YEADON >> Anyone who has gone to Google’s homepage knows that every day there is an iconic doodle right above the search bar in honor of a person, place, event or thing that is pertinent to that date. Sometimes they can be interactive games; others can be interpretations of a famous artist’s work. The doodles always spell out Google in various shapes, colors and styles.

Yeadon student Madelyn Kieh may be the next person to have her doodle featured on the search engine’s site.

Kieh, 15, a freshman at Penn Wood High School, is one of five national finalists in the Doodle 4 Google contest, a school-aged drawing competition that asks students from all 53 states and territories to submit a doodle based on a specific theme. Her finalist ranking has earned her a laptop computer, a trip to Google headquarters and a $5,000 college scholarship.

“I cried,” said Kieh when she found out earlier this month that she was a finalist. “I was so nervous because everyone was supporting me, everyone in the school district, and I really wanted to get it. I was really happy.”

For this 10th outing of the Doodle 4 Google contest, students were asked to create a doodle based on what inspires them. Kieh’s doodle is called “Influential Inspiration” and is a reflection of her growing up with her older sister, Marilyn, who inspired her to become an artist. In the doodle, a young girl is drawing a snake in the shape of a capital G in crayons while a taller, older girl is painting a galaxy on the other G of the Google name. Drawings and coloring instruments are strewn across the wooden floor as the viewer sees the inspiration at work between two sisters and artist to canvas.

She said she didn’t have to think long about the inspirational story she wanted to tell through her doodle.

“I instantly thought of my sister because she was the one who really pushed me and helped me become interested in art,” Kieh said. “She painted all of the time so I wanted to be just like her. She got me into art, so I put that she inspires me.”

“I remember when I was younger I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was thinking doctor, a singer, but none of them really worked (for me). (Marilyn) said, ‘You could be an artist,’ so I worked toward that.”

In total, it took Kieh a number of hours over two days to finish her doodle, which was done at home using a painting software called Paint Tool SAI.

Kieh said she has been drawing since she was 10 years old and has developed a style akin to anime, the Japanese style of animation that is a global industry rooted in comics, television and movies. She intends to go to an art school after graduating from high school.

“I like the idea that you can think something up in your head and then you can put it to paper for everybody to see. That’s really cool, and I want to keep working on it so I can make amazing drawings for everybody.”

Before claiming the national winner, Kieh will have to beat a works from winners in four other grade divisions: The K-3 division entry is a hand-drawn working depicting dinosaurs and a shovel as inspiration to be an archaeologist; the 4-5 grade group entry showing an intergalactic exploration roller coaster; the 6-7 grade entry tries to size up the competition in a fashion studio in the piece “Ideas from Fashion;” and the scenic beauty drawn onto each of the 50 states on a map was the inspiration for the aptly titled “Inspiration.” The five finalists had already beaten over 180,000 entries for this year’s contest.

Kieh’s beautifully crafted doodle is the only one of the finalists showing a relationship between persons, what she believes will be the winning component.

“When I focused on my sister I think it has some sentiment to it, I think that’s what makes it special,” she said. “I think I have a chance, I’ve been pretty confident.”

If she is named the national winner, Kieh will earn a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology package for Penn Wood High School.

Voting for the national winner is not open to the public. A seven-member judging panel including actors Neil Patrick Harris and Ty Burrell and the 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee chose the 53 state and territorial winners. The public voted on the five finalists from the 53 selected entries. A winner selected by Google executives will be announced on June 18.

The doodles can be viewed at doodles.google.com/d4g/

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