Posted by: Kathy Temean | January 28, 2023

Illustrator Saturday – Sophie Page

Sophie Page is an illustrator, designer, arts educator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, NY. Attended the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BFA in Illustration. She specializes in 3D sculptural illustration, imaging, and book arts. Sophie uses a unique set of materials and techniques to create images, products, and designs.

She has illustrated SHE SANG FOR THJE MOUTAINS before working on the art for STORY QUILT by Shannon Hitchcock. She taught art grade 5 through 12 for three years. During that time she won two consecutive Nation Education Awards from Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.


Note: May need to click the pictures below to enlarge and read the text.








Did you have a doll house when you were little? Could that be what drove your interest in creating 3D characters and their surroundings?

I really loved miniatures as a kid, particularly little plastic animals. For a while I carried around a realistic looking model tortoise everywhere I went. That might have been the beginning of my interest in minis and dioramas.

How did you get interested in sculpting and 3D art?

Whether it was play doh or ceramics at my local studio offering classes for children, I always loved playing with clay. When I was in my teens I started making dioramas and never stopped.

Did you always want to attend RISD?

I always knew I wanted to go to art school! I was very lucky that RISD was an option for me. I loved my time there.

Were you focused on 3D art while studying there?

Yes, in a self directed way. In the illustration department most of the studio classes focused on drawing and painting.

Did you take any illustrating classes while at RISD?

I took mostly illustration classes as it was my major. I also studied photography and ceramics.

What do you think helped develop your style?

A very difficult question to answer! I think any artist’s individual style is developed from numerous inspirations, experiences, influences, and sensibilities, manifest through countless hours of studio work.

When did you first see the potential to illustrated picture book using your 3d art?

At school, especially during thesis projects senior year. I always knew I wanted to illustrate picture books, but this was the first time I had the ability to see what that could look like using photographed dioramas.

Was Saving Granddaddy’s Stories: Ray Hicks, the Voice of Appalachia by Shannon Hitchcock your first picture?

Yes! I was very excited to have the opportunity.

How did that contract come your way?

I was tabling/exhibiting at the New York Art Book Fair in 2018 where I met designer and art director Faride Mereb (check out her amazing work here: who suggested me for the book. In addition to picture books I self publish zines/art books – Faride saw those and thought I would be a good fit for the Appalachian Storyteller series at Reycraft.

Did you know Shannon before that book?

No. We didn’t meet (in person anyway) till after the publication of our first two books. One interesting coincidence is that I actually have a connection to the Western NC (where all of our books take place, and where Shannon is based.) My partner is from there and I ended up spending a lot of time down there during the pandemic.

Do you have an agent? If so who and how long have you been with them?

As of right now I do not. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a few book projects on my own, but hope to collaborate with an agent in the future.

In April of 2021 your next book, She Sang for the Mountains: The Story of Jean Ritchie Singer Songwriter, Activist by Shannon Hitchcock came out. Did you work with the same editor or art director for this book?

Yes, same team for the entire series.

Do you do one project at a time or are you able to work on other creative projects, too?

When I am working on a book, that’s my sole focus till it’s done. 

In between books I do a bunch of other stuff!

How long did it take you to illustrated Story Quilts: Appalachian Women Speak by Shannon Hitchcock that was published on Sep 30, 2022?

Each of the books took about 4 months.

Do you think you and Shannon will work on another book in the future?

We are working on a new book right now! I’m not sure what the status is for public release or I would provide more info.

Would you illustrate a book for an author who wants to self-publish?

No. I took on a project like that in my early 20s and regretted it. An individual writer rarely has the budget to properly compensate an illustrator or the network to promote+distribute a title.

Have you done any illustrating for children’s magazines? Which ones?

Not yet. But I would love to!

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate your own children’s book?

Yes! I hope to begin pitching my own books soon.

Do you have a studio in your house? 

Yup, in my current housing situation I have the luxury of a desk setup for computer work and sketching (my thinking studio) and a separate area for everything else (clay, paint, collage, epoxy. My messy studio.)

Do you try to spend a specific amount of time working on your craft?

It’s not something I keep track of very well. I work on a piece until it’s done, but like everyone I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline the process. I have a habit of making things hard for myself and refuse to branch out much from traditional/analog art making techniques. 

Do you take pictures or research a project before you start?

Yes! Sometimes I’ll make a Pinterest board to have an easily accessible collection of reference images. For the Jean Ritchie book I read her biography “Singing Family of the Cumberlands” (which, fun fact, includes illustrations by Maurice Sendak!) and listened to her music a lot.

For Story Quilts I researched quilting techniques, patterns, and specific artists from the region. I felt that because I was referencing many specific quilts in the illustrations I ought to include a note with a list of quilters/artists who inspired me throughout.

Do you think the Internet has opened doors for you?

Yes and no. Social media seems like a blessing and a curse for artists these days. I love that the internet can allow artists who aren’t in the right place at the right time to gain exposure for their work. But we are also at the mercy of mysterious algorithms and ever changing platforms.

What do you think is your biggest success?

Story Quilts. I’m proud of that book.

Do you use Photoshop or Painter to touch up your illustrations?

For most of my book work I have to photograph different sections/details separately. So it’s really more of a collage. All of the forms + mark making in my work is analog, assembled and formatted digitally.

Do you own or use a graphic tablet?

My partner has one and I use it occasionally. Very convenient for sketches!

Do you have any career dreams that you want to fulfill?

To publish my own stories as author+illustrator! And I would love to have a solo show at a gallery someday.

What are you working on now?

A fourth book with author Shannon Hitchcock!

Do you have any material type tips you can share with us? Example: Paint or paper that you love – the best place to buy – a new product that you’ve tried – A how to tip, etc.

For anyone photographing their work I would recommend natural light/sunlight. Even the fanciest artificial lighting setup just isn’t the same.

Sophie, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and sharing your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Sophie using the following links:





Talk tomorrow,



  1. Gorgeous! I love the 3-D art! Thanks for sharing with us!


  2. I love the work in this series of books — both the writing and the illustrating. They are beautiful books!


  3. I loved this interview. I’m a BIG fan of these books–both the writing and illustrations. Thanks for the inside look behind the scenes. Sophie, I can’t believe it only takes you 4 months per book!


  4. Absolutely stunning ❤


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