Humans of Appleton North: Sophie Plzak

Amara Neitzke, Contributor

Sophie Plzak is the type of soul that has lived a few lives before. Sophie holds a genuine feeling when she speaks. I began with asking Plzak a desperate and emotional question such as, “When was the last time you cried?” (She responded with “The ending of Tuesdays With Morrie”). However, I wasn’t satisfied with my cliche question when I knew there was more to Sophie.

I went a different route. I asked Sophie, “What do you want to talk about?… What is something significant happening in your life?” Although both are broad questions, it worked.

Sophie began to tell me about how she recently made it a priority in her life to take an art class. Plzak lit up with excitement as she shared that it was her first art class since 7th grade. Not only was she taking “Drawing and Painting,” which she is most comfortable with, Plzak is taking on a ceramics class as well.

“I got so caught up in trying to be good at other things, that I forgot what it was like to do art,” Sophie shared.

Sophie comes from a childhood of growing up with paintings on the wall. Sophie’s favorite form of art is drawing because she “has the most control.” Sophie grew up with a single mother who taught her all about art, and the means of it. Plzak’s mother happens to be an art teacher. Her mother’s art spoke to her. Sophie spoke of a painting of her mom’s old cat, Gypsy, and said how it was fascinating that she never would have known that she had that cat in her early 30s and the years before Sophie was born, without that painting. “I learned about her past through her paintings,” she said as she spoke of her mom.

I appreciated how Sophie described a photo her mom had taken of her dad. “I saw what my mom saw in my dad with that photo.”

I then asked the open ended question, “What artist inspires you?”

“Frida Kahlo” she instantly knew. “Frida is an Hispanic feminist who was taught by her much famous husband, and overshadowed him!” she exclaimed. I could feel the female pride with every sentence Sophie confidently spoke.

As Plzak sat with her Van Gogh “Sunflowers” lunch bag on her table, I appreciated the sense of excitement she had when she spoke of art. It was a powerful conversation. The passion she had for art couldn’t be faked. Sophie Plzak has a tremendous way of describing how passionate she is about art and why it is so important to her. Plzak can teach us all not to let go of things we love to do.