NISKAYUNA — If you’re looking for unique artistic talent, your search is over.
Veronica Liu, a Niskayuna High School sophomore, just won finalist recognition in the Doodle 4 Google art contest, making her entry the best for her age group of grades 9-10 in New York state.
This in itself is an honor in a competition that draws 100,000 entries and has just 250 finalists, but what’s more impressive is that this is the third consecutive year she’s won in her category.
Beginning in fifth grade, Liu has entered the contest annually. Doodle 4 Google rules state that contestants must respond to a prompt artistically, creating an interpretation of the Google logo. The winner’s is displayed on the search engine’s homepage and comes with a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 grant for the winner’s school, a laptop, and a tablet.
Liu said although she was a finalist the past two years, in Michigan in 2012 and then in New York in 2013 after moving to Niskayuna, she was shocked to have won this year. Her busy high school schedule, packed with classes, track and volunteering engagements, made it difficult for her to focus on the contest.
“This year I had a lot of trouble coming up with a topic,” she said. “Normally I’ll draw a couple designs but this year, because I had a lot of schoolwork, I was only able to work on one.”
After focusing exclusively on one answer to t
his year’s prompt, which asked the young artists to create an invention that would make the world a better place, she suddenly changed her mind.
“A couple days before it was due I just completely discarded that idea and worked on another one,” Liu said.
Her final doodle depicted a machine that would create fresh water for people all over the world.
With two years left to enter the K-12 contest, the young artist said even if she never takes home the enormous grand prize, she’s benefited from the process.
“I learned a lot about how I could place things on the page and how it would work,” she said. “The first year I did a lot of detail stuff and I think it didn’t do very well because it was too much empty space.”
But of course, she still holds out hope for the No. 1 spot, complete with grants for her college education and her school.
“Fingers crossed, but you never know,” she said.