LICENSING NEWS

Exclusive – Carrot and Toast’s Drew Bristow on life since his License This! win

Published on: 29th September 2021

Illustrator Drew Bristow won the Character and Animation category of the 2019 BLE competition License This! competition with his brand Carrot and Toast.

In this exclusive piece, we caught up with Drew to see what he has been up to since his win and find out what exciting things are in the pipeline for his characters.

How has the past 12 months been for you and your brand, Carrot and Toast?

It’s been a busy time since the Festival of Licensing, which was really fun and interesting. I got to make a lot of great connections and had meetings with a few of the big publishers, who were all very keen to find out more about Carrot and Toast. Since then, I’ve been busy working on the second comic (a prequel to the first, called ‘Carrot and Toast Begin’, which I self-published in March 2021), the Carrot and Toast chapter book ‘Carrot and Toast Get Lost’, and a few other childrens’ book ideas.

Following your win at License This! in 2019, you said you hoped to see Carrot and Toast ‘growing in a lot of directions’. Has this been the case?

The potential for Carrot and Toast to grow is still there and very much part of the plan. My first mission is to get a publisher on board, and to develop the content from there into everything from picture books for pre-school children to chapter books and long form comics or graphic novels. Beyond that, I’ll be looking to move into toys and the merch side of things. As it’s just me behind the wheel, and I have a day job as well as a new baby, it’s a bit of a long journey; I’m taking it a step at a time. I’m hoping to find a literary agent so it will be a little easier getting Carrot and Toast in front of the right people at the right publishing house – and if ever the opportunity comes along to ditch the day job, I’ll be able to crack on with conquering the world with these two little friends of mine.

What’s next for Carrot and Toast?

More adventures, big and small. Product wise, I would like to get the chapter book out next, and then the third of the initial three comics that establish who Carrot and Toast are and the world they live in. Then I’d like to get into meatier stories (perhaps chunkier is the right word) where I can tackle subjects like diversity and inclusion, climate change, and maybe even something Covid related.

Will you be attending BLE in October this year? If so, what are you looking forward to the most?

I will hopefully be attending, if it’s safe to do so. I love meeting new people at this event, there are so many amazing people in the industry, and it’s really fun learning about licensing and potential opportunities for both Carrot and Toast and other things I’ve created.

Why should people enter License This?

Because even if you don’t win, at the very least you’ll meet some lovely people, make some great connections and maybe overcome any fears you have about showing your stuff to a big room of people. If you do win, the sky is the limit in terms of where you can potentially take your creation, and it the competition can open doors, eyes and ears. Good luck.


There’s still time to enter the 2021 License This! competition, which this year has been renamed the Kelvyn Gardner License This! competition in tribute to licensing stalwart Kelvyn Gardner, who passed away at the start of 2021. Entries close 11th October, and the competition final will take place in-person at BLE on Friday 19th November.

BLE has now added a third award category, in partnership with Mojo Nation, to provide a valuable springboard for inventors and designers keen to break into the sector. Applicants for the product design category will be asked to submit a design for a desktop product, such as a mouse, coffee mug, desk tidy or USB stick, drawing inspiration from Aardman’s award-winning IP, Morph.

Further details on how to apply for this category can be found at www.brandlicensing.eu or by emailing ella.haynes@informa.com.

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