Doodling — not just a waste of time

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, May 22, 2012

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

When I got the email that a Greystone Elementary student would be announced as a state winner for the Doodle 4 Google contest, I was intrigued.

I love visiting Google to search for something and happening to find that the logo has been transformed — typically to commemorate some holiday or occasion I’m not even aware of, such as Feb. 24, Estonian Independence Day, or March 12, Chinese Arbor Day.

These “doodles,” as Google refers to them, are so imaginative and fun — and typically impressive works of art.

As impressed as I am with the doodles typically, I knew I’d be doubly impressed if an elementary school student drew one.

When I attended the presentation at Greystone Elementary on May 2, I could tell that the event was a huge deal for the school. The lunchroom was packed with students and teachers, waiting with bated breath to see who would be announced as Alabama’s Doodle 4 Google winner.

When they announced Reily Randolph as the winner and unveiled her drawing, I immediately saw why she won.

Reily’s doodle, a neat reflection of the Industrial Revolution with gears, wheels and steam engines, was simple, clean and wildly creative.

Reily herself was beyond charming.

A little shy at first, she visibly brightened when I asked if she was going for a steampunk look with her drawing.

She told me that she thought the Industrial Revolution was a really interesting time in history, and honestly, I was just impressed that a fifth-grader was inspired enough by the time period to create such a work of art.

Reily, whose doodle was one of 50 winners chosen out of more than 114,000 entries, got to take a trip to New York May 17 to attend the announcement of the national Doodle 4 Google winner.

She also got to visit a tremendously special art exhibit at the New York Public Library — her own. Reily’s artwork was featured, along with that of the other 49 state winners.

One day, she’ll get to tell her kids that her drawing was featured at the New York Public Library, which has showcased some of the world’s most famous works of art. Seriously, how cool is that?

Amy Jones is the associate editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669.3131 ext. 30 or by email at