Acton schoolgirl doodles her way to success

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Zoe McCarthy with her doodle

Zoe McCarthy with her Mum Rebecca and her prizewinning doodle in the art room at Twyford School

Zoe's google doodle

Zoe's Google doodle

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Earlier this week, 12-year-old Acton schoolgirl Zoe McCarthy who lives in Ealing was crowned the London regional winner in the 9-13 age group from over 15,000 young people across the UK who participated in the Doodle 4 Google - My Britain Competition. Zoe’s doodle is inspired by the multicultural side of Britain using images of children from different backgrounds to illustrate Britain’s diversity.

Zoe has also started a campaign for national success in a public vote as she competes with the 29 other regional winners from across the UK to win a once in a lifetime trip to Google’s HQ, the Googleplex in California. The winner will meet and work alongside Dennis Hwang, Google’s Master Doodler – the first time a child has had this opportunity. Zoe is also competing for the chance for her doodle to appear on the Google UK homepage

The ‘Doodle 4 Google – My Britain’ competition was launched across the UK in April and asked young people aged 4 – 18 to design a doodle representing their life in Britain.

You can now vote for Zoe’s doodle on the homepage for a limited time and then at, where it will be displayed alongside the 29 other regional winners’ doodles for the public to choose the top three. Dennis Hwang will then choose the winning doodle from the three short listed entries, which will be announced at The Doodle 4 Google Final Event at the Natural History Museum in November.

Zoe aims to win the hearts and votes of fellow Londoners by canvassing for local support. Make sure Zoe's doodle gets to the final top three and check out the other doodles by visiting and registering your vote.

Zoe's drawing includes a variety of aspects of life in Britain today. She told me about the figures she has drawn in amongst the letters: "I've drawn the 3 flags of Britain. Inside the 'G' is George and the dragon, and also a pint of beer. Sitting on the 'G' is a Sikh boy. The 'O' has a kilt on it. The other 'O' has a girl standing on it. A cat is resting between the 'O's. A girl in a wheelchair is on the next 'G' and a Chinese girl is on the bottom of the 'G'. Standing on the 'L' is a small boy. Sitting on the 'E' is another boy, and fish and chips in the curve of the 'E'."

I spoke to Zoe in the art room at Twyford Church of England School. She told me how her teacher Miss Hemmens had set the work in a lesson which everyone then finished as homework. Zoe's drawing along with 5 others was selected out of 300 in the 11-13 age-group. "I've always loved art every since I was small. My aunt is artistic and I think I have inherited some of my talent from her. I would like to be an artist when I grow up". Zoe enjoys school and her favourite subjects apart from art are English (she likes reading Enid Blyton) and History. Her favourite artists are Picasso and Van Gogh. She also likes playing badminton.

Zoe is really excited to be in the top 30 of the Doodle 4 Google competition and is determined to get all her friends and family to vote for her doodle. "I think it would be an amazing privilege to see my Doodle on the Google homepage and work alongside Dennis in California.”

Dennis Hwang, a 28 year old graphic designer and Google’s Webmaster exclusively designs the ‘doodles’ that regularly appear on the homepage chronicling the ever changing, colourful and cosmopolitan lives of Google users. He comments: “Google is well known for being a research tool but now it’s being used to spark creativity amongst British children and encourage them to express their feelings and values through art. We’ve had thousands of imaginative and thought provoking designs this year and it’s great to see such artistic talent in British schools.”

Nikesh Arora, Vice President of Google Europe, adds: “This competition is all about embracing different opinions and values about what it means to be British. It’s great to see that young British children today are painting such a positive picture of their country and are inspired by a whole host of traditional and contemporary symbols that make Britain what it is today.”

October 6, 2006