Nayeli Martinez

Nayeli Martinez

Macon County High School sophomore Nayeli Martinez's latest artwork began as a sketch, but that seed grew into a "tree of knowledge" and the county library system's new logo.

Martinez was among 24 entrants in a contest open to local high-school students, and her winning submission will be seen on both the Macon County Public Library and the Red Boiling Springs Branch Library's official materials, such as newsletters and library cards.

"Entering got me really nervous, but I got the news the day after my birthday, and it was like a late present," Martinez said. "It was really hard. I'd been going online looking at every logo I could find for inspiration, but also to see what had been done so I could do my own thing."

Her work paid off when the Macon County Public Library Board awarded her $100 on Jan. 2 for her entry.

"The drawing is a tree inside a book, which I meant as the tree of knowledge," Martinez said. "My teacher had been congratulating me so much and said, 'Maybe when you're older, you can bring your kids over, and they can see the logo you made.'"

Although Martinez has led her life with a passion for art, she had not originally planned to enter the logo contest.

"The very last day when (the contest) was supposed to end, my art teacher called me and asked me to enter," Martinez said, noting that she received a few days of extension to work on the design. "I love drawing, but painting is my favorite."

For Martinez, having her work displayed around town is another step closer to achieving her career goals.

"I'd like to do something computer-based, as a designer for apps … (but) my dream job is being an artist or decorator," Martinez said. "(My interest in art) started when I was younger, because it calmed me down. I was a very energetic child, and I would take that energy out on art."