Two winners were chosen at the annual License This! competition, sponsored by Wynne-Jones, during Festival of Licensing.
Lancashire-based Tracey Colliston won the Brand & Design category for her Owl’s Nest illustrations of British woodland creatures, which can be found currently on gifts and greetings cards. George Mackay, from Caithness, Scotland, won the Character & Animation award for his “Eejits,” a collection of misfortunate misfits born in the Highlands of Scotland.
Colliston, whose Owl’s Nest greetings cards and handmade gifts are currently stocked in more than 80 independent retailers across the U.K., would like to see her illustrations licensed across many more categories.
“Winning License This! feels fantastic,” says Colliston. “I absolutely love what I do, and it means so much to me that the hard work developing Owl’s Nest into a brand has been recognized. I’m very excited about the opportunities this may bring, and I’m keen to develop Owl’s Nest into lots of other products; stationery, ceramics and homeware, baby and nursery and more gift products. The versatility of Owl’s Nest and its collectability will hopefully open up many avenues. It’s so exciting!”
Mackay’s Eejits are also featured on greetings cards, and he has equally big ambitions for reaching a much bigger audience.
“The Eejits are aimed at 7-12-year-olds, as well as big kids like me,” says Mackay. “Their quirky nature, the charming art style and sometimes slightly self-deprecating humor is a draw to kids, and I think they would be ideal for a wide range of products such as soft plush or vinyl toys, but the ultimate dream would be to see the brand feature in hilariously humorous animated shorts. That’s the big goal of mine. Seeing the Eejits brand on screen would be simply awesome.”
This year’s two License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at Brand Licensing Europe 2021, one year’s membership of industry trade association Licensing International, PR support and invaluable advice from the panel of industry experts. In addition, all finalists will receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones.
This year’s judges were Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Asgard Media and chair of the judging panel; Sarah Ward, chief executive officer, The Giftware Association; Kirsty Barr, Grapevine PR and Sonia Amrar, Trademark Attorney, Wynne-Jones.
Character & Animation judges included Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo Promotions; Clare Piggott, managing director, Larkshead Media; Ben Woodman, commercial manager, GB Eye and
Ian Downes, director, Start Licensing.
Stuart Cox, owner, I Like Birds; Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates; Sarah Lawrence, director, This is Iris; Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, JEHANE, and Will Stewart, founder and managing director, The Point.1888 were judges for Brand & Design.
Last year’s winners – Rosie Brooks and Drew Bristow (Carrot & Toast) – are current exhibitors at Festival of Licensing and can be found via www.festivaloflicensing.com.