Spring Collection

March, New Posts


We’re launching some new prints, greeting cards, bowties and handmade notebooks for our spring collection. We were really inspired by the current trends of pastels and geometric patterns and wanted to incorporate them into our collection.

“Since exploring the nautical theme in our last collection, I was really inspired by the idea of adventure. I started brainstorming the word adventure before creating a mood board around it. When it comes to adventure, there’s a lot we can associate with it, I like the idea of exploring woodlands/forestry, hiking mountains, going camping, and bears.

For Spring, I’m focusing on mountains, bears, and forestry, the mountains in particular make good geometric shapes for a pattern design to go onto all sorts of products. Talking of patterns and shapes, I wanted to do something where shapes would create an animal. I love making origami paper cranes, which was actually the inspiration for the notebooks. I took the theme of origami and started to look at birds, which somehow then lead to alpacas. I’m not too sure where the connection between birds and alpacas came from, but anyway this helped me to design the covers for our new notebooks”.



“I did a bookbinding module at university which was where I learnt how to hand stitch books. There were two techniques that I remembered being taught, the Japanese bind and the saddle stitching. I preferred the saddle stitch because it gave the notebooks a much cleaner finish, and my Japanese bind is pretty poor, so the saddle stitch it had to be. Its been a few years since I did some bookbinding, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have to watch a youtube video to help jog my memory.
There are plenty of tutorials on youtube and pinterest that will teach you how to book bind. There are a few tools you’ll need before hand.

A traditional bookbinders clicker awl,
A bone folder
bookbinding needles (they’re usually bigger than sewing needles)
bookbinding thread (I picked up some thick linen thread from a haberdashery that worked just as well)
Craft knife & cutting mat
Small bulldog clip

You can pick up a bookbinding starter pack from Amazon for a reasonable price. It’s quite a good technique to know, especially if you don’t like carrying loads of loose paper, instead stitch it together like a book, and it’ll make for a great little sketchbook”.


Here’s the round up of our spring collection, and what new products you’ll be seeing in our Etsy shop. Handmade bowties in green and blue tartan, alpaca unicorn and bear notebooks, origami notebooks (mentioned earlier), believe in magic unicorn print, hiding koala print, and block printed birthday cards.

Make sure to visit our shop Illustrative Love to see all these products and much more!.

(No images on this blog are to be reproduced without the permission of the artists Emily Hline & Ross Brown of Illustrative Love)

Illo Love x



Finding Inspiration

March, New Posts

“I never dreamt of success. I worked for it”-Estée Lauder

The designs and illustrations of Illustrative Love focuses on connecting to an overall theme of love. The idea of love can be perceived in many ways, we see it as a passion. This is what drives the inspiration behind each of our collections.
We’re constantly working on new projects from new ideas. Many of our current stock is related to a collection, a theme that projects what we love. The nautical collection is our newest, and we created this through our shared love for the ocean and its creatures.


“I find much of my inspiration in brainstorming, it takes quite a few drawings and a lot of chatting with Ross, until my ideas becomes sketches. I tend to find a lot of inspiration from my Instagram feed, I follow a lot of artists, illustrators, and makers. Pinterest is also a great online platform to browse through for ideas”


Like many artists, we get stuck for inspiration sometimes, and we wanted to share with you our tips for breaking that annoying creative wall:

Going for a walk/run and getting some fresh air.
We do this quite often, especially when we’ve been stuck in doors all day working. Often its a simply walk and some air that does the trick. If you’re in Newcastle, we find walking along the quayside helps. It’s quiet (towards the evening) and the views pretty good.

Take a break and make some tea.
When we’re really engrossed in our work, we sometimes forget we need to take a break and make some tea. Taking a break and coming back to sometimes gives us fresh eyes, and when we’re feeling tired, we drink green tea (we LOVE green tea) as it gives us the energy boost we need to keep going, also it’s pretty good for you.

Chat to people.
We’re often finding inspiration around us, so being around our friends and listening to their stories as we catch up on our week, often spurs a few new ideas. We’re all living different lives to each other, and its no wonder sometimes our inspiration comes from them.

These are just some of the ways we try to beat artists block, but if there are any tips you would recommend, we’d love to hear it!


We’re also currently taking part in #MarchMeetTheMaker on Instagram, it’s a challenge set up by designer and illustrator Joanne Hawker. Everyday we post a photo that relates to the subject of the day, it’s a great way to go behind the scenes of all the amazing small businesses taking part and support one another. We highly recommend having a look, its filled with creative posts that are really inspiring!.
Find us @illustrativelove as we continue through this #MarchMeetTheMaker.


Day 5: Can’t live without


Day 11: Post Run

(No images on this blog are to be reproduced without the permission of the artists Emily Hline & Ross Brown of Illustrative Love)

Illo Love x

It’s all in the technique

March, New Posts

At Illustrative Love we like to use illustrations that are often handrawn or painted in watercolours, sometimes even a mix of both. We’re also developing our printmaking skills, and hand printing much of our new collection.


We recently released our newest collection of nautical themed products, much of it has been handprinted using lino printmaking. We’ll be expanding hand printing onto notebooks and tea towels over the coming months, and will continue this throughout all our future collections.


You can shop our nautical collection at Illustrative Love now

I decided to start experimenting with lino printing after spending hours and hours trying to source companies that could print our designs onto tea towels, mugs, wrapping paper and tote bags. The majority of suppliers I wanted to order from I had to order in bulk which was something we weren’t looking to do just yet. Smaller orders would cost a lot more and it meant having to sell them at a high price, which wasn’t something I wanted to do.

After a bit of research and a few youtube videos, I got myself stuck into lino printing. I usually hate getting too messy, but since I started printmaking, I’m pretty much used to my fingers being covered in ink. I made a lot of mistakes a long the way (like using acrylic paint, a complete rookie mistake) and realising I wouldn’t get the same consistent print every time. But that’s okay, there’s a certain charm that comes with printmaking, and each unwanted mark becomes unique.
I spent a long time developing the prints onto the fabric, eventually I took a different approach and started using screen printing ink and a foam roller. This lead to a more vibrant and smoother finish, and was great for the bowties and tote bags.

I’m still a novice at lino printing, so any recommendations, and any help would be greatly appreciated.



(No images on this blog are to be reproduced without the permission of the artists Emily Hline & Ross Brown of Illustrative Love)

Illo Love x