favorite show: “Impractical Jokers”
Favorite movie: “Land of the Lost”
Favorite music: Anything alternative
Favorite destination: Jasper, Arkansas

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