Google Doodles foster creativity and cultural celebration


Doodle4Google is a competition that allows K-12 students to submit their own drawings to Google. The prompt asked students to think about what the future will look like.

For those who frequent Google – a.k.a. everybody – one of the greatest joys in life is opening up a fresh tab and finding the space above the search bar adorned by a different banner than usual.

These banners, called Google Doodles, pop up every so often on different holidays and anniversaries and commemorate all kinds of figures, from political pioneers to pioneering artists. All past Doodles can be found in the Doodles Archive, a virtual treasure trove of these little masterpieces and the perfect infinite-scroll page for when you have nothing else to do.

The tech company also runs a competition called Doodle4Google which asks K-12 students to submit drawings of how they envision the future. The winner is awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and a $50,000 technology award for their school.

Most of the doodles are created by Google’s illustrators, who have created over 2,000 doodles. Anybody can submit an idea to the doodling team by emailing [email protected].

Without further a-doodle, here are some of the best Doodles of 2017.

Feb. 24th: Celebrating Penpan Sittitrai

One of the earliest released this year, this Doodle celebrates Thailand’s most famous fruit carving artist, Penpan Sittitrai. From swans to jasmine flowers, Sittitrai carved every piece with incredible skill, and, at the height of her career, she even carved decorations and serving vessels to be featured at elegant royal events. In 2010, the 83-year-old Sittitrai was honored with the title of National Artist for her artistic legacy, which includes a book on the topic of Thai fruit and vegetable carving.

This doodle depicts the artwork of Penpan Sittitrai. The Thai artist was famous for carving fruit.

Jun. 2nd: Gilbert Baker’s 66th Birthday

To celebrate the 66th birthday of Gilbert Baker, the creator of the rainbow flag now used as the symbol of the LGBTQA+ community, this doodle features a stop-motion animation of the different vibrantly-colored strips coming together to form the flag. The earliest version of the flag, which is the one featured in this Doodle, included eight colors instead of today’s six, each representing a different “aspect” of the LGBTQA+ community. Baker said he created the flag because of a need for “something beautiful, something from us.” Since its inception in 1978, the rainbow flag (and the rainbow as a symbol in general) has become the most iconic symbol of the LGBTQA+ community, representing both pride and hope as first intended by Baker himself.

Gilbert Baker’s artistic process is shown through this commemorative doodle. The artist was credited with designing the LGBTQ+ rainbow flag.

Oct. 6th: Meret Oppenheim’s 104th Birthday

Both the first woman to have a piece acquired by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and one of the most famous members of the surrealist movement, Meret Oppenheim was a special person in more than one way. Born and raised in Switzerland, Oppenheim moved to Paris to study art on the advice of a tarot reading done by her grandmother. Through her imaginative work, Oppenheim managed to build a successful career despite operating in an art world where women were seen as muses and not artists themselves. The furry, cursive lettering of this Doodle pay homage to Oppenheim’s best-known piece, titled “Object” –– a fur-lined cup, saucer, and spoon trio that, over time, has become nearly synonymous with the word surrealism.

Meret Oppenheim’s most well-known piece is a sculpture of a teacup and saucer covered in fur. The artist and photographer also posed for photographs for Man Ray.

Oct. 17th: Celebrating Selena Quintanilla

Displayed on the anniversary of the 1989 release of her first studio album, “Selena,” this doodle celebrates the life of Tejano music legend Selena Quintanilla. The short video accompanying the main banner of the Doodle details Quintanilla’s singing career from its early beginnings performing with her siblings in restaurants and at quinceañeras to its height in the early nineties as a beloved musician, fashion designer and inspiration to Latinx communities worldwide, especially those growing up bi-culturally as she did. Today, even after her untimely passing in 1995, Selena’s music and message of relentlessly pursuing one’s dreams continue to uplift the hearts of both those who grew up listening to her and those who are only just being introduced to her.

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