The House of Illustration Drawing a Day Challenge: The Winners

John Vernon Lord, whose original series inspired our September Drawing a Day Challenge, selects his winner and runners-up.


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The Challenge, set up by the House of Illustration, was to do a drawing a day during the 30 days of September. Each drawing had to be an inch square, whereas most of my own 366 day-drawings, carried out during the leap year of 2016, were slightly larger at three centimetres square.

Over 430 people went in for the competition. That comes to 12,900 images altogether. Some were thematic, and others varied in subject matter. We had sets of dogs, insects, birds, fish, faces, plants, angels, landscapes, buildings, abstracts, flowers, and narrative – all manner of subjects.

It took the House of Illustration staff and me a great deal of time to establish a short list to make the final judgement of the winners. So many contributions were so good that I dreaded making a decision at all. It was nigh on an impossible task to come to a final choice for so many of the contributions were imaginative and well put together. I felt like the Dodo in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when judging the winner of the Caucus Race, when he said, "everybody has won, and all must have prizes." So many of them were very good sets indeed. The overall standard was so good that others might well have different views from mine.

The winner is Sojung Kim-McCarthy (image above). The theme that she gave herself for the challenge was: "Found Plastic on Bournemouth Beach". She says: "I documented with my drawings 30 random pieces of the plastic waste left on my local beach. Through this project, I've learned a lot about plastic pollution, heard from some companies about their effort to tackle plastic pollution, and also got to know some like-minded people as well as many talented illustrators. In fact, it was such a great experience I'm going to try and keep drawing more rubbish! Thank you for hosting this challenge - it was a very inspiring month." 

The two runners-up are: Jonathan Gibbs (image above) and John Shelley (image below). They each receivean exhibition catalogue and a John Vernon Lord tea towel and Sojung Kim-McCarthy wins a year's membership to House of Illustration. See our A-Z of all the entries here.