From The Beatles to Spongebob Squarepants, this question has proved a richly imaginative topic of art and entertainment over the years. Now, with the tools and techniques of digital art, creators are able to explore these ideas at a whole new level of realism.
If escaping down into an aquatic paradise is your favourite form of escapism, then artist Devin Elle Kurtz’s new series of illustrations will transport you into your happy place. Her series Mermay | Underwater House depicts children roaming around in a house submerged in the ocean, as the panoramic glass walls provide a window into the underwater realm. The result is an enchanting dreamscape that combines the joy of childhood with the wonders of the natural world.
With a whole marine ecosystem drifting silently by, the children are captivated by the beauty of nature, as their silhouetted bodies stand together absorbing the stunning scenery. In each image we’re given a unique view into this secluded environment, with manta rays, sharks, and even the odd mermaid floating past their window. With this endless procession of sea creatures right on their doorstep, who needs a TV?
Kurtz herself has earned a reputation for creating beautiful digital art drawing inspiration from nature, as well as some of the master artists in the anime and cartoon world.
“Throughout my childhood, I adored Disney, Ghibli, and DreamWorks movies as well as the many cartoon TV shows I watched. I loved comics and manga and initially wanted to create comics for a living. As I grew to love digital painting, I strayed from that precise goal but continued to enjoy working on sequential art and storytelling alongside my illustration,” Kurtz wrote online.
In addition to finding inspiration in different forms of visual media, Kurtz also draws upon the beauty of the animal kingdom and the environment. “I think the creature theme is unique in my artwork and helps create a unifying theme of nature, magic, and wonder,” she continues. This is evident in Mermay | Underwater House, in the way that the two protagonists stare in wonder at the sea life roaming all around them.
To view the series in full, and to check out more of her stunning work, visit her portfolio page here. Here, you can also order prints and art books to immerse yourself in her work even further.
By Richard Oxley