One winner of the FY21 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest is Lea Haeun Shin (then age 6), who is passionate about art and draws daily. When her art teacher told her about the contest, she said, “I love trees, so I knew right away my drawing would be about nature.” For inspiration, she checked out books from her school library and flipped through them. She decided on promoting the need for cleaner water as the theme of her artwork and selected the butterfly as the central design element since it is a symbol of change and hope. Her “Pure Water Vehicle” won the Silver Award in her age category and a reproduction of her design was displayed in the West Lobby at the Toyota Motors North America headquarters in Plano, Texas. The original drawing and yet another large-scale reproduction was included in exhibitions presented in Plano, Texas and Los Angeles, California.
Once Lea decided on her final design idea, her mother Jamie Shin says it took almost two months longer for Lea to complete her artwork. First, the young girl sketched her idea on paper using graphite pencil, then added watercolor paint to create the background, and finally drew the details of her design in the foreground using markers and colored pencils. Mrs. Shin shares, “It was a great opportunity for Lea to think outside of the box. Before, when she thought about cars, she only thought of them for transportation. Now, she believes Toyota can do something for the environment and to help future generations.”