HCO Kids Summer Exhibition 2022

A huge thank you to all the budding artists who took part in our HCO Kids Summer Exhibition 2022.

The Holly & Co Work/Shop wall has been filled (from floor to ceiling) with incredible artwork submitted by young artists from up and down the country. All the artwork received will be showcased until later this month, so do pop by to marvel at the masterpieces yourself.

Our guest judge Rob Biddulph — bestselling and multi award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books who created #DrawWithRob during lockdown — had his work cut out choosing the winners this year, as the standard of entry was so high. After much deliberation, we’re thrilled to announce his favourite pieces below.

We hope that this year’s exhibition has helped all those who have taken part to go forth and pursue their passions. In the meantime, we look forward to hosting the exhibition once more in 2023.


We were so pleased to have Rob Biddulph (bestselling and multi award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, who created #DrawWithRob during lockdown) join Holly to judge the Kids Summer Exhibition 2022.

Firstly, I have to say WOW! The standard of entries is so high! I was honestly gobsmacked at how good they were, particularly the little ones. Just amazing. Spotted quite a few Draw With Rob watchers in there too!



This category was SO hard to judge, as every single entry was brilliant. But the one that really stood out to me was this brilliant portrait by Rosie. Firstly, the colours are beautiful. I also love her use of collage to add texture and interest to the lovely headdress. So creative. But what really sold it to me was the expression on her face. Such an intense stare. I couldn’t help but wonder what the subject was thinking, and that’s what great art does. It tells a story. I think we might have a future Frida Kahlo on our hands here. Well done, Rosie!



Again, this category was SO strong. A stunning gallery of pictures. These two, however, stood out to me. I just couldn’t separate them! And I’ve just realised that the artists share a surname and an age, so I’m wondering if they might be twins! That would explain everything, because the colour palettes are very similar (and very beautiful). What I also like about both of these drawings is the level of detail. When I’m creating pictures for my books, I’m very aware that people might be looking at them night after night at bedtime, and so it’s important to include a lot of detail so that they might notice something on the fifth or sixth read that they haven’t seen before. I could look at both of these pictures 100 times and still notice something new every time. Rosa’s picture in particular is full of stories. And as for the message in Ava’s, never was a truer word spoken.


12-16 WINNER

There is so much to love about Ava-Rae’s picture. The composition is very strong for a kick off. That very direct eye contact draws you in, and then the beautifully rendered flowers make you stay for longer. I love the text too, particularly as I can see a screen reflected in the eye. A nice paradox. Great job, Ava-Rae!



Felix’s drawing was my favourite. So clever to create such a three dimensional image only using flat line and colour. The contouring of the face is so well described, yet he’s used such bold graphics. Another one that I could just stare at for hours. I wonder if it’s a self-portrait (the artist’s name makes an appearance) and if so, I’d love to know what all the symbolism framing the picture stands for..

A huge well done to Felix, who also won his category in 2021.



In 2021, we had over 100 entries which were all displayed in their colourful, imaginative glory on the walls of our Work/Shop throughout August. Chosen by designer Laura Wellington — our independent judge and founder of In Good Company – alongside Holly, the entries were truly outstanding.


Tilly for “Great work, learning and great messaging…our future is in good hands with talent like this!”

7-11 WINNER:

Amelie for “simple but bold layout and colour choices…and the brain sparks that came with thinking about a balloon/person popping made me smile.”


Felix who “could have a very bright future in the graphic design or advertising sector.”


Mia and Roisin for “the details, colours, finish and subliminal messaging…which were second to none.”


In 2020 nearly 100 children and young people from across the country took part FILLING the Holly & Co Work/Shop walls with the most glorious artwork! It was so heartwarming to see their talent and creativity shine through as we asked them to express what they had been dreaming about through lockdown.⁠

Holly’s guest judge, award winning artist and illustrator Rebecca Strickson, had such a tough time judging the competition, saying it was “a fabulous year and a total privilege to judge”.

Under 6 Winner

Sam – we loved his use of colour and the original, playful scene. And thanks to Rebecca judging, and not being able to choose, I was okay… and bloody proud that my niece Olive, was joint winner in this category.⁠

7-11 years winner

Freya with her brilliant “House Of My Imagination”!⁠

12-16 years Winner

Digby’s fun monsters are so full of life! I feel like this is something out of a futuristic cartoon!⁠


We held our first exhibition in summer 2019 and were completely blown away by the creativity and volume of entries we received!

Holly’s guest judge, Mark Rhodes, of CBBC and Crackerjack fame, had the difficult task of selecting the winners for our three age groups. Each winner received a personalised creativity hamper packed with Holly & Co goodies to help them continue being entrepreneurial!

Under 6 winner

Rosie, aged 4, created a full-size self-portrait, drawn, painted and stamped with colour and love.

Under 10 winner

Markos, aged 8, painted a bold and beautiful big cat, complete with stuck on whiskers.

Under 14 winner

Tieg, aged 12, drew and painted a painstakingly detailed illustration that really knocked our socks off.