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7-year-old Hagerstown girl's drawing published in Highlights magazine

November 25, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Anna Steig, 7, of Hagerstown has a piece of artwork in the December issue of Highlights magazine.
Submitted photo

When 7-year-old Annie Steig found out her drawing of a watermelon was going to be published in Highlights magazine, she and her mother made a racket in the kitchen.

“We kind of ran around the kitchen and screamed a lot,” said Annie’s mother, Julie Steig.

“I thought it was really cool and I was excited, very excited,” said Annie, a second-grader at Paramount Elementary School north of Hagerstown.

After Annie calmed down a little, she called her friend, Erika Wilson, to share the news, while her mother called “everybody” and posted it on Facebook, said Annie, the daughter of Sean and Julie Steig.

Annie’s watermelon drawing was published in the December issue of the children’s magazine Highlights in a section called “Your Own Pages.”

Highlights receives more than 35,000 submissions from readers every year, according to a Highlights news release. The magazine publishes a sampling of the submissions to foster children’s creativity, the release states.

Annie submitted the drawing to the magazine in the fall of 2011, and shortly after received a letter notifying her the magazine had received her submission and would let her know if it published her artwork.

“We thought, ‘Well, that’s the end of that,’” Julie Steig said.

Then, while Annie’s grandmother was visiting this past October, Annie was notified the magazine was going to publish her picture.

Annie used to read High Five, a magazine for ages 2 to 6, but began reading Highlights at age 5 thanks to a subscription gift from her grandmother, Edith Crevier, of North Dakota.

Annie reads at a fourth-grade level and loves to draw, her mother said.

“I remember putting crayons in her high chair,” Julie Steig said.

Around the time of Annie’s sixth birthday in April 2011, Annie got the idea to submit one of her drawings to the magazine.

“Well, because I saw the other kids’ (artwork) and it looked really fun to be in the magazine,” Annie said.

Julie Steig said she helped her daughter choose which piece of art to submit.

The submitted work was a colored drawing of a watermelon that Annie created during a first-grade art class in the fall of 2011.

Teacher Brandi Daly said she showed the class how to draw a watermelon, using a picture of one of late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s paintings, and talked to the students about shape and form.

Daly said this is the first time she’s aware of that one of her student’s artwork has been published.

“That’s awesome. I just couldn’t be happier for her, and she’s just a wonderful student. I’m thrilled,” Daly said.

When Annie brought the drawing home from school, her mother told her it looked “really cool,” Julie Steig recalled.

Annie redrew the watermelon, this time using crayon to color it rather than marker, and sent the new version to the magazine. In the drawing, the end of the watermelon has been sliced off and there are a couple of slices of watermelon next to the larger melon.

Annie is often drawing, whether it’s at the kitchen counter, at a table in the basement or at next-door neighbor Jenna Sabol’s house north of Hagerstown.

“I like that you can draw whatever you want,” she said.

Lately, she finds herself drawing a lot of cupcakes and lily pads. She stores several of her drawings in a pink plastic Barbie suitcase.

But Annie also likes to hang her work on the refrigerator, said Annie’s sister, Katie, 15.

Annie said she’d like to be an artist.

Some artistic genes might have been passed down from her mother.

Julie Steig was a graphic artist for the Gaithersburg (Md.) Gazette for seven years in the 1990s and, as a high school student, helped create a stained-glass window for her North Dakota high school.

Annie’s father, Sean, is an auto mechanic and truck driver who enjoys welding, Julie Steig said.

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