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


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



Welcome to our blog! Illustrative love is a small business currently selling on Etsy. It’s run by freelance illustrator Emily Hline and web designer Ross Brown.


I opened the shop in 2014 on Etsy but didn’t start selling until 2015. I graduated in 2012 with a degree in illustration from the university for the creative arts, and started an internship and developing my portfolio. I knew I had always wanted to work for myself and sell my own illustrations in forms of greeting cards and prints. It wasn’t until I participated in one or two craft/art fairs after uni that I realised how much I loved it, and it wasn’t long until I was introduced to Etsy.


At first I started selling a small collection of illustrated greeting cards and prints, but since opening I’ve started to focus on subjects that reflect the name of the shop. I draw a lot of inspiration from my passion for romance, nature and food. I often try to bring these together to create illustrations that best represent the brand I’m trying to build.


“The shall we dance bear couple was one of the first illustrations I had created that I knew was going to become a card and a print. It’s become one of our most popular items in the store, and I’m hoping to continue it’s success by bringing out a collection that follow the story of these two bears”.


“I often work in watercolours and pencils, but block printing using lino has become my favourite form of printmaking. I was taught it throughout university but had never taken a keen interest till now. I love learning a new skill, and especially one that I know will help me grow as an illustrator and to create new products with a more handmade touch.

In the last few months I’ve started developing more products involving textiles. I’m putting my lino skills to use and printing on tote bags, tea towels, and plain cotton fabric. This is when I decided to ask Ross (my better half) to join illustrative love because of his passion for craft making. He’s developing a new line of bowties and cushion covers for the shop using the fabric I’ve handprinted my designs onto


We’ll be constantly developing illustrative love into a shop of its own, and with lots of hard-work, passion, long days and even longer nights that Illustrative Love will become more than just a shop, but a brand. One that represents both the illustration and handmade market. Essentially, Illustrative Love is all about representing a hopeless romantic, passionate about creativity and inspiring positivity, strength and wanderlust.
So we hope you’ll follow us on our journey, it’ll be stressful but worth it.


(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