February, New Posts, Studio

I’m currently sat at my desk having lunch (Chicken Noodle Soup) on a surprisingly nice Sunday afternoon, with Bon Iver playing on vinyl, whilst Ross makes chilli sauce in the kitchen. I’m having a crappy day so I decided to do some blogging to help me relax. The chicken noodle soup is Heinz and its my FAVOURITE of all their soups!.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

I thought I’d talk about my studio/workspace in this post. I love having an organised messy desk. I like surrounding myself with artwork and materials that I can just pick up within an arms reach. Usually I have a drawing board on my desk for when I’m painting but, I’ve since taken that down as it was taking over my entire desk and I couldn’t rest my elbow anywhere!.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

The peonies are a new edition to my desk, Ross had bought me fake peonies for Valentine’s Day so they’d last forever and not just for a few days.  He also bought me fresh flowers that I have sitting on the window sill looking pretty. My fake peonies are sitting in a Fenwick shopping bag, I was given this when I was doing a commission for them last year. It’s now decoration for my desk.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

My awesome desk lamp is from IKEA, my mum bought it for me ages ago when I needed a desk lamp and she did a good job picking out this one! It’s great for when I’m working at night and the light just shines directly onto the artwork I’m doing. You might notice a cactus shaped light sat next to my Fenwick bag, I don’t use this one, it’s purely for decoration. I picked it up from Flying Tiger where I work part-time. It’s a snazzy little thing that was part of their cactus collection last year.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

I like to hang a lot of the prints I buy from other illustrators and artists on walls around my desk, it’s often these pieces that keep me inspired. I like to have photos pinned to my cork board along with a lot of random stuff, like gig tickets, postcards, and even a keyring.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

I’m working on a few various pieces at the moment, mostly plants related and I’ve got commissions to do but they’re usually for the weekdays. I like to spend my weekends doing stuff for myself and my shop.
Anyway in the time I’ve spent writing this post, I’ve had soup, demolished a smallish bowl of cheese and onion crisps, and I’m now munching my way through an apple.

Be sure to keep updated on all the latest products, illustrations and much more through our social media networks.

Instagram (@illustrativelove) and on Twitter (@IllustrativeLve) and visit our new website at

(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





New Posts


It’s a new year, which means new goals and big changes! We’ve been neglecting our blog for a while now, simply because we just haven’t had the time to do anything for it as we’ve both been crazily busy. Ross is taking a step back from the shop as he’s now got a full time job to attend to, and I’ll be running it solo!

In the past few months since our last entry, I’ve spent a lot more time in the studio working on the Christmas collection that we released in late November, whilst trying to set up our new website!. Our website is now up and running and you can now order from it. We’ve actually put a lot more into our stand alone shop than we have our Etsy shop, especially with the branding and the products.


I’m very focused on creating a brand from our name that best represents what Illustrative Love is all about. At the moment I’m using a lot of bright colours that really help to bring out the products in photographs.


Our Christmas collection promotional poster, we used this a lot in our social media to showcase our Christmas products. I like to use colours that I think suit the seasonal event that our products are being made for.


As our shop grows, I intend to expand our product range to tote bags, phone covers and even offer a personalised service. At the moment I’m looking into wedding stationery and commissioned portraits to add to our shop. Everything is still a work in progress but we’re planning so much for 2017 that I’m really excited to share with everyone!

Keep updated with us through Instagram (@illustrativelove) and on Twitter (@IllustrativeLve) and visit our new website at

(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


Make & Mend Market

New Posts, Summer

We attended the Make and Mend Market at Grainger market, Newcastle on Saturday 4th June, it was our first time selling at a market stall so we were pretty nervous. We spent the entire week chaotically getting everything together, often working late into the night cutting out stickers and adding the finishing touches to bowties.

IMG_3248(Our Stall at the Make and Mend Market)

We managed to pick a good table that was close to one of the entrances into the market, which gave us a lot of foot traffic to our stand. It was pretty intimidating being surrounded by so many artists and makers who have been attending this fair for a while, so it was quite scary coming in as the newbies. But everyone was really cheery and friendly, and we couldn’t have felt more comfortable.


This was our first time selling stickers, bowties and notebooks, and new illustrations for our greeting cards and prints. We were quiet surprised at how popular the stickers were!.


(Our collection of stickers that we had on sale) 

Our most popular sticker “go with the flamingo” sold out pretty quickly, which is why it’s absent from this photo. Another good seller were the fries before guys and the avocado appreciation club.


(New greeting cards)

It was no surprise to us that our bears dancing together print which we had on display, had done so well in terms of attracting attention from customers. We had so many wonderful comments about the illustration, and a few even bought the print and card. We’re hoping to expand on the bears and do more illustrations for the collection, and develop more products for the line.


(Shall we dance? Illustration print, currently only available in A3 at Illustrative Love)

Update: it’s been a very hectic few weeks which is why this blog post has taken so long to publish. We’ve just moved into our new flat in Newcastle! (no longer moving to Manchester as Ross’s job location changed) and we’re now a business that’s funded by the princes trust! So we’re quite busy getting together new illustrations for new products, AND starting our Christmas collection too!

(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

Let’s go to the Market

June, May, New Posts, Summer


We’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks working on a multitude of projects, and preparing for an upcoming market at Grainger Market in Newcastle next month.

As part of the princes trust programme that I’m on, I managed to get approval for the Will It Work Grant I applied for, and through it I received funding for materials and products to test trade. We’ve now secured a place at The Make and Mend Market for Saturday 4th June, where we’ll be showcasing and selling new illustrated greeting cards, bowties, stickers, tote bags, and notebooks!.

The last time I was participating at an arts market was at the end of my third year of studying, and my good friend Grace was organising a stall for a few of us from our year. It was great fun, and an experience I really enjoyed, so I’m hoping I’ll remember what I gained from all those years ago and be able to put it into practice next month.


This market also gives us a chance to showcase and sell new products, such as our bowties that we’ve been rambling on about for months now. It’s taken us a while to get to the stage of being completely happy with them, we’ve been struggling with finding the right fabric, design and colour which best represents our brand.
Originally we had planned to sell our lino printed fabric bowties, but we weren’t 100% on the design, so instead we handpicked the fabric from various stores and handmade them into bowties.
I plan on learning to screen print when I have the funds to do so, and to print fabric through that technique. I found lino printing a little too time consuming, and inconsistent. So I’m switching to screen printing to keep giving our products a handmade touch.
(Handmade Bowties and Boxes)


Another one of our new products that we’ll be selling are sticker packs!. I spent a long time deliberating what to turn my illustrations into, but after printing them out on sticker paper, and testing them, I realised how much I love them!. I’m also tempted to get some enamel pins, and iron on patches made, but that’s for future me to sort out.


I couldn’t tell you the inspiration behind our new summer collection, I wanted to try out a new style of drawing that would be simpler to create and could be used and made into various products. Our ‘girl gang’ illustrations and stickers were inspired by my idea of creating something girly but tough and fun. Then from there my ideas grew to foods, quotes, and everything else in between.

(Fly my home, inspired by the new X files series I had watched)


I’ve been a big fan of tattoos, I have about 12 different tattoos all over my body, and I’m planning a few more in the future. This helped me create my series of watercolour neo traditional inspired illustrations for greeting cards and prints. I’ll be making a lot more of these illustrations in the coming few months when I have the time to just sit down and paint them.

So if you’re in the area (Newcastle) on Saturday 4th May we’ll be at Grainger Market where the Make and Mend market is being held, and we’ll be selling all of these goodies and more!. We’ll have a new post up on our blog next week about the market and how it all went.

(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

Food First, Then Everything Else

New Posts


ernestwatermarked(Sarnie Sandwich from Ernest by Emily Hline)

We’ve each got a lot going on at the moment, Ross is coming to the end of his second year at uni, and also has the big project of building our independent website away from Etsy.  I’m focusing heavily on finishing our business plan, and illustrating and designing new products for upcoming collections. On top of all this, we have part-time jobs, and potentially a big move to Manchester for a year. (Ross is doing his placement year). So when we get that chance to go out and relax, we take it!.

We are huge lovers of food, cocktails, tea, coffee, beer!. When we’re not busy we like to head into town, and try something different, often it’s either a new bar, restaurant or even tea/coffeehouse.


We’re avid tea and coffee drinkers, a lot of the time it’s to help keep us energised, but on a few occasions we love going to local coffeeshops and teahouses and trying out all different types of herbal tea. Quilliam brothers tea house and Curious Leaves (Grainger Market) are two of our faves for tea lovers!.

Apart from drinking tea, we tend to do a lot of eating, and the Sunday Market on the quayside is a great place for just that!. There’s always a mix of different stalls selling a variety of cuisines, and we’re often spoilt for choice!. The chicken Katsu curry from Tokyo Kitchen is a must for food lovers of Japanese Katsu curry, dare we say it’s possibly one of the best in Newcastle. One another week we decided to have burgers from The Grind, they were juicy, delicious and very reasonably priced!.

Another great thing about the quayside is walking. We mentioned this in a previous post, but we just can’t get enough of taking strolls up and down the river front especially in the sunny weather. There’s even some exercise equipment that you can use for free, they’re pretty fun to have a play on.

There are constantly new bars and restaurants opening in Newcastle and we love exploring as much as we can, and we always try to do it on a budget.
As Ross once put it, “I’m a poor student and you’re a starving artist” so we have to be careful where our money goes. Recently we ate a Turtle Bay, they serve up some amazing caribbean food, and cocktails that are 2-4-1 during happy hour (11-7 & 10-close). We would highly recommend trying them out if you’re looking for something tasty and spicy.


(Goats Curry, Cheesy Jerk Fries, and Goat Burger, Turtle Bay)

Nudo Noodle house is our go to regular for when we’re feeling noodles, sushi, rice and all things Chinese/Japanese food. They serve some of the best noodles in Newcastle and some of the best sushi too and at a reasonably good price. We both opted for some spicy noodles, and even though our lips had swollen from the heat of the spice, it was delicious and worth the spicy heat.

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

We’re constantly on the lookout for good food restaurants, so expect a lot of posts in the future on our foodie adventures. Also if you so happen to be in Manchester and reading this, seeing as we’ll be moving in the summer, we’d love to hear your recommendations on where to eat!

Illo Love x

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