“I can see Carrot and Toast growing in a lot of directions”

2019’s joint winner of the License This competition, Drew Bristow tells us how it’s opened up doors for his Carrot and Toast brand.

Tell us a bit about Carrot & Toast…

Carrot and Toast are two lovable characters who live in a small town called Peahaven and they came in to existence after a bit of a wonky time in my life.

I started drawing them one day and they really cheered me up – they also got a good reception on my social media posts, so I decided I’d set myself a little project and create a short comic about them going on holiday and getting in to a bit of a tricky situation.

Since then, I’ve been building a whole world around them full of other funny foodie-fied citizens for them to have adventures with. There are more comics in the works, and I’m also working on two books of stories to accompany the illustrations I made for the #folktaleweek art challenge on social media that happens every November.

Why did you enter License This! last year?

I decided to enter the competition for the second time with my Carrot and Toast property because I could see that they had strong licensing potential, and felt it would be the perfect opportunity to promote them to a wider audience.

At that point, how much did you know about licensing and what have you learned about licensing since entering the competition?

When I entered the competition, I didn’t know very much about licensing! I had gained a bit of an insight from being in the competition in 2018, so I knew what licensing was, but not so much about how it worked or how to get my properties licensed… I knew that it’s an important thing for creative people like myself too, as another way to earn income from the things we create and am really looking forward to learning more about the industry, and how it could work for me.

Drew (pictured with chair of the License This judging panel, Kelvyn Gardner) also entered the competition in 2018.
Drew (pictured with chair of the License This judging panel, Kelvyn Gardner) also entered the competition in 2018.

What would you say has been the most valuable aspect of winning the 2019 edition of License This?

So far, the most valuable aspect has been the connections I’ve made, and the network I’ve started to build, as well as a little peek in to the world of licensing that has helped me to see the kind of things I could do with Carrot and Toast, which is great because there are so many things that I hadn’t even thought about before.

How do you see Carrot & Toast growing in terms of licensing – what categories can you see it working with?

I can see Carrot and Toast growing in a lot of directions – my goal is to bring them to life in as many ways as possible, with the ultimate goal of getting them their own animated series.

Currently, Carrot and Toast exist as a children’s comic, but I have been busy expanding their world and working on lots of other ideas, including more comics and illustrated books as I mentioned, some spin off picture books, a card game and possibly a ‘choose your own adventure’ style board game. But there are so many other things they could be used for, plush toys, collectable figures, kids clothing, even things like vitamins and health supplements for kids – the possibilities are seemingly endless, which is what is so great about licensing in itself!

The 2019 License This judging panel.
The 2019 License This judging panel.

And what retailers would you like to work with?

It would be great to work with retailers like WHSmith and some of the supermarkets who stock magazines like Waitrose, and I’m a big fan of the Co-Op because of their ethical approach so it would be good to see if there are any opportunities there, as well as Holland and Barrett and Boots. With so many avenues to explore in terms of the type of products the property could be used for, it’s really exciting.

What would you say to those who are on the fence about whether to enter License This?

What are you waiting for? If you feel like you’ve got a great brand or property idea and want the world to know about it, there’s no better way to get it in front of the right people! Who knows, where it will take you next!

Any tips for people thinking of entering?

Stop thinking about it and do it. You’ve got nothing to lose and the whole world to gain!

The entry deadline for License This 2020 – which will take place as part of the new Festival of Licensing – is Thursday August 27. Entry is free and you can find out more by clicking here.

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