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“Sweet Car” by Young Artist wins “Best Finalist” Award in World Contest

A youth’s passion for dessert led to her award-winning automotive design. Eleven-year-old Doyeon Lee loves all kinds of sugary confections, and when she learned about the Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest, she knew right away what her delicious focus would be. Her “Sweet Car” sped into second place for the U.S. competition earlier this year and recently, she was awarded one of the “Best Finalist” awards in the worldwide 16th Toyota Dream Car World Art Contest. 

“When people eat sweets, they get energetic and their grumpy moods go away,” stated Lee, a sixth grader from Mill Creek, Washington. “I created my ‘Sweet Car’ to deliver desserts, bringing friendliness and happiness to people, making them feel energized and delighted. Everyone can be in a good mood when they see my car.”

This young talent spent about 15 hours first sketching ideas with colored pencils, then finalized her “Sweet Car” drawing of confectionery and visual proportions. Lessons of determination and perseverance helped Lee get to the finish line for her winning Dream Car. 

Doyeon Lee with her "Sweet Car" artwork
Doyeon Lee with her “Sweet Car” artwork

“Doyeon always puts 110% into her work. She is a very talented artist and always went above and beyond no matter what art assignment was given to her.  I was so excited to hear that she won this award and know that many more will come,” said April Musselman, Lee’s teacher at Heatherwood Middle School.

“Art can take a lot of patience, but when you’re finished, you are satisfied,” said Lee. “There were times when I wanted to quit working on my car, but when it was done, I was proud of myself. If my ‘Sweet Car’ ever gets invented, I hope it will make lots of people happy. I am grateful to receive an award. As I made my drawing, I could almost taste the sweets through the paper.”

Two other U.S. winners were recognized in the world competition this year: 15-year-old Ava Yeh of Mercer Island, Washington for her “Toyota Dream Orchestra Car” artwork and 5-year-old Zongxuan Helena Zou of Ridgewood, New Jersey for her “Giraffe Car Delivers Happiness” artwork.

The Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest also inspired another exciting project that incorporates the STEAM approach to teaching and learning, combining science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to guide student inquiry, discussion, and problem-solving. Presented in partnership by Toyota Motor North America, California State University Dominguez Hills (CSU-DH), and the Petersen Automotive Museum, university students create their own 3D interpretations of the contest’s top winning artworks. Seven of this year’s 3D models – including one inspired by Doyeon’s “Sweet Car” – are displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in the Rob and Melani Walton Discovery Center (Saturday, October 29, 2022 through Sunday, March 26, 2023). For museum hours, visit www.petersen.org.

3D Model of Doyeon Lee's "Sweet Car"winning art submission in 2022 competition
3D Model of Doyeon Lee’s “Sweet Car”

Through the work of Doyeon and many other young artists, Toyota is proud to hold a contest that inspires children and teens to dream about the future of cars while using art to inspire others to make an impact on the world. Now in its 12th year, the FY23 Toyota Dream Car USA Art Contest launched in the United States on October 1, 2022. Artwork by U.S. youth, ages 4-15, may be submitted online or by mail for this year’s U.S. contest through January 31, 2023. Entry forms for this year’s contest are available at www.ToyotaDreamCarUSA.com/entry-forms.

Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan held the first worldwide contest in 2004. Nearly 90 countries now host national contests. All countries submit their top nine winners to Japan as entries into the World Contest. To learn about the World Contest, visit www.Toyota-DreamCarArt.com.

About Toyota: Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018. Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.