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.