Graduate lands Google doodle
01 March 2021
Falmouth graduate Elin Manon has collaborated with Google to create a 'doodle' for St David's Day. Her illustration will be showcased on the world's most visited webpage for 24 hours.
Elin's design is inspired by Welsh mythology – the dragon which is the focus of her work was said to reside underneath the castle of 5th Century warlord, King Vortigen.
The freelance illustrator is no stranger to working on projects with fantasy at their core. Elin has previously participated in Folktalke Week, completed works on Cornish Folklore and designed an illustration to accompany Welsh poet Casi Wyn's Cân o Fawl i'r Hydref.
Having been raised in Wales, the doodle was an opportunity for Elin to highlight the diversity of heritage and language that the UK has to offer, as well as reflecting on her own identity and upbringing. Below, Elin explains a little more about her collaboration with Google.
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: Having grown up in Wales, surrounded by the language, culture and traditions, as well as receiving my education in Welsh, the topic of this Doodle was important to me as it reflects something that was so much a part of my childhood and also of my identity today. It also means a lot to me that our heritage and customs are being promoted in this way.
Gan fod mod i wedi tyfu lan yng Nghymru, gyda’r iaith, diwylliant a thraddodiadau, yn ogystal â derbyn fy addysg trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, roedd pwnc y Doodle yma yn bwysig i mi gan ei fod yn adlewyrchu'r hyn oedd yn rhan fawr o fy mhlentyndod a hefyd fy hunaniaeth heddiw. Mae hi hefyd yn golygu gymaint i mi fod ein diwylliant ac arferion yn cael eu hybu yn y ffordd yma.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: I couldn't believe it at first! I thought 'they can't really be contacting little me to work on this project'. As soon as I understood it was actually real, I was so excited—what an amazing opportunity to share my heritage and culture on such a renowned platform, and to work on a project that I would never have imagined that I'd be a part of.
Wn i fethu credu hi i ddechrau! Wnes i feddwl 'dydyn nhw ddim o ddifri yn cysylltu â fi bach i weithio ar y prosiect yma'. Ond unwaith sylweddolais ei fod yn go iawn wn i wir wedi cyffro - am gyfle anhygoel i fedru rhannu fy nhreftadaeth a diwylliant ar blatfform mor adnabyddus, ac i weithio ar brosiect fuaswn i byth wedi dychmygu fy hun yn cymryd rhan ynddo.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: In addition to drawing inspiration from the natural mountainous landscape of Wales, I was also influenced by the Welsh legend of Dinas Emrys. In the legend King Vortigen wished to build a castle on top of the hill of Dinas Emrys, but the walls would fall and crumble each night. The wizard Merlin told him that this was because there were two dragons fighting beneath the hill. So Vortigen's men dug and dug, eventually releasing the two dragons, one white and one red. The two dragons fought, with the white dragon eventually fleeing and the red dragon returning to his lair to slumber.
Yn ogystal â thynnu ysbrydoliaeth o dirlun naturiol mynyddig Cymru, wn i hefyd wedi'i fy nylanwadu gan y chwedl Gymreig o Ddinas Emrys. Yn y chwedl mae'r Brenin Gwrtheyrn am adeiladu castell ar ben bryn Dinas Emrys, ond pob nos roedd y waliau’n chwalu i ddarnau. Dwedodd y dewin Myrddin wrtho roedd hyn oherwydd bod yna dwy ddraig yn ymladd o dan y bryn. Felly fe wnaeth dynion Gwrtheyrn palu a phalu, yn y diwedd yn rhyddhau'r ddwy ddraig, un gwyn ac un coch. Ymladdodd y ddwy ddraig, a gorffennodd gyda'r ddraig wen yn ffoi a'r ddraig goch yn dychwelyd i'w gwâl i gysgu.
Q: What do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: I hope for those who are perhaps unaware of all that Wales has to offer, that this Doodle will inspire them to delve into its culture and will enlighten people about the diversity of heritage and language that we have here within the UK.
Dwi'n gobeithio i'r rhai sy efallai yn anymwybodol o'r holl bethau mae gan Gymru i gynnig, fydd y Doodle yma yn eu ysbrydoli nhw i dyrchu mewn i'w ddiwylliant ac yn goleuo pobl ynghylch amrywiaeth y dreftadaeth a’r ieithoedd sydd i'w gael yn y Deyrnas Unedig.
You can see more of Elin's work on her website.