Girlfriend & boyfriend Alex Holder and Ross Neil are both artists and creatives in advertising. Last year, they launched their online picture book about relationships, LoveYouBut.com. It focuses on “the moment in a relationship when you realise you don’t love someone completely, because there is one little thing that keeps bothering you. When it bothers you so much it actually makes you cringe, you know it’s time to say ‘I love you but…'” There are 59 portraits (drawn by Neil) of people who are the targets of various “I love you but” lines, like “I love you but you can’t say I love you back” or “I love you but you put ketchup on everything.” On her calling card site, Holder says LoveYouBut.com has been read all over the world and is inexplicably big in Brazil. We wanted to know more, so we asked:
Em & Lo: Has the site always had the same number of entries or have you kept adding to it? Do you plan to add more?
Holder: It’s had the same number of entries since the start. I’ve received lots of images and submissions from readers so we would like to add to it.
Em & Lo: Where do the “I love you but” lines come from? Do you just make them up or are these submissions from real people or friends?
Holder: They came from past experiences and chats with friends. Some are just things that made us both laugh, or cringe.
Em & Lo: Is the “I love you but…” realization supposed to be the beginning of the end of a relationship (i.e. the dealbreaker), or just an acceptance of a relationship with all its inevitable flaws?
Holder: I think it’s the deal breaker. The moment you fall out of love with someone, or rather realise you don’t love them, because if you loved them you’d accept everything about them.
Em & Lo: Are the portraits based on real people? And if so, who are they? And do they have any connection to their corresponding quote?
Holder: They’re imagined characters that fitted with the quotes. The kind of people we imagine to have these traits. None of them are our ex’s!
Em & Lo: Do you have any plans for the project beyond the website?