As soon as DeLaura Middle School art teacher Vikki Thacker described a contest to design a ketchup packet, 14-year-old Jamie Green knew she could win.
"I was confident in my designs," said Jamie, smiling. "I submitted seven times."
In one, a baby tomato drank from a Heinz ketchup bottle. In another, a ketchup bottle walked down a Hollywood-style red carpet to adoring french fry fans.
The winner? A young tomato dreaming of one day growing up to be a Heinz ketchup bottle.
Jamie was one of 12 grade-level winners in this year's Heinz Ketchup Creativity Contest. Their designs will be printed and distributed on more than 20 million ketchup packets nationwide.
As a winner, she received a $1,000 prize, DeLaura's art department received $1,000 for supplies and materials, and the school'scafeteria received $1,000 worth of ketchup packets.
"We were so impressed with the level of artistry and sheer imagination demonstrated by thousands of students across the country," said Andy Ludlow, associate brand manager for Heinz Ketchup. "It's truly inspiring to see so many talented young artists dream up their very own design using Heinz Ketchup packets as their canvass."
The Viera High School ninth-grader to be said that ideas for ketchup packet designs kept popping into her head. An angel ketchup bottle. Two parent ketchup bottles holding a baby tomato.
"I wanted it to hit home with people," said Jamie, who dreams of one day becoming an animator for Pixar films.
Jamie draws almost daily: Whether it's a pen and paper sketch while on the phone, or a portrait that she'll give as a gift, she used Copic markers to create vibrant colors and her imagination to blend fantasy with reality.
She's drawn cutesy caricatures of friends, what other friends would look like as zombies and, after being asked, what a woman's grandchildren would look like as superheroes.
"We're very excited for her," said her mother, Annette Green. "She's been artistic since she could hold a crayon."
Artistic talent, it seems, runs in their family. Green worked as a graphic designer and now teaches paper and mixed-media art classes. And her grandfather, Rodger Wolf, worked as a graphic artist at Disney before becoming president of Wolf Jessee Paquin Communications, a local marking and communications firm.
Sitting down at her Apple computer on Tuesday, Jamie used a drawing tablet to create a sketch of a girl holding a pet in her arms. Quickly, long, flowing pig-tails took shape, then large, anime eyes.
It's a style that's been inspired, in part, by her Japanese heritage, which she gets from her father's side of the family. Her dad, Paul Green, is a ULA engineer who works on the Delta IV program.
"It's my passion," Jamie said. "I love living through my art. I can express who I am."