FROM TANIA McCARTNEY, Founder
Some things in life are too big for words. This group has been one of them. In tribute to the ending of the Challenge, I will keep my words brief, because there really are no words. And this 'goodbye' is tough enough as it is.
The 52-Week Illustration Challenge began as a concept by one woman keen to take her children's book career from authorship into illustration. It worked. But more than that, it worked for hundreds, even thousands, of other people, too.
It took them to new places. It brought new opportunity. It elicited reconnection. There were book deals, illustration commissions, Etsy stores and new businesses. There was leaving old jobs, reconnecting with friends and family, travel, exhibitions, long-held dreams come true. There was community, support, warmth, and nothing short of pure happiness.
There was also comfort. A place to feel happy, safe and loved. Some say there were even life-saving moments, which, to this day... still... brings tears to my eyes.
Who'd have thought a simple weekly prompt to improve my illustrations after a 25+ year hiatus, could do so much?
But truly, it is not me, and not even my amazing partner Nicky, who made the Challenge what it was. It is YOU. Our members. The concept may have started with us, but it became what it is through your involvement and dedication. For that, I can't thank you enough.
I wanted to make mention of Nicky, who has been a longtime friend and who became my partner in this Challenge journey. Her love, dedication, support and creativity knows no bounds, and she knows how I feel about her! The Challenge was also supported and moulded and maintained and crafted by some incredibly talented, creative, beautiful people, who filled a role in admin over the years, and who became dear friends. Huge thanks to...
Lisa Marie Kerr
Erica Dullege Webb
Matt Glover (just one bloke, and a special one at that!)
Kirsty Collett - Director, August to December 2017
...for all that you have done and all that you have contributed to the Challenge. Your time, energy, love and passion is everything to me. I will never forget it. And a special mention to our beautiful friend Vanessa Pritchard, who has been such a dear and treasured part of our Challenge family, as she battles MND and serves as endless inspiration to us all.
This isn't goodbye. It's a new beginning, plump with promise. The Challenge is one of the greatest joys of my career, and it will forever remain that way. It's easy to say the Challenge changed my life, but I know it's the people who did that. So, thank you.
PS: I'd like to give a huge shout-out to Challenge member Shaye Wardrop, who not only took on our optional Picture Book manuscript challenge this year, but completed every. single. challenge. week. Without fail. Well done, Shaye--you have knocked my socks off and I can't wait to see one of your picture book manuscripts in print one day!
PPS: For those of you who were absent from the wall in late 2017 and were not aware that we were closing, the reason we made this decision is simple: It's Time. We never expected to run for four years, the Challenge was a hugely time-consuming undertaking, and we all have burgeoning careers and family to focus on now. And there is no other reason than all good things must come to an end.
PPS: Scroll down to the bottom of this post for just some of the beautiful comments we received on closing the Challenge. Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart.
FROM NICKY JOHNSTON, Director 2015 - 2018
As I reflect on the years with the Challenge, one of the most memorable moments was seeing the 52-Week Illustration Challenge Exhibition in Perth. Many members flew from all over Australia to be there, such an overwhelming and surreal experience. It was a huge organisation task which Tania and I took on, but it came together and was a perfect representation of the creativity of our members.
The entire admin team (changing over the years) were responsible for posting the weekly Challenge picks, we also ran Meet Monday interviews, tutorials, announcements, competitions, art swaps and art sales. Without this dedicated team, we could not have run the Challenge.
I'd like to make a special mention to members Ailine Harris and Coralie Ross who always commented on everyone's artwork, consistently for the entire duration of the Challenge. Kind words give so much confidence to those whose creativity is close to their heart, thank you both for your love and support.
I have loved seeing my Challenge friends SHINE ... taking the leap of faith to start creative business, sign book deals, branch into exhibitions and other exciting opportunities, but of course my heart filled with much joy when Tania reached her ultimate goal of illustrating her own children's book, and I know this is just the beginning for her. All down to the love, support and growth driven by this Challenge.
We dedicate the four years of the 52-Week Illustration Challenge to Lynn Tait and her glorious Team Granny presence in our group. Her posts, her love for her 13 grand kids, her support of other members, her passion for beauty, photography and art, were an eternal inspiration.
We know that the Challenge was a place of comfort and connection for Lynn, who first became a friend and then part of our Challenge family.
We miss her so, and she will never be forgotten.
|Lynn and husband Andy
What People Have Said
Thank you so much for everything you have done. You are all more than justified in stepping back! This challenge literally did change my life, thank you so much for making it happen for so long. – Laura Stitzel
Tania and your wonderful team, as artists we can never thank you for what you have brought to our lives over the past few years. Personally, it reignited my own passion and I am forever thankful that I became involved. We have all made lifelong friends and have had the opportunity to experience the best of creative love. I wish you much love and success to keep aiming for those creative stars, because you created a beacon of love and light for us all. xxx – Lesley McGee
Thank you Tania, Nicky and Challenge members thank you for giving me the inspiration and confidence to pick up a pencil...and then a paintbrush...to begin to illustrate again! A dream I reignited since I was a school girl! Since then I have completed a diploma in illustration, partially written & illustrated my own picture books & hoping to achieve much more more in the future. This wouldn't have begun without the challenge!! Thank you!! – Kym Langfield
Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration Tania and Nicky! – Lisa Jones
Have loved being part of this from the beginning even if I didn’t always participate. It is sad to see it go but fully understand the reasoning. Thank you so much for letting me be part of this amazing group. – Jacqui Petersen
Thank you Tania and all the other admins for all your work, thanks for the encouragement and support and most all the inspiration! – Samantha Simpson-Morgan
I VERY much appreciate the time and effort you awesome admins have been putting into such a fantastic creative initiative, and can totally understand why it's time to exit on a high note. This is what has pushed me into pursuing the illustration career that I've always put on hold, I still have such a long way to go, but I have this challenge to thank for getting into gear. My posts have been sporadic at best this year, but it is always a pleasure to see what you awesome artists come up with. Wishing all you lovely artists the best, and a standing ovation for Tania, Nicky and Kirsty ox – Lucie Mammone
You’re amazing Tania! You created something beautiful here – Jennifer Gan
Thank you for all your work over the years - you've really left a legacy – Freya Croft
Much love to you Tania and everyone that has helped you along the way. It has had such a positive impact on my life since 2014 and I will be forever grateful xx - Sonya Oyston
Thank you for all your hard work and inspiration and joy from all contributors around the world. – Miranda Wilkinson
Thank you! It's been an honour to be able to admire the work of so many tallented people! All the best to all of you!! – Ana Maer
Thank you for everything x – Gina Cochrane
An amazing legacy. – Jen Barton
Thank you, Nicky Johnston and Tania McCartney for starting this Challenge and building such a wonderful community. As much as I feel sad to see this Challenge closing down, I also have the utmost admiration for you guys for having the courage and grace to let go the Challenge at this point. I could only hope there would be brave and passionate souls out there who would want to start another Challenge as they have such big big big shoes to fill. It will never be the same though.
- Orange Tango
Good luck to both you and many thanks for the wonderful opportunity – Sue Rawlinson
Good luck to both of you. This group has been both amazing and inspiring <3 Thank you - Tracy Williams
Thank you to everyone for lighting up my day with your beautiful illustrations! It was honesty the best group. Thank you to Tania and the admin team this group couldn't have been this awesome without you – Amy Louise Calautti
Quiet and grateful thanks – Penelope Pratley
I think that’s wise. Keep a treasure a treasure. I can see where it is likely to veer somewhere else already. Much love for everything and for squeezing one last selfie from me – Terri Cartwright
Goodbye Challenge! Thank you for all the inspiration! – Laura Stratta
Thank you for all of your work & inspiration! I haven't participated in a long time but yours is a challenge that I've always recommended to those interested in becoming illustrators. I hope that all aspiring illustrators are lucky enough to find a regular and absolutely positive challenge/group as they begin their journeys. – Marla Lesage
The admin and the members. All of you have inspired me in one way or another to keep trying, with your awesome submissions and encouraging comments. So thank you to everyone involved in the 52 week illustration challenge. I really hope someone takes on another challenge to keep this all going. – Dave Chivers
Massive thank you for everything you & the team have done for the community... now go slow down! - Grace Bryant
As a non-contributor to the challenge, I would just like to express my appreciation as a "viewer" - I have loved seeing the wonderful range of artworks and themes throughout the year. I can only imagine how challenging it would be to run a page like that so kudos to the admin team for running it for these few years. – Wendy Kinniburgh
Such a sad day but totally understandable. Things have changed so much since day one. One thing is for sure Tania, this group not only succeeded in reaching your personal goals but has changed the lives of so many. It will always be a turning point in my life and career. – Suzy Houghton
Love you lot to the moon and back – Melissa Johns
Much love and thanks to the fabulous team and talented members of this group. It has been a privilege sharing in your creative journeys - I look forward to seeing updates from all! Thank you, T. What an incredible way to finish. Xx – Renee Price
Thank you for all the work you have done. I have been part of the challenge for three years straight, never missing a week. Its been a habit of mine each week to make sure the illustration gets done. It will be odd not to have that here and I will miss the community. A special thank you goes to Ailine Harris who has been a constant encouragement to myself and many others in all of that time. After at least 156 illustrations (more as I did doubles occasionally) for myself I can say this was invaluable for my development as an artist in many ways. – Amanda Hunt
Thanks you helped my illustration spirit soar. – Leanne Barrett
I have enjoyed seeing contributions from members and have sent one or two in myself. It will be very sad to see this end and amazing to see it blossom somewhere else. Thank you to all the team, I can only imagine what hard work it has been. Enjoy your new lives and know you will be missed – Shirley Allen
Thank you to all team members and admin team for all the works you have invested here for each and every one of us! X – Irene Tan
Oh, such sad news but it is something I definitely understand. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone on the admin team for working so hard. You've made this such a safe, kind and supportive space. You've reignited my passion for art and illustration, I hadn't drawn anything (other than scribbles and doodles) in over 15 years until I joined this group. It has been such a treat to see everyone's work and their interpretation of the theme. There are some truly talented people in our community! Thank you to the whole community for being your marvelous, kind and wonderful selves!! – Genevieve Hopkins
Now that I have shed some tears and the shock is slowly dissipating...thank you...thank you all from the bottom of my heart....I never saw myself as a person who did illustrations...nor very good either at much...but this group has made me love drawing again...something I constantly did as a child, I got to enjoy again as an adult… and boy...have my drawings grown... I am so incredibly thankful to every person who has liked or loved my pictures...for every person who has taken the time to comment and encourage. To the amazing admin who always makes sure one of you likes or comments on practically each and every illustration done...your constant time has been greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much again...I will miss this place immensely. – Mandy Snow
It has been humongous and a privilege! Thanks everyone! – Ian McLean
So sad but but also so understandable. Thank you for the innumerable hours you have spent on this project. It has been so important to so many! – Brooke Reedlunn
I’ve watched, I’ve stopped and only recently starting posting and loving it. I can’t thank you enough for getting me drawing again. And massive thanks to you Tania in taking the plunge to create this site and community and the amazing team running it. Wishing you all the very best in your respective careers. Have a beautiful Christmas with your loved ones. - Catherine Morgans
Very sad ...Tania and the admin team thank you so much for all your hard work. It's been great to be a part of this group and I know that the challenge has indeed challenged me to create illustrations that surprise me. It was a joy to see so many artists at different levels share their work. I love all the friends I have made here and hope that we will bump into each other somewhere in life's intricate maze. – Peter Papamanolis
I'm devo! Love this page and all the characters, talented artists and amazing creations! Even as, just a viewer, this page provided much wonder and delight – Kylie Davis
I am so, so grateful for all the wonderful encouragement and support the lovely members of this group have given me. I remember so clearly my hesitation at pressing 'post' on my first illustration... then never looked back. Thank you Tania, Nicky, Kirsty and all the Admin team for all your awesome work. Art is such a wonderful thing to share and I love our diversity in approaching it.. All the best everyone for the future and arty projects ahead. We'll have to all find each other on Instagram! - Jo Bone
Thank you soooooo much to the whole team for all your valuable time and energy with this amazing challenge.
It's people like you who change the lives of others for the better including mine. I have absolutely loved this opportunity and I honestly don't know what I used to do with my spare time before it. I've lived and breathed it since the very end of 2015.
I'll always remember that I posted my first illustration for 'party' and it got chosen that week amongst such talented artists. I was so excited that people saw something in my art and it gave me a new found incentive to keep drawing and improve my skills.
Thank you thank you thank you for everything!
You have planted the seed for us to grow in our own direction now. Thank you from the bottom of my heart – Shaney Hyde
I am only a viewer and supporter of my sister and my niece! I have thoroughly enjoyed their imaginative, creative, every-growing talented work, as well as the beautiful work of so many artists on 52-Week Challenge!!! I am sad, but I wish the administrative team new challenges in their personal lives! BRAVO!!! – Pam Drake Carrie
I am gutted. When I joined I didn't really "do" art, now with the support of this group and the friends I have made from it I sell art, I have become the artist I never had the chance to become before. Most of that is down to this page so thank you all so much. I have learned much and hopefully given something back.
Thank you all for all the time and inspiration you've given. Its been such a pleasure and I look forward to seeing your names around the interwebs – Sarina Dickson
OH WOW. This is big news, one that breaks my heart. I have not been active in the last two years, and that's because this illo group has given me the gift of a flourishing art career, both online and in the real world. Whenever I achieve major milestones, I privately touch base with Tania McCartney, who has become a mentor in more ways than one, to express my gratitude. Whenever people ask how I got to where I am today, I always credit this community, one I've been part of since 2014, and every single one of you in this empowering group. Your energy and inspiration awakened me from my 5-year creative block and I finally found my voice as an artist. Making art along with strangers across the world helped me morph and evolve exponentially in leaps and bounds. Ever since, my paintings have found homes across 7 countries and 4 continents. I could not have done this without the illo group. Really! A resounding THANK YOU for being part of my daily creative journey everyone! THIS GROUP SIMPLY CHANGED MY LIFE – Cherie A Bitanga
What a great ride, Tania! Cheers to the admin team. It was a tough, but rewarding gig. Glad you all saw through another year, now go and fly high. – Patricia Ward
I've woken up suddenly at 2 am here in the UK feeling bad. and felt I needed to check fb. I've had to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming. Will I wake up and find I made this up? Probably because it's the middle of the night, I'm feeling very sad right now, but at the same time I am definitely going pull something out of the bag for celebrate. You are all awesome and my life has been brightened by being part of this amazing, beautiful, powerful, positive, creative group.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the challenge, for all the reasons you have listed. And congratulations to you, the founders of the arty feast, and all the admins. You created something wonderful and achieved so much for so many.
What a legacy! Much love to you all xx – Katherine Harper
I am so sad, but I also wondered how you all did it with so many of us out here. You were wonderful, and my daughter and I have both found a new reason to create. My Facebook friends will miss seeing an Illustration per week unless I continue on my own, which I likely will! You have inspired us in ways you’ll never know, and I thank you with all my heart! You are ALL amazing people! I forgot to say directly, you have inspired me and made me more creative! Thank you, thank you, thank you ALL! – Deborah Drake Norris
Your hard work will be remembered. – Anne-Marie Hudon
Thank you, Tania and the rest of an amazing team. Giuseppe Poli encouraged me to join earlier this year. I have loved every moment of it and have grown so much as an artist. You are all inspiring people, and I thank you for your hard work and dedication to create such an amazing place. – Megan Higginson
Thank you all so much for your hard work over the years. 2017 wad my 3rd year in the challenge, and even though I didn't post every week, I have gotten a lot out of the challenge. I have learned and made great connections. I finally call myself an illustrator and I don't think that would have happened without this challenge. – Connie B Dowell
Well done team on running such a safe and happy place. Sounds like a super wise decision, and wishing the admin crew a happy last few weeks! Xxx – Jess Racklyeft
Omg. But Yes. I have often wondered how you all do it??. Having joined in "term 3" 2014 and heavily contributing in 2015, I have watched and supported this amazing group of humans most of the way. Thank you for the years of incredible Inspiration and the plethora of connections that have been formed. Some will be life-long. You are all brilliant and I'm sad.
What a ride!!! – Samantha Cohen
I enjoyed this challenge and a wonderful community tremendously, wish I knew about it sooner:( thank you team for running such a lovely challenge and to all participants for the love and beauty shared here – Anya Kopotilova
Fabulous Tania, sad but also a celebration of the joy of this group. Thank you for everything the challenge gave to me. Friends, inspiration, opportunities!! – Sally Fawcett
I want to thank the entire team for giving us a safe and supportive platform to express and create. This group was the first that I showed my drawings to and it has been a confidence building stage for which I am very grateful. I truly wish you all the very best in your endeavours. – Fiona Weir
I know I haven’t been a part of this community long and I haven’t been very active but it has been such a window of opportunity for me. If it wasn’t for this group I would never have heard of Nina Rycroft’s illustration class and it has pushed me so far out of my box. Thank you, ladies for all of your hard work. I wish you all the best out there in the real world with your careers. Thank you for letting me be a part of this even for such a short time. – Alicia Cash
Thank you Tania, Nicky and Kirsty. Haven’t been active lately but the group has always been a source of inspiration for me and helped me stay focused. All the best - Giana Cochrane
I'm feeling quite bereft at this news, even though I was considering if I should /could stop or reduce my entries. I started Jan '15 and have missed once out of those 3 years, so don't think I could not have not participated anyway! Thank you so much to all the lovelies that have run this group; though I'm nowhere near as good as most, and I'll probably never leave my day job to create every day, I am now comfortable calling myself an artist. And that's a pretty big thing to me. I will really miss the wonderful and inspiring images that pop up in my feed every day, and the camaraderie that goes along with being part of something so special. – Lisa Jones
Thank you and your team for all you’ve done! You are going out on a high. A wonderful initiative, hard-working team, beautiful art and a safe place for all to be creative. Well done to all involved. I will miss the challenge – Maree Healy
Thank you to you all for all you have done. I personally haven’t posted any artwork to this site, but have loved seeing all the amazing posts. So many incredibly talented and inspirational people on this page. Good luck to you in your future creative endeavours. Thank you! – Lise Holt
I have to admit that I am devastated - while at the same time I wholeheartedly understand and commend you on making such a tough decision. I have connected with some amazing illustrators here - real 'salt of the earth' people. Some of you I have been blessed to meet in person. I was encouraged to illustrate regularly and this enabled my confidence as an illustrator (I used to struggle to call myself that) to grow - and my portfolio also grew concurrently. As a result, I have now illustrated 2 published children's books!
In fact, this group is the reason I have struggled to submit illustrations to the group this year - as I have been balancing full-time work while illustrating books (another 2 on the go currently, and I have just signed for another 1!). Further than that, I can proudly announce that, as of almost 4 months ago, I am now illustrating full-time, and I do believe I owe it very much to this group and to the encouragement I received to keep illustrating, to keep growing and learning, and to keep doing what I love (as you never know where it will lead). So I want to say from the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU. I am so incredibly grateful to you all!
To Tania, Nicky and Kirsty, thank you for the behind-the-scenes hard work to keep this wonderful, integral community thriving. On a more personal note to Tania, thank you for your encouragement and willingness to offer advice in those very early days - I am indebted to you. To all admin, thank you for giving up your time for all of us! And to all members, thank you for inspiring me daily. I hope we can all connect again in the future - especially in the real world. – Katherine Appleby
Very sorry to hear this. I have never posted, but was sure that I would one day. Will have to dig deep for a thank-you post. This group has been much appreciated. Particularly some of the images from "deep" last year. I wish you all well oxox – Alexis Sutherland
such sad news but I am also grateful for the way the challenge stretched me to pursue trying illustration. I fell in love with doing the challenge and only wish you and the admin team the very best in your future. I have met and become friends with many and will now make sure I become friends with more before losing touch. Thank you so much you are surely loved by all of us – Michele Kempees-Lewis
I can’t believe it I am so devastated I was already planning my adventures for next year. But thank you so much for this wonderful ride it has been amazing. I will defiantly keep up my creativity and post through my own page. Love you all and thank you so much Tania McCartney you have been amazing. – Allison Howard
I'm very sad to see the Challenge end, but I can understand totally how much effort goes into managing the amazing monster it has become! I joined in February 2014 (I think) and I've enjoyed the beautiful works and friendships made since then. I only wish I had taken part more, but perhaps it's time for my own challenge. Love to all of you, and huge thanks for all of the encouragement and support! Especially enormous hugs to the whole Admin team, it's been an amazing experience, thank you thank you. – Tony Fanali
Such a beautiful online community to lose & I was so looking forward to another year! I only found you all last year & found this page so inviting, inspirational, loving & so much more. It has helped me in my (emotional) time of need & been such a pleasure to see all grow in art, confidence & professionally. I totally understand the amount of work & time needed to keep a page like this running & thank you legends for doing so for so long. You all totally rock & I wish you nothing but big success in your future endeavours – Joanne Franklin
I have loved being a part of something so amazing! I have made friends all across the globe and pushed myself harder and deeper towards my own personal goals. I could not have done this without everyone here cheering me on and seeing all the beautiful original things that have been posted along the way. I am sad, but understand how crazy difficult this is from an admin perspective. Time to set new goals and see where the wind blows each of us in the days ahead – Nichole Wade
I was speechless when I saw the post popped up on my feed. I really want to say big thank you to the group. Without the challenge, I probably didn't push myself to keep going and try to improve my skills. All illustrations came up on my feed were so inspiring. It was amazing to see so many ideas for one theme. I have learnt a lot form them. Also it was grateful that I happened to connect to quite a few members from all over the world through the challenge. I am really hoping I will meet them all in person someday. - Akemi Ito
Thank you for the group admin to let me join this lovely talented group. I will truly miss it and my FB page will certainly be a little grayer and less fun once the group closes. While I don't get to post much in this group, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the wonderful work shared. You inspire me and awe me with your talent and dedication. Thank you! – Eva Jay
Wow, this was very sad to read, but like the others have said, I can totally appreciate that this has to be incredibly time-consuming. I've met the most incredible people on here whose friendship I cherish, and whose gorgeous artwork I've appreciated. I've started drawing again, something I never thought I would do again, and find I am in love with it totally. I've stretched myself, learnt my style along with SO much more, grew in confidence, and just opened my mind 100% to all kinds of ideas. How does one thank those who gave them all that? You have changed my life completely for the better, made my painful days a thousand times better--far, far better than any doctor or medicine ever could. Thank you for everything, you illustration angels, you! Xoxoxo – Michelle Marie Mead
I’m devastated to hear this! The challenge has provided so much inspiration and lead to meeting some wonderful people! I’m really going to miss it! Thank you to everyone involved – Nic Cotterell
What a beautiful and amazing gift of creative space you gave us all, it's been our little corner of wonder, an escape each week to unwrap and enjoy the creativity of such a talented community. Thank you Tania, Nicky and Kirsty and all the admins, you've made such a positive difference in our lives and built up more than just the challenge, you've built a community, sharpened talents enabled networks and energized dreams. I wish you and all of us the very best as we face the future and whatever it holds for all of us, may it overflow with love, art and beautiful creations that speak of each of our individual uniqueness and brighten the days of those who behold them. – Lucy Zulu Simuzingili
Thank you so much for everything! I remember how I was submitting some of the illustration challenge and how it shaped me, built my confidence, and helped me to find joy with watercolour. I would say that joining this community was my stepping stone as an illustrator (I was on my last year of uni when I was first joining). Right now I still couldn't believe how I could break the boundaries, and get the result I was never expecting every time I made this challenge. I wish I could make more of them and I regret not doing any this year. Thank you for everything! Thank you for accepting me even though I'm from a small country from Indonesia! For those who liked my illustrations last year and gave me support. They are all stay inside of my heart! – Audrey Katherine
I’ve enjoyed seeing the remarkable talent out there. I wish I had a smidgeon of some of that. Well done to everyone and I wish every member joy and blessings in their future endeavours. Thank you for the pleasant posts that were a short escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. I will miss this. Xx – Wanda Rowan
Wow! Congratulations to all of you and what you have achieved within this community. Best wishes for your future creative adventures and most of all THANK YOU xx – Aura Parker
Ahhh this is sad news. I really enjoyed how the group brightened up my timeline. And it helped me to grow. Ill miss the challenge. I really understand why. Thank you for all the work and wish you all the best. – Elisa Verwoest-Schöne
It's is sad to see the challenge end. But I'm so grateful to have been a part of the challenge. I'm now back into illustration and if it wasn't for you Tania McCartney and the 52 week challenge I may never have rediscovered my passion. A big thank you to you and everyone involved. Best wishes, Susan - Susan Hili
The Challenge completely transformed my life and I shall forever be thankful for it. What an incredible 4 years it's been. Thank you so much Tania, Nicky, Kirsty and everyone who shared admin. Raising my glass in gratitude and sadness. xxx – Heidi Cooper Smith
Thank you and its been wonderful, a very brave call, i wish everyone of you peace happiness and more time to work on your own creative careers. Thank you for the experience and the opportunities you provided – Maggie Iovanella
Congratulations Tania, Nicky, Kirsty and the whole team for your outstanding achievements. Tania, thank you for encouraging and allowing me to contribute, especially at the start when I was going through a very sad time in my life. The Challenge really did challenge me, making me want to learn more, go further and now I have a studio and paint every day. Thanks so much! – Dawn Packer
Sad news but a huge thanks to the wonderful admin team for your support and dedication over the years. Best of luck in the future to all the members of this amazing creative community! xx – Prue Pittock
Oh, I so enjoyed seeing the posts from all of you. I wish I had spent more time submitting! Thank you so much for all your time and effort. It really was inspiring and magical and I'm sure it was tons of work. Thank you! – Eve Moran
Where do I begin?
I am not even sure there are words.
Even though I haven't posted in this group for some time now I still watch and it has always been a part of me.
Heck this group saved me.
I have made life-long friends here.
I have been supported when I lost my Mum this year by those friends.
I changed my career because of the love, support and confidence I got from this group.
I found my purpose.
I found me again.
This group started because one woman Tania McCartney had a dream.
Let that be a constant reminder to us all that one person, with a dream can indeed change the world.
Look how it has changed all of our lives.
Thank you Tania, Nicky Johnston, Kirsty and all of the other admins (many of whom I love beyond words) for providing creative's a safe and encouraging environment where we could fly.
I wish each and every member all the best for the future and beg of you to keep creating xx – Lisa-Marie Kerr
O. That's very sad. I found this group as I was coming out of cancer treatment and the beautiful art inspired me to draw again. Since then I've done commissioned pieces and taken up linocut which people actually want to buy. Thank you so much for creating so much joy. I have friends from all over the world now. It's given me the confidence to really go for it. I will always be grateful to you all for that. Xxx – Sandie Fletcher
Oh. I had just begun to contribute to this group and feel the enormous flux of inspiration and wellwishing. Thank you for making this all possible, for creating this, for all this time. It is so much more than I can put into words! – Anna Snorrepot
Thank you all so much for being part of an art continuum in my last few years. It has been a constant in this rapidly changing life. I am prolific in my output and so enjoy a " good draw" ........ It's been a privilege to be part of this diverse and lovely group of people. I wish you all the very best. X – Julie StAubyn
OMG! That’s a sad but understandable announcement. I joined this challenge group I think in the middle of 2017 and it was such an honor to be amongst such great and various artists from all over the world, who share, develop and encourage each other’s work and life. What you (Tania McCartney, Nicky Johnston, Kirsty Collett and all the admins) have brought to life is incredible and wonderful. You must be proud because everyone of us I guess is, knowing what a hard job it must be to bring all this together on the level you did. I‘ll miss my view and scrolling over the colorful page already yet. I hope we members find ways to connect in time and stay in contact, that would be great to me. So I have to stop now before getting to emotional... BIG THANKS, HUGS AND HOPEFULLY C U SOON - Alex Pick
The end of an era! And what an era it was. Rewarding, collegial, fabulous art that gave people hope and enjoyment to create, that launched careers, provided encouragement and creative joy, and behind the scenes, the amazing Tania McCartney, Nicky Johnston, Kirsty and the company of committed workers. I salute you all! Thank you for the memories! And the art. – Sheryl Gwyther
So sad to read this. Thank you for these 3 years! It was great fun and I have practiced my drawing and my english at the same time! For you it must have been fun, but also hard work. I know from my own experience of running a wellvisited FB page once, but I had to stop due to the amount of work. AND thank you Kirsty for the amazing themes for 2018! – Helena Fogelberg
Thanks for your great work and for the opportunity! – Elizabeth Samoris
Words cannot describe what the challenge has given so many us. Thank you and happy creating everyone. Xxx – Natalie Daniel
You all achieved something wonderful, which is so special. I've loved looking at the images. Wishing you all exciting new adventures! Xxx – Alison Reynolds
Hard to write yet completely understand which is why I had to slow down myself. So much LOVE and adoration for the 52 week illo group and friendships and creative connections I have made. Thank you forever Tania McCartney Nicky Johnston Kirsty Collett all the admins past and present and especially to all my arty besties and so many wonderful friendships made here. Lots of love and warm wishes for the amazing creative journeys and futures for you all. Stay connected xoxoxoxox will miss this amazing community and feel so blessed to have been a part of it all. It saved me too and had been integral to finding my way and getting my mojo and creative lifestyle up and running again – Bronny Boniface
Life has been difficult this year and precluded me from posting but I would like to give a big heartfelt thank you to this group for starting me drawing and painting and I will treasure that and thank you to the beautiful Ailine Harris for her always positive comments. Thank you for setting this up and for leaving it for prosperity even if it's no longer active. – Wattle Ido
I'm not an artist I just like to draw and paint and when I joined the challenge in January 2015 I was inspired by all the wonderful art that was streaming on my page. I have learnt so much and tried different mediums and feel like I have like-minded friends all over the world. I feel very sad but I do appreciate all the work it takes to keep this challenge running so smoothly. Thank you, Tania and all the admin staff, may you all have success and love in your lives. – Irene O’Brien
Oh no I am heartbroken.. I only just found you 4 weeks ago, and was so looking forward to the community and the inspiration and the learning....... heartbroken is the word from me.. – Susan McArthur
I can’t help but feel saddened like I’m losing a dear friend! Thank you so much to all the wonderful admin and community that has made this the great place that it’s been. I look forward to finding new and similar opportunities to share and see others work. Congrats to everyone for participating, learning and being inspired over the past few years here just as I have! I will miss all your friendly faces and artworks in my feed. Sending much love to Tania and the rest of admin that this decision has obviously been bittersweet for. - Amie Sabadin
Thank you so much for creating the challenge. You have changed my life by reconnecting me with my first love, art. I've been doing a art course for the past 12 months, which I never would have enrolled in without the confidence boost I got from doing the challenge in 2015. And I have met some awesomely cool people who are now my FB friends, and hopefully one day IRL too. I totally get why you would need to close it off, it must have become an all-consuming monster. Thanks so much for sharing it with us and best of luck for your real life ventures! Xxxx – Kathleen Potter
So many have already expressed their gratitude and love of this wonderful group that Tania, Nicky and Kirsty (and I am sure others) have created. I can only agree with every word. I have only been in the challenge this year and have loved and enjoyed every moment of it, it rapidly became a part of my daily life. Taking part has inspired me to draw so much more freely and escape the limitations of drawing the things I have to earn a living. I don’t think I could have done that without joining this group. Others have used the phrase ‘life changing’ and for me I think it truly has been. For myself, I will carry on with my own weekly ‘challenge’ using my own Facebook page. This has become a wonderful illustration habit and one which I truly don’t want to lose.
I shall have to make the most of the last illustration prompts!
Thank you, Tania, for this fabulous worldwide inspirational community you have created.
I truly wish you all great success with your future projects. If you ever rethink and start again, please please let me know. Much love and admiration. – Colin Rowe
Thank you for the opportunity. It was awesome seeing everyone's work and comments. My New Year’s Resolution was going to be to submit more work. Your huge efforts have been appreciated by so many! Wishing everyone lots of happiness and good luck! – Irene King
I am very sad to hear this but I also understand how much time and energy it must take you all to organise. My mother-in-law, Lynn Tait, loved the challenge and its supportive members. We did try to add more Team Granny artwork but, sadly, this year has been tough for all of us and we didn't do as much as we hoped.
We also thank everyone who sent us beautiful original artwork to honour Granny. It was heartwarming and unbelievably kind. I am writing this really to say thank you all for your friendship to Lynn. You all meant such a lot to her. Her virtual friends who helped her through her long nights on steroids! Goodluck in all that you continue to do and please stay in touch! Xxx – Marisa Tait
When I first read this message a few hours ago I got really sad and didn't have the words to reply yet. But I really want to thank Tania, Nicky and Kirsty for their awesome work and I do understand why you have chosen to end this wonderful adventure. And a big thank you for everyone in the community I joined somewhere in 2015 (I think?) and looking back at my first entries and what I do now. This community definitely helped me develop my own style! I kept up the first half of this year and barely posted the second half, but I'll try to work on one final piece before closing in a few weeks. I'm definitely going to miss the colorful, inspiring, loving art work in my timeline come February. Good luck to everyone! – Marijke Dermois
I am so sad right now. I have enjoyed so much being part of this amazing group and I am so grateful for all your encouragement, support and friendship. Thank you, thank you to Tania and the administration team. – Marie Laure Fontan
I completed the challenge in 2015, and like so many of the comments above, it is no exaggeration to say it changed my life. I can only imagine how much hard work must have gone on behind the scenes. Thank you for creating such a beautiful space – Sarah Hart
This is sad news but I understand completely and thank everyone for their hard work and encouragement. This group has picked me up when I was down and given me encouragement, inspiration and motivation. Thank you. I will miss you guys! – Heidi Lingard
Thank you Tania, Nicky and Kirsty - we only have a small glimpse into how much work it is running a group Ike this. Thank you for being inspiring and encouraging, and proving the space for us all to make art. – Freya Croft
Thank you for everything. It was short but nice time for me here. Everything will be fine, it is completely understandable you need to focus to the 'other' life beyond web, which was also reason for myself I could't post very often here. We will miss you, though. All the best, hugs and love. – Vesna Kitthiya
I saw this moving post this morning. Firstly a few words for the amazing Founder, Directors and Admins...you rock as people and artists. I have never felt so much community, friendship and support through Art as I have with you guys...I have made friendships, sometimes we met up, and there are those who I admire from a far on a FB journey on their Art developing.
More than this, your challenge has saved me, Tania McCartney.... Having a focus, deadlines and awesome support has meant I have grown as an artist after years of never even picking up a pencil! In the last five years my life has taken most of my family from familial ALS...MND. When I couldn't run, train anymore I took my pain away joining this community. My daughter told me to join your young group after months of stalking you guys, not feeling good enough. Five years later it truly has been life changing hanging with you guys...Even spending so much time in the UK nursing family, I never left The Challenge, found only comfort in it, a stability...I remember where every new pick took place, and where I moved on.
After the hardest years of my life, this group has given me so much...friends, focus on my art and to strive to achieve so much with so much support. Thank you Tania McCartney, Nicky and all admin. I feel my recovery and strength is part of my journey in this group/community. I will miss you, but guys know you have sent so many on a journey you were meant to start...be proud... I will be sending so many friend requests to keep in touch with such special Art in my Life x. – Vanessa Pritchard
You are all amazing and the only reason I have stopped posting is because I have found creative work from the inspiration and skill set that I gained in those first years. I love and adore the work in the wall and completely understand the workload you must have in voluntarily supporting us all. I have dear friends who are also members and other members who I discovered here and now follow and admire such as Demelsa Haughton, to name a few. I now have Tania McCartney’s book on my shelf and will be forever grateful. Thank you. Best wishes. – Paloma Hodgins
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Stunned. Shocked. So sad. I never posted much. But I have always loved looking at everyone’s art...and found wonderful people through this space... people who inspire and nurture and sustain... who live with generosity of spirit and heart...who create beauty and joy. THANK YOU. And please...let’s friend request and stay in touch with those whose work resonates with you x – Shani Nottingham
Oh no. So sad. Thanks for a great year! – Louann Brown
Thank you all for your hard work and inspiration! Being a part of this challenge has been life changing. Being a part of a community that spans the globe has been a real heart opener. I have loved reading posts with a different accent ;-) and creating artistic relationships with illustrators from all over the world! Lately I have been following the wonderful artwork posted to the wall, but have not posted in quite a while due to my contracted illustration work that came from a client seeing work that was inspired by this fantastic challenge. The opportunities that you have given to us through inspiring our inner artist is monumental. l am sad to see it put on ice, but so thankful for all that you have done. Thank you! Sending you much love and appreciation!! – Elizabeth Bostic
Hello Everyone... I am going to miss this and each of you. When joining this group around week 39 in 2014, I had no idea that it would develop into over 3 years of weekly creative habits. I’m honestly very random by nature. This challenge has really been a catalyst for habit building... but the kind where you look forward each week to what comes next, creating something new, and sharing the creation which have sometimes been good or bad, quick or painstakingly detailed, pretty or not so pretty (haha or at least not as good as hoped!). I love ‘making‘ things so my illustrations often feel ‘made’ rather than drawn. Drawing is one of the hardest things for me but this challenge encourages me to draw, to improve, and to experiment...and to share...and I am GRATEFUL. I love watching each of your creative journeys and am overwhelmed by the amazing illustrations that fill my feed along with the stories, the passions and tidbits of you, and your friendships. I look forward to finding you and your work in other places. To the lovely admins, past and present, Kirsty Collett, Nicky Johnston...thank you for EVERYTHING...and Tania McCartney you are heart and the spark that ignited such wonderful thing! Xoxo – Anne L-y So
Thank you so much for all of your efforts. I haven't been as active this year, but joining back in 2014 was instrumental in getting me back into my art. The support and love of this community has been fabulous and I wish all of you the very best in where ever this adventure takes you next. – Dana Haigh
Thank you so much for a truly wonderful experience. Joining the group this year kick-started me back to creating, during a rather difficult slump. It gave me a focus each week and some much-needed support, plus the inspiration of seeing others' amazing takes on the themes. My artwork has changed and grown even during the short time I've been doing it. Thank you Tania McCartney, Nicki Johnston and Kirsty Collett, as well all the other admin team, it must have been a huge task. I picked up this post whilst eating breakfast with my family, and, embarrassingly, I cried!! That's how special the support and creative input has been xxxx – Sue Rinaldi
It’s been an inspiring and fabulous community to be part of it (although I haven’t managed to participate as much as I would have liked). Thank you for all the time, effort and love all the admin the team have put in. X – Janine Dwan
Although I’ve never managed to keep up with the monthly projects, I’ve loved to visit here and enjoy the diverse talent and enthusiasm for creativity that’s shared by this lovely community. What a sweet space for artists to grow and flourish!
– Ellie Greenfield
Thanks to all the administrators and all the participants in the wall, I'm still shocked by the closing news, but I understand that things can change. It was a beautiful experience! He helped me a lot, I hope to meet you again on the net.
(Forgive me for my english) – Luciana Borghi
So sad to see the end of the challenge which we were introduced to by Lynn Tait. All I can say is a big thank you to everyone involved, admin and members for embracing my daughter Olivia and giving her such boosting feedback. It has been so therapeutic for her to engage with when able. You have no idea what a help you have all been. So from a very grateful Mum and happy little girl...thank you all and good luck everyone. If a new challenge or group gets set up, please keep us in the loop! Love Andie and Olivia xxx – Andie Guy
I'm a little bit stunned and heartbroken to read this news, but of course fully understand the decision. It is wonderful that your careers are taking off, so a huge congratulations to Tania, Nikki and Kirsty for everything you have achieved and are going on to do. A heartfelt thank you to you all - admin and artists - for this challenge. It really has turned my life around and got me creating again after a decade long drought. I am so in love with the work I am doing in and am so proud of the progress I've made in the last few years; it is entirely attributable to this challenge. The inspiration, support and all-round love from you all has been invaluable and I will miss it deeply. Thank again to the whole community, and to Tania for having such a wonderful brain-child! My social media will be all the duller for the loss of all your beautiful creations. – Susanna Crispe
Tania, Nicky, Kirsty...thank you for the Challenge. Thank you for this Haven. Thank you for the friendships created. Thank you for fellow members who are really arty family. What a journey we have taken together. I would not have progressed in my drawing had it not been for the Challenge and the supportive comments. All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you & much love xx – Clara Cook
I’m going to miss all the amazing art filling my newsfeed, instead of boring, repetitive retweets of crappy news. Thank you all for the positive, beautiful art. All the best to you all! – Bernadette Halas
I started work to this devastating news yesterday. It is really very sad to see this group close! A place where "The bear and his human" started and a place I found plenty of support when I was still struggling to figure out my illustrator path.
I am really honoured to know amazing supportive people along the way, It is all the amazing members and artworks that made this community unique! I will definitely miss this place and was planning to start drawing the weekly themes again but I was too late.
But I will have to thank all of you especially the founder Tania McCartney for this wonderful journey. The group will be terribly missed! - Yvonne Soh
Thanks for all the wonderful art shared and comments over the years. And thanks to Tania and company for their awesome efforts. Wish you all the best – Damien Thomasz
Thank you for allowing me to be part of this challenge over the past 12 months. I am in the early stages of beginning to earn from my illustrations, this wouldn't of been possible without this platform to kick-start my drawing with your wonderful themes. - Joanne Kelly
As a newbie and a PB person only, I can't thank Tania and her fab team enough for starting up this group and inviting in writers this year. I am currently sitting on my laptop writing my 49th PB manuscript for the year. There's some shockers and some I hope will see light of day, and many in between. Each theme seemed completely impossible until it wasn't (which is the point, right?). Thanks everyone for your generosity, inspiration and lovely comments through the year xx – Anita Weller
This group has been so instrumental in my journey as an artist, and I am forever grateful. I delight in the illustrations that flood my feed daily, and have adored being a part of this special community. With huge thanks to all xx – Erica Dullege Webb
This group has been extremely important to me in terms of having a welcoming, loving and warm community into which I felt safe to share my emotions through paintings. Knowing there can be such a community gave me a lot of hope for the past 2 years, especially having come off from an extremely competitive environment. I will miss every single one of you and want you all to know how grateful I am to have found such a supportive community online, I never knew that was possible.
A BIG thank you to the Admins for your hard work and for devoting a part of your lives to keep this challenge alive. It has been truly wonderful belonging to such a group and I think many others will agree on that. – Irish Pereira
Thank you very much for this project! I have had an enormously stressful year, but this group has always given me so much energy and happiness - for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best in the future, and please know that you have had a tremendous positive impact on my life. Thank you! – Teresa Sorribes
Such sad news. It took me a while to process. Although I have only been part of the challenge this last year I am thankful for the positive habits, feedback and interaction that it has given me. Thank you to Tania, Kirsty, Nicky, Penelope, Joanne and all the other admin members who have posted encouraging comments over the past 12 months. I will take your positivity into the coming year – Goldie Chelmsford
Thank you all so much, it's been inspirational to me even though I've never posted my own art. And thank you for leaving the group up as an archive. All the best for the future - Melissa Eyles
That's really a heart wrenching decision but like all decisions, it should be well respected n honored. All beautiful things need a final curtain, however. I had a wonderful year of 2016 to complete all the 52 themes n I must sincerely thanks the organizers n admins for the all the effort. Bravo! Pls feel my applause from the bottom of my heart. – James Leong
Thank you for the challenge for the past few years Tania McCartney, I am for ever grateful and if I find another group that lets you post in any medium and I enjoy half as much as this group I will consider myself lucky. As for the many artist friends I have made I hope to keep seeing all of you on Facebook. Best wishes all. Thank you, Admin Team. – Margaret Dewar
Congratulations and Thankyou for the brilliant and generous thing you did – Liz Anelli
What an amazing ride this has been. Thank you so much to Tania, Nicky, Kirsty and all of admin past and present for the being the most caring, supportive (and funny) group of people I have ever met. My creative journey started when I joined the challenge and got the ball rolling . Thank you to all the wonderful members for their weekly contribution to the challenge. I have loved seeing everyone’s illustrations develop and improve over time, which is exactly what the challenge was all about. This experience will stay with me forever and it’s members, friends for life! - Sophie Marie
Ladies, all I can say is thank you. This challenge became a lifeline for me when my husband of almost 20 years unexpectedly walked out at the end of 2015. The instant turmoil I entered was at times unbearable as I upheld my two boys through the process...the 52 week illustration challenge was my one focus outside of the drama...it gave me purpose, encouragement, respite, joy, hope and brought something inside me to life. For that I will always be thankful.
I will miss this incredible group, the art creations of all these amazing creative people, they have brought such happiness into my news feed daily. I'll share with you a quote I've used many times before. It was said by a somewhat unknown Anglican Minister in a private conversation I had with him regarding a youth drama club many years ago. The Reverend Michael Flynn said, "It's harder to end something, than what it is to start it." It is so true. I know each of you will continue to flourish in your creative careers, and it has been a true gift that you have given through the challenge to all of us. xxx – Winterberry Art
I am very saddened by this news - understand it of course and thank all of you admins on doing such a fine job. It really was a great group and welcomed all and everyone of any type of artwork. I know it has inspired heaps and heaps of budding creatives and for that we all thank you. – Sue Schreiber
It could be a hard decision but I absolutely understand you. I discovered this wonderful group a year ago. I'd like to thank you for your work, for your time and for your encouragement. I really enjoyed this challenging, motivating and inspiring year of drawing. I'm at the start of my way of illustration but I like to go through on this way and you helped me so much. So THANK YOU and wish y'all the best! – Nikoletta Vereczkei
I’ve been a bit slow catching up with this. But that was a great post and I agree wholeheartedly with your decision. Thank you so much Tania, Nicky, Kirsty and all the admin for the huge effort you put in. Much appreciated. The challenge has been an immense help to a lot of people including me, despite my sporadic input. It was for me, a relatively safe place to start when facing creative block or other obstacles and was also a joy to scroll through. Best wishes to all for an exciting new start. Thanks again. Xxx – Judy Watson
So sad to learn this challenge is ending :-/ I wasn't able to do it last year but I keep great memories of my participation in 2016. Thanks to everyone and special thanks to Ailine Harris who was one of the most dynamic and cheerful person on other people's art :-) With all my love from Prague, I wish to you all a great craft/art year – Cora Line