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Doodle 4 Google Awards Pirate-Themed Doodle

Second-grader gets a scholarship and a Chromebook

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Doodle 4 Google Awards Pirate-Themed Doodle
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Today, Google has announced the winner of their annual Doodle 4 Google contest, which sees kids aged K-12 give their best artistic spins on the famous Google logo. This year’s contest saw 114,000 submissions, which were narrowed down to 50 state winners earlier this month.

Now, after an online voting period, the winner emerges in the form of a second grader from Racine, Wisconsin.

Dylan Hoffman’s Doodle “Pirate Times” was his response to this years prompt, “If I could travel in time I’d visit…” His pirate-themed Doodle incorporates a pirate ship, the sun, a parrot, a coconut tree, and some cleverly placed booty to form the final “e” in the Google logo.

For his efforts, Dylan will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a Chromebook, and his school will get a $50,000 technology grant. His artwork, as well as that by our 50 state finalists, will be featured in an upcoming exhibit at the New York Public Library. Dylan’s Doodle will be the official Google Doodle on their homepage tomorrow, May 18th.

Google also announced that alongside the national winner, four other Doodles (separated by grade level) have been named “National Finalists.” The artists behind these Doodle will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship.

For grades 4-5, Talia Mastalski’s “Traveling to me”:

For grades 6-7, Herman Wang’s “Retro City”:

For grades 8-9, Susan Olivera’s “Traveling Back to the Future”:

For grades 10-12, Cynthia Cheng’s “A World of Adventure”:

You can check out all the state finalists and winners here.

Doodle 4 Google Awards Pirate-Themed Doodle


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  • S M Allen

    Are you kidding me??? Are you seriously trying to pass that off as the work of a 7 year old? Kids that age aren’t even capable of holding a wrting or drawing instrument steady long enough for so much symetry. They do not grasp the idea of working the letters to spell Google into a design. The only claim a 7 year old could have on that drawing is that whoever actually created it chose to enter it in the contest using his name rather than their own. What you have done is to rob another 7 year old of their rightful prize with your ignorance.
    Incidentally, I am an artist and teacher, I know whereof I speak.

    • Alex

      Why so bitter? Did your kid lose or something. I’m suprised as a teacher you have never encountered a bright advanced student… Again why so bitter and jealous?

    • Jessica

      I’m a teacher too. In addition to that, I work with a creative arts company for children. I also attended performing arts schools during my entire childhood. I don’t know where you are from, but where I’m from there are talented youth. There are children who are gifted enough at that age to draw that incredibly well. I know children who are that gifted. Be careful what you write about someone else’s child. As a teacher you know that your words have the ability to build up or tear down someone. Don’t become the person accountable for tearing down the child that created this piece. You weren’t there when it was created, and don’t have any solid proof. Please don’t allow yourself to speak death over any child’s ability or possible dream.

      Blessings (:

    • CJB

      I came here to see if anyone else was suspicious of the art work done by a “seven” year old. I am also an artist. To me it appears that the work was created by someone older. Some of the clues are the shading in the branches of the tree and sun, reflections on the water, highlights in the water, tiny Jolly Rodger icon in the ships flag, extremely clever use of the treasure chest for the letter e, and I could go on and on I would like to see more of this child’s artwork to see if it compares with the winning entry. It may be that this young second grader is really talented, I am skeptical.

      • John Taylor

        Just because you teach a bunch of dumb dumbs doesn’t mean all kids are dumb and untalented. I think what we have here are a couple of half-ass teachers whose students entrees got laughed out of this competition.
        -Have a great DAY!

        • CJB

          John most adults draw and paint at a 4th grade level, the Pirate-Themed Doodle appears to be done at an even higher level. There a many little clues that the make the work stand above the other entries and that cause me to be suspicious. The shading on the pirates belly to make it more dimensional, the fact that the lines which represent boards on the ship are broken up and not a continuous line, the way the treasure is handled spilling out of the treasure chest. These are all little details that many adults would not think to incorporate much less a seven year old.

          • John Taylor

            Out of tens of thousands of entries from across the nation you cannot fathom a single advanced entry? Small minded to say the least.
            Was this compotation designed to find kids who invent well know techniques on their own? Or was it designed to find talented young artist who utilize techniques to create unique artwork? Are you suggesting it would be wrong if someone had advised this child shading would look good; or suggested treasure coming out of a treasure chest would be appealing to the viewer? Are you saying teaching art techniques and ideas to children is wrong?

            If that is the case shame on you! You as a self proclaimed artist in turn should be instantly embarrassed of all art you have ever created; your art like all created today is nothing more than borrowed regurgitated ideas that have been around for millennia.

            Is it really that hard for you as an adult to give credit to a small talented child when that child clearly deserves it? You must not have been loved as a baby. You are a bitter, ugly subpar artist who will go to his grave as such! Enjoy you lack of acceptance in the art world, do yourself a favor, give it up before you embarrass yourself even more with your stolen ideas and techniques.

            Good day sir!

    • Christine

      I am the mom of the state winner from VT – you should know two things.

      First – the google letters are part of the optional template kids can use when drawing the logo – they don’t have to create it.

      Second – we were there for the finals party (AMAZING DAY – Thank you Google!), and I saw this little guy draw first hand – he was GREAT!

  • jeorge

    seriously tho the last one should have one.
    seriousLY

  • lindy

    IF this was done by someone other than the one who purports this entry, the “truth” will one day win…in the meantime, it is adorable and creative (as were so many of the entries). Yes, the “average” 7 yr old may not have all of the skills necessary to produce a drawing this detailed and polished, but this may not be your “average” 7yr old. Heck, I couldn’t draw like that NOW and I am 56 years old! We all have gifts and talents in different areas. If this was independently done by a 7 year old, he has quite a future ahead of him. IF it is a farce, at the expense of a 7 year olds integrity, he also has quite a future ahead of him that may not have a happy ending…either way, we reap what we sow.

    I choose to put my rosy glasses on and HOPE that this is one very talented young lad!

  • LGB

    Like CJB, I wanted to know if anyone was suspicious of this artwork. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe there are talented (gifted) children out there – so even though I was skeptical, I watched the story on NBC’s Today Show, to learn more about this budding little artist. After watching the segment, however, I was even more convinced that this 2nd grader did not create the “Pirate Times” doodle. First of all, Dylan seemed very detached and uninterested in his drawing. Even with coaching, he was unable to articulate why he had created the “doodle” and only mimicked the lady (coaching him) in saying it took several “drafts” to create the final version. Really? I just find it hard to believe that a 7-yr old kid created a first draft, revised, created draft #2, revised, created draft #3, and so on…

    Again, I believe there are gifted children out there, but many of the things that CJB points out, makes it very hard for me to believe this was done by a 7-yr old without a great deal of influence, instruction or interference from an adult.

    • John Taylor

      So you are against teaching children? You would fit in well with the leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime.

      • CJB

        John you are great a creating straw men arguments. I made observations in my posts, No where did I, or anyone else claim that they were against teaching children how to create art. In fact I admitted that my skepticism might be wrong and that, “It may be that this young second grader is really talented.” But I think my skepticism is well founded. Artists who have studied the craft for a period of time, catch things that the layman would not unless pointed out to them. For example, ask any seven year old child to draw water and you will get a string of “UUU” toward the bottom of the paper, which will be colored in blue. Now look at the water for the Google Doodle, not only are the waves atypical but the water itself has purple color added which helps to convey a sense of depth, and as I mentioned before some nice highlighting.

        I would love to see some of the Dylan’s other drawings. If Christine took any pictures of them it would be great if she could post them. I defend my right to question the authenticity of this artwork especially now that it has a value of $30,000.

        • John Taylor

          I said good day!

  • Christine

    Wow – I was in the room when this little guy won. I have to say – there were 49 other kids in that room who were more gracious than many of the posters here!

    Congratulations, Dylan!

  • http://bing Allen Cerk

    As a teacher I say that this kid has cheated. Think about this. How could a little kid draw so good? This kid could have brang his doodle home to finish and gave it to a bigger brother or sister to draw or write for him. We have to have evidence to agree that this kid was independent.
    I am very proud of Dylan but, I would like somebody to prove that Dylan
    was independent.

    That’s all I would like to say.

  • http://yahoo Lizzy Clam

    I agree with Allen.The waves in Dylan’s doodle were like real waves. If you gave a 2nd grader a piece of paper and told them to draw waves they would just draw a squigle colored in blue. Plus, the planks on the ship look so realistic. I am a artist and I also think Dylan cheated. Like
    Allen, I would like proof to tell that Dylan was independent while
    drawing his doodle and writing his response.

  • Mari

    Whether the child did or did not create the Google Doodle remains a mystery. As an inspiring artist, I question the legitimacy of Dylan’s work as well. I have seen the work of many gifted children and this piece submitted by Dylan goes above and beyond that of a gifted child.
    I strongly encourage any company giving generous scholarships and funding donations to our public schools to make better efforts in verifying the submissions of their contestant entries. If Dylan is truly this gifted, than he can “without question” re-create a likeness piece in front of a live audience. If successful; all doubts will diminish and he can finally enjoy his hew found fame. I don’t want to believe that somewhere a deserving child lost a scholarship due to the deception of another and the deception of that childs parents.
    So come ‘on Dylan, show us what you got and hold a live drawing where everyone can see the artist you truly are.
    Finally, to the head honcho’s at Google….How do you feel about giving away $80,000 to a potential poser? I think you should investigate the legitimacy of your future artwork entries by having winning artists re-create their work (or something like it)in front of you. This will eliminate all skepticism and make the playing field fair to everyone! Peace out.

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