Tag Archives: doodles

Honouring Andrew Watson’s footballing legacy

The year 2022 will be remembered as a historic one for English football. The beloved Lionesses won their first major tournament in a dramatic Euro Cup final against Germany at Wembley. After 56 years of hurt, Sunday, 31 July 2022, marked the day that football finally came home. As a lifelong Arsenal fan who grew up idolising Ian Wright, I remember feeling immense pride as I watched history being made.

The country came together to celebrate the beautiful game — but for me, as character designer and illustrator, I am fascinated by the stories behind the big moments. So for me, this was a chance to reflect on the sacrifices that players from minority groups have been forced to make in order to play the game that they love. For example, many female players have had to maintain full-time jobs whilst pursuing their football career, often a side effect of sometimes disproportionate funding for the women’s game. And it wasn’t that long ago that players from minority ethnic backgrounds were largely excluded from the sport.

Andrew Watson was a Scottish footballer widely believed to be the first black footballer to play in the Football League and the first player of colour to play in an English Cup match. Born in 1856 in what is now Guyana, Andrew was one of the most influential footballers of his time, captaining Scotland and leading his team to historic victories over England and Wales. Balancing his business entrepreneurship with his football career, he played for both Scotland and England, typically in the full-back position.

When I was asked to create a Doodle dedicated to Andrew’s achievements, it felt like a dream come true. After reading about his incredible life, I decided to not only illustrate his career, but also the trajectory of those who have followed in his path. Coming so soon after the euphoric celebrations of the Lionesses’ victory, it was important to me to capture that connection in the Doodle — to demonstrate that one person’s contribution can spark a positive and lasting chain reaction. This is why I settled on the idea of incorporating other generations into the Doodle, and hence the original sketches depict Andrew himself with a football, proudly watching on as other generations follow in his footsteps.

A rough pencil sketch depicting six figures in a line running and jumping with footballs

My initial idea was to depict this chain reaction in the artwork, with Andrew proudly watching on as new generations play the beautiful game.

A detailed sketch in neutral colours detailing six figures of varying ages and genders playing football

The second sketch captures a greater level of detail and movement.

A colourful and vibrant illustration featuring animated characters playing football in front of a Google logo

The final Doodle introduces character into the concept, and brings Andrew’s story to life.

With the finished product, I wanted to capture the beauty of football: the pace, the excitement, the vibrancy and, most importantly, the fun. Each character has their own experience with the ball, in the same way that each football player has their own unique style and strength.

I feel very proud and humbled to have been chosen to create this Doodle, and sincerely hope that people feel it captures not only Andrew’s legacy, but the legacy of all who follow in his footsteps.

Get to know Sophie, the 2022 Doodle for Google contest winner

For this year’s Doodle for Google contest, we asked students across the country to illustrate a Doodle around the prompt, “I care for myself by…” In July, we announced the national finalists, and the thoughtfulness, heart and artistry of one artist stood out in particular. Today, we’re announcing Sophie Araque-Liu of Florida is our 2022 contest winner!

Sophie’s Doodle, titled “Not Alone,” speaks to the importance of leaning on your support system and asking for help in tough times. I chatted with Sophie to learn more about her and the meaning behind her Doodle, which is on the Google.com homepage today.

How did you start making art?

I started making art by doodling in my notebooks in class. Soon it shifted from something I did to pass the time when I was bored to something I looked forward to and loved to do.

Why did you enter the Doodle for Google contest?

I entered the Doodle for Google contest this year, because I really wanted to give back to my parents. I feel like it’s very hard for me to show them just how much I appreciate them, so I’m grateful for the chance to be able to show them just how much I love them and give back to them in any way I can.

I want other people to know that you are also valuable, and you are worth something too, just like anyone else.

Can you share why you chose to focus on the theme of asking for help?

I chose to focus on the theme of asking for help based on my own experiences. A couple years ago, I was struggling a lot mentally and I was honestly pretty embarrassed and scared to tell my friends and family. But when I did open up to them, I was met with so much love and support. So I really wanted to encourage others to not be afraid to look for help if they need it!

Why is self-care important to you?

Self care is important to me because I believe that mental health is just as important as physical health. For me and for so many other people, it can be easy to sacrifice too much of yourself and to push yourself too hard. I want other people to know that you are also valuable, and you are worth something too, just like anyone else.

How does it feel to be the winner of this year’s Doodle for Google contest?

It feels incredible! I truly did not think that I would win, so I am so surprised and happy! I’m really really proud of myself for making it so far, and I know the competition wasnot easy at all. I think I’m honestly in shock and I still haven’t processed it yet. It’s just so amazing and every time I think about it I can’t help but smile hard!

Congratulations, Sophie! Be sure to bookmark the Doodle for Google websitefor updates around the 2023 contest, set to open submissions again this winter.

Our 5 Doodle for Google finalists illustrate self-care

Since we opened up submissions for the 14th annual Doodle for Google student contest, tens of thousands of K-12 students across 54 U.S. states and territories illustrated their answers to the prompt: “I care for myself by…” Our judges were moved by the creative ways in which these young artists shared how they were prioritizing their well-being.

After carefully reviewing each submission, we announced our 54 state and territory winners and opened up public voting on our website. Now, the votes are in, the judges have deliberated and we’re ready to announce our five national finalists for the 2022 Doodle for Google contest!

The finalists were assessed on artistic merit, creativity and how well they addressed the prompt in their artwork and written statements. Each one of them brought intentionality, artistry and heart to their Doodles. Meet our finalists (in age group order):

Grades K-3 National Finalist: Edison Lee, Maryland

Title: Dreaming of my bright future

Artist Statement: I care for myself by dreaming of my bright future. In my dreams, I can be anything I want!

Grades 4-5 National Finalist: Anamirel Campos, Delaware

Title: Family will always care for you

Artist Statement: I care for myself by spending time with my family. They taught me many things, but I can't write them all, so I drew them all on a blanket. I love my family!

Grades 6-7 National Finalist: Faridah Ismaila, Pennsylvania

Title: My self love

Artist Statement: I care for myself by making food! I love to make delicious African dishes with my mom. That's why my Doodle shows me smelling all of the delicious African dishes I LOVE!

Grades 8-9 National Finalist: Grace Dai, Missouri

Title: The life-cycle of health

Artist Statement:

I care for myself by being outdoors, especially with family or my sketchbook. My optimism and mental health soars most when I'm outside, because self-care is like nature; they're both beautiful, intricate systems. Like how a bee pollinates a flower, or how the bird hunts the worm, self-care should be as systematic and natural as life itself.

Grades 10-12 National Finalist: Sophie Araque-Liu, Florida

Title: Not alone

Artist Statement: I care for myself by accepting others’ care for me. Often I struggle to shoulder a burden on my own, and forget that I have so many people, like my mom, who care about me and want to help me. Opening up and letting others support me not only relieves my stress — it also lets me tackle things I could never do on my own.

Over the next few weeks, our panel of judges will establish which of our five national finalists will be chosen as the national contest winner. In addition to having their artwork featured on the Google homepage for 24 hours, the winner will receive a $30,000 scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for their school.

Congratulations to our national finalists, and look out for an update on who our 2022 contest winner will be in the next few weeks!

54 Doodle for Google winners showcase self-care

In January, we asked students across the U.S. to submit their ideas for the 14th annual Doodle for Google contest. This year, we invited K-12 students to answer the prompt “I care for myself by…” through their art.

We were amazed by the submissions we received. Across ages, students showcased how they cultivate self-care practices in thoughtful and intentional ways. Young artists shared a range of helpful strategies including spending time in nature, being active, taking part in creative hobbies and spending time with loved ones. Given the challenging nature of the past few years, we were really inspired to see the many ways students have been nurturing their spirits and building resilience.

Today, we’re announcing our 54 state and territory winners. To celebrate their achievements, we sent each of the 54 students Google hardware and swag, and held celebrations in their hometowns to showcase their artwork.

Head to doodle4google.com to see the full gallery of all 54 state and territory winners and vote for your favorite Doodles by July 12th. Your vote helps determine who will go on to become one of our five national finalists — one of whom will become our national winner.

Congratulations again to the 2022 Doodle for Google state and territory winners!

Road tripping on Route 66

Ninety-six years ago on April 30th, one of the original highways in the U.S. Highway System was assigned its numerical designation of 66, creating what we know today as Route 66. But to say Route 66 is just a highway is a grave understatement. After all, it is the most-searched U.S. highway of all time.

One of the perks of working as a Doodler (I promise, it’s a real job) was getting to drive the 2,448-mile journey from Chicago to Los Angeles in my ‘72 Chevelle. I got to experience this captivating road trip firsthand, to create a Doodle celebrating Route 66.

This Doodle, which is essentially an animated sketchbook of various historic spots along the route, is the product of more than 100 paintings and sketches I created from the side of the road and countless U-turns. I remember being utterly lost one day, driving further and further down an old dirt road, when I finally saw an old man sitting on a lawn mower. “Is this Route 66?” I enquired. “Boy, this isn’t even Route 6!” he responded. Even the dead ends were interesting.

If this Doodle has you feeling inspired to take a trip across Route 66, we also caught up with a member of Google Maps’ Local Guides community who has some tips of his own to help you hit the road and explore.

Local tips from a Local Guide

Rhys Martin is a Level 6 Local Guide from Tulsa, Oklahoma who also serves as the President of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association. Having driven all 2,400 miles of the existing route, Rhys is passionate about adding photos and reviews to Google Maps that help raise awareness for the variety of experiences — from big cities and rural communities, to farmland, mountains, deserts, mom-and-pop motels and kitschy roadside attractions — a road trip down the historic highway provides. We asked him to share his best tips, tricks and recommendations to discover and experience his favorite spots along the route.

  • Discover local businesses along the route: By searching for something like “U.S Route 66 Restaurants” on Google Maps you can virtually explore restaurants or other businesses across all eight states along the route. This way, you can familiarize yourself with attractions, view how much certain restaurants cost, read reviews and even see popular menu items to help you choose places you want to visit.
  • Plan your road trip with Lists in Google Maps: Once you discover the places you’re interested in visiting, save them to a list that can serve as an itinerary so you can support local businesses — and help preserve history – along the route. You can even share your list with others, or make them collaborative so you can plan together!
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: Photographing the details of a place — like the decades-old neon signage or the original menus hanging behind the counter — and sharing them through reviews on Google Maps helps capture the essence of an establishment and helps others discover places they want to visit.

While Oklahoma has the most drivable miles of Route 66, Rhys says there’s so much to see in all eight states along the route. If you’re itching to plan the perfect summer road trip, check out a list of his must-see spots across Route 66 from Illinois to California.