Visit our Shakespeare and Opera Shop online!

Immortal Longings is an artist-run London company specializing Shakespare & Opera illustrations.

What you'll discover: Delightfully dramatic Shakespeare gifts featuring the Bard's best loved characters. I'm passionate about offering inspired gifts for actors, literature lovers, teachers, poets, dreamers, dramatics and romantics. My Opera Series provides art for international productions, giving an illustrated style to the thrilling music and characters.

My unique Shakespeare Gifts and Opera Gifts include: Giclée Art Prints, Art Cards, our Leatherbound journals (which make wonderful diaries and sketchbooks), Postcards, iPhone Wallpapers, and More.

The artwork is created by designer Elizabeth E. Schuch, working with local artisans in the UK and Society6 in the USA to produce gifts. Elizabeth has worked with Shakespeare's Globe, The Metropolitan Opera, The Seattle Opera, The Royal National Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and other venues around the world to create illustrations based in the world of drama.

Tudor Portraits

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Merry and Bright.. Birds!

Nancy, from localcolorist on Etsy, used my "Merry and Bright" holiday wrapping paper for something a bit different.


How about "Merry" cranes? We in the Immortal Longings studio think these are awesome!

Why not request a whole gaggle of birds and make origami bunting?


You can buy Christmas Cranes right here:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/117632431/new-london-christmas-ornament-peace


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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Print sale for A COUPLE HOURS

Minion in the studio RIGHT NOW. :) So order a print within the next couple of hours and I'll post it to you today - use coupon **** for 10% off in the Etsy shop print sections!

Sorry! All done now. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ImmortalLongings?section_id=7308997

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Makers on makers: Elizabeth E. Schuch on 'The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry' by Ford Madox Brown

Ford Madox Brown, The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry, 1845, courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum

(From The Tate Britain Pre-Raphaelite Blog)

Illustrator and theatrical designer Elizabeth E. Schuch of Immortal Longings discusses how the work of the Pre-Raphaelites influences her own craft.


The blend of gothic arches and delicate grapevines winding across the page first caught my eye in The Seeds and Fruits of English Poetry.   When drawing my own illustrations from classic literature and poetry, I love to conjure up a mix of architectural elements and botanical fancies as the framework for setting the scene.  
The subtle humour with which the figures have been composed taps into Brown’s sense of fun in finding fresh new moments to capture from well-known stories and material.  Flanking panels reveal the poets themselves, caught up in a self-conscious moodiness, each trying to look more serious and melancholy than the next.  The mix of apathy and liveliness in the courtiers breathes life into to what could be a stiffly posed and structured scene, were it not the early work of a Pre-Raphaelite.
Finding inspiration from classical poetry gave the Brotherhood free reign to conjure up dramatic, evocative storytelling in their images that taps into the extreme moods of poetry and drama.  Lost love, bravery, betrayal…the heady mix of words and images is a perfect match for the realistically captured emotions on canvas.   When rendered in such naturalistic portrayal by talented painters like Brown, these classical and medieval subjects give us a glimpse into the souls of the characters in a fresh and vital way.  Shakespeare’s plot twists and tempests come alive in the billowing garments and wistful expressions of the Pre-Raphaelite painters like nowhere else.
As a designer, the cohesive crossover that happens between the different crafts of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is fascinating to me: nature is incorporated into motifs for textiles and architecture, then these in turn influence the composition of the paintings, popping up across the ornaments of illustrations and the flowing onto costumes of the poetic heroes.  The floral references in the poetry are turned into symbolic flourishes that make a framework for bringing the poetry to life on the page.  It’s a mesmerizing effect that joins the art of the wordsmith and the illustrator perfectly.
Elizabeth E. Schuch works as an illustrator and theatrical designer internationally, creating artwork inspired by Shakespeare and Opera. You can see her work at Late at Tate Britain on Friday 7 December 2012.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Late at Tate - Shakespeare goodies in the Tate!

I've been chosen as one of 10 artists and craftspeople invited to take part in the Late at Tate on 7th December - a craft fair, music, readings and art inspired by the current Pre-Raphaelites exhibition.

Late at Tate Britain: December 2012

Tate Britain
nearest tube: Pimlico
Friday, 7 December 2012, 18.00 – 22.00
Free
Website

Explore the continuing influence of the Pre-Raphaelites on contemporary art, fashion and music


Expect a vibrant evening of performance, music and much more.  Including an Etsy craft fair, laid back music from Stella Polaris, Miharayasuhiro’s sensory interactive installation Ophelia Has A Dream, a literary portrait of Burne-Jones from Ruth Rosen, readings from a new play about Holman Hunt called The Scapegoat written by Deborah Freeman and directed by Ariella Eshed, a response to William Morris’s bed from artist David Mabb also selected scenes from Hamlet directed by Tony Middleton.
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween! with Puck

For your consideration on this day of ghoulies and ghosties, fairies and phantoms!

Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream:
Adorable mischievous fairy? Or creepy creature?

Have your vote on the ImmortalLongings facebook page

(Top image vintage, lower image Neil Gaimen's Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream)

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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Designing a shipwreck high in the air! Shipwreck Circus

One of my latest projects has been designing the set for a new circus with Aircraft Circus in Woolwich.

The shipwreck circus concept came up after the closing night of the circus's previous show Madame Pain. "We need to have a shipwreck!" was the new buzz.

The idea of a ship has been batted around for a few years and Alex, the circus director, took the concept further. So now we're finally doing it!

The show features a large steel construction pirate ship hanging and tilting six meters in the air! It's going to be terrifying. I'm not sure I would have the nerve to go up it myself but I'm really excited to see what the cast will do. I love the unique creativity that Aircraft Circus always bring to a project.


The first show will be family friendly on October 31st in Wapping and performances in December at the Greenwich Circus Festival. (Greenwich daytime shows are family friendly, evening shows are 16+)


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Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sharing the LOVE! - a competition

Shakespeare love quote coasters
Shakespeare love quote art print
As part of the Weekend of Love on the ImmortalLongings Facebook page, I'm giving away a lovely couple of sets of love quote themed items.

Two entries from different people will be randomly chosen to win the Love Goodie Bag.
  • 2 ceramic Love Quote tile coasters.
  • 2 love quote greetings cards with gold envelopes.
  • Love quote greetings cards
  • 1 original love quote art print, 8"x8" (unframed)

How to enter? It's easy! You can:
  1. Quote some love: Post your favourite Shakespeare love quote as a comment in the blog.
  2. Share the love: share an Immortal Longings Facebook post on your Facebook page. (why not choose a love quote post?)
  3. Tweet love: tweet about this competition blog any Love Quote item from the Etsy Shop! Use the hashtag #immortallongingslove so we can find you.  

Don't forget - all Love Quote prints are also $5 off in the Etsy Shop




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    Thursday, 18 October 2012

    My Madam Butterfly - new illustration for Seattle Opera

    Madama Butterfly
    © artwork by Elizabeth Schuch 2012 for the Seattle Opera
    This year I was commissioned by the Seattle Opera to create a new illustration and design for their production of Madam Butterfly.

    I did 3 versions - one based on the idea of the fan, one minimalist, and the final version shown here. It was inspired by the colour palette of the prints of Japanese artist Hiroshige and the style of his floral arrangements. To add my own touch I researched real butterflys, separate flowers, gradiated backgrounds, and a touch of art nouveau style!

    You can buy the design on posters and products in their opera shop online - www.seattleopera.org/shop/ - plus see previous designs I created just for them, including Tristan and Isolde, Carmen, Don Quixote (one of my favourites!), Lucia di Lammermoor, and The Barber of Seville.


    Catalogue of Hiroshige's prints

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    Wednesday, 26 September 2012

    Post-Olympics Shakespeare praise

    paralympics-36
    paralympics-36 (Photo credit: suran2007)
    It was inevitable... the very English Bard was bound to be a feature of the London 2012 Olympics.

    So apparently the Olympic opening ceremony had Shakespeare themes in it. I know Kenneth Branagh had a Shakespeare role, and some of the music is called "Calaban". But I was out of the country and missed watching it myself.

    What I've seen less mention of is the almost entirely "Tempest" themed Paralympics opening ceremony.

    A stunning event, alternating science and literature with Stephen Hawking and Ian McKellen hosting. A bit less insane than it's earlier counterpart, and more consistent.

    A good video of highlights is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBmmA7rfliw

    Hawking started with speeches about human endevour and accomplishment, which McKellen followed with ongoing pieces from the Tempest - spoken to Miranda, played by radio actress Nicola Miles-Wildin. Not just a snippet, the entire ceremony played out pieces of the play in an ongoing narrative.

    Some of the story was slightly backwards, such as Miranda arriving back on the island from a ship - video here. But all in all the intention of the play was kept, celebrating
    "the beautiful diversity of humanity" --Prospero
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    Saturday, 22 September 2012

    The death of architectural drawing?


    An interesting article in the New York Times bemoans the change in architectural drawing but nodding to the usefulness of computers - Architecture and the lost art of drawing. It's nice to see an expert in the field acknowledge drawing via the computer as different to rendering in other ways with computer software.
    "Our physical and mental interactions with drawings are formative acts. In a handmade drawing, whether on an electronic tablet or on paper, there are intonations, traces of intentions and speculation."
    --Michael Graves
    Drawing on a tablet is how I create a lot of my work both for theatre, film and personal projects. It gives a different feel but one that's no less intensive for the skill it requires. And of course I can merge traditional media such as watercolour and ink by scanning them then adding digital drawing. Creating combined effects that can't be achieved only with traditional means, usually because the paper or surface would be ruined.


    The corporate commission I did recently was entirely architectural shapes and details from the London landscape. Working digitally for beginning ideas meant several viewpoints and angles could be considered and presented to the client first - allowing more freedom and choice in a short amount of time. Freehand drawing by tablet was then translated to the canvas with good old traditional paint and brush.




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    Wednesday, 19 September 2012

    Favourite character in the calendar - Richard III

    Hello! Tina the Shakespearean minion here.

    I'm interrupting the blog with my own entry about the 2013 calendar... I'm very excited because it's including one of my favourite characters who doesn't get much good press.

    Richard III

    Yay!
    Okay, so he's a bit evil, but the illustration has a pile of skulls. You can't get much better than that.

    I did my postgraduate disseration on the textual differences in versions of the Richard III and think there's a good case that the text was altered to frame him. Maybe. Sort of. 

    So now I'll leave the obligatory  link to pre-order the calendar, at a special price only until the end of September.
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    Friday, 14 September 2012

    Emergency art studio

    The past few weeks I've been busy working on a collaboration with painter Tina Mammoser on some commissioned paintings for my accountant's offices.

    After weeks of research and creating some London based images, we went in for one last round of "edits" on the paintings.

    So a rather unique opportunity to set up a little makeshift studio in corporate offices! The life of an artist is never dull.

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    Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Modern colour for 2013

    A Winter's Tale, original line drawing

    Color blocks influenced this coming year's new Shakespeare calendar from Immortal Longings.

    Playing with the bold colours Pantone has predicted as this year's style I designed an all-new style of calendar. Traditional illustrations pared down to their original line drawings but with a colourful twist!


    Take a sneak peak at the colours for each month on the special pre-order page.

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    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    2013: linework drawings

    Merry Wives of Windsor, original line illustration
    2013 teaser!
    The new 2013 calendars are in the works - shipping will begin at the end of September.

    Fully revamped and restyled, the 2013 edition features a modern, graphic styling in bold colours.
    Using the original ink linework from the Shakespeare Series drawings, this year has a fresh line up with new faces and classic favorites.

    Click here to pre-order and get a peek at the style and colours!



    (ps. you can also still buy the 2012 calendar on clearance too)
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    Tuesday, 14 August 2012

    Friday, 10 August 2012

    Inspiration - patterns in architecture


    You can see why my drawings often contain a lot of drafting - precise lines and motifs derived from architectural structures inside and out. These are just a few recent photos from a day out in London. Simple lines and circles combine with spirals, crosses, and florals. Even in simple images texture is captured in the reflections and shadows.

    This feel is a common feature and feel of my work whether it's gothic architecture images from the sketchbook, sharp architectural elements such as the archways in many of the classic Shakespeare illustrations, or organic structure in storyboards for BBC's Inside the Human Body - it all links to these shapes and patterns.




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    Tuesday, 31 July 2012

    Commissioned paintings - ink layer!


    Strong lines emerge as I start the ink layers on the large meeting room paintings for the office commission. More painterly shadows and drafted lines still to come.

    Thursday, 26 July 2012

    Corporate commission - London scenes

    This month I'm working with artist Tina Mammoser on a collaboration - to create 17 paintings for a London accountancy firm's offices. They asked me to create a whole series of paintings based on London landmarks but without the clichés - drawing based with lots of light.

    I put my storyboarding research experience to work and proposed a selection of pieces, with each room having a theme. The Coliseum theatre for a small meeting room, and big bold structures for the large meeting room. Guests will arrive to Trafalgar Square inspiration. The hallway will be a line of bridge details. And the staff stuck in the back room will have British Museum columns and bit of blue sky peaking through the ceiling design.


    Tina has created her usual soft ethereal backgrounds for me to paint and draw over. (Tina is blogging her take on the project.) Here's a start with painted lines to create the beginnings of the building shadows.


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    Tuesday, 24 July 2012

    Tools of the trade - drawing and illustration

    A good illustrator is never without her tools!

    Since so much of my work involves drawing on site, or with a client, my pencils travel with me in a wonderful leather roll-up case.

    The tools range from wonderful drawing pens for ink work, to simple mechanic pencils for drafting. Art pencils in a variety of softness, to graphitone pencils that create watercolour washes. Top up with a rubber and sharpener and illustrations, storyboards, mock-ups and plein air sketches are possible anytime, anywhere!
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