Maya Penn is not your average 13-year-old; she’s a fashion designer, cartoonist and the CEO of her own company.
She launched Maya’s Ideas at tender age of 8 and now she’s taking over our world one animation and eco-friendly scarf at a time. On her self-built website, she describes herself as an “entrepreneur, philanthropist, designer, artist, animator (I make animated short films), illustrator, and writer.”
Maya says her love for animation started around age 3 or so. “I started making little flip books and I always wondered how they make cartoons. To this day, right after I watch a movie on DVD, the first thing I do is go to the behind-the-scenes [feature]. I was always really excited to know how they made this all happen,” she tells TED Blog. “I’m going to be releasing “Malicious Dishes” later this year. It’s an [animated] series about little viruses in the computer. One time I had a virus on my computer and I thought, “What if they had their own little world inside the computer? What if they had their own restaurant?” I thought I could make my own little cartoon out of it.”
And if that’s not enough, the young starlet also runs a non-profit called Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet.
“I’m also working on a project with my non-profit about creating eco-friendly and reusable sanitary pads for girls in third world countries. A lot of them can’t go to school because they don’t have any pads to wear,” she explains.
As for other kids looking to follow in her footsteps, Maya says “ you always, always, always have to start with a passion.”