Artist Devin Elle Kurtz creates stunning digital art with a dreamy, otherwordly quality. When she is not working as the lead background painter for the Netflix animated show Disenchantment, she develops her own personal projects, like the series of underwater paintings called Mermay | Underwater House. These fantastical illustrations depict children roaming about a house submerged in the ocean. On the other side of the tall glass windows are a variety of sea creatures like manta rays, sharks, jellyfish, and even a mermaid.
Although these digital paintings lack any text, Kurtz finds a way to convey a narrative through her rendering of unique characters and compositions. The same two children appear in each of the scenes, and we, as the viewers, accompany them on their explorations of the imaginary setting.
The desire to be an artist and tell stories has long been a passion for Kurtz. “I remember as early as age 10 thinking that I wanted to be an artist professionally,” she explains. “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.”
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.
Scroll down to see more digital art by Kurtz, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations.