We declared this site “soft launched” about a month and a half ago, which essentially means we were working out any kinks, adding additional portfolio items, and have been too busy to add to the new site blog. While we’ve been been happy to tell people about the new site (we think it turned out really well), we haven’t really promoted it to any great degree. So far it’s gotten an excellent response and people seem to appreciate the new design, particularly the page banner illustrations.
If you haven’t noticed already, the page banner illustrations at the top of each of the main pages are all custom, fit within the same “universe”, and are interconnected. For example, the About page illustration is of the surface of the water (scope of submarine, island in background) while the Meet the Team page shows a glimpse below the water (you can see the entire submarine which is being attacked by a giant octopus) and so on. If you haven’t already, then I recommend revisiting all the pages to see what I’m talking about after you’ve finished with this blog post. (Update: I decided to show all the page banners in one place – see below – since it’s easier to see the connections between all the images, though I’d love it if you still decided to visit all the pages individually in order to see the larger versions of each banner.)
I designed these illustrations well before designing any of the rest of the site, way back at the end of January in fact. All I knew was that I wanted custom illustrations at the top of most or all of the pages of the new Immersus Media site design. I also wanted to convey a sense of adventure and to show different parts of one cohesive world but also have those images fit with whatever page they were on, which isn’t the easiest thing to do it turns out.
My inspiration for the Immersus Media page banner illustrations was all over the place. I wanted the designs to be different then anything I’d done before but at the same time familiar and for them to convey a piece of me. I have a lot of interests and love to draw from a wide variety of areas including literature, film, animation, pop culture, and music.
I won’t go into detail (for this blog post at least) of how exactly I made any of the illustrations or what exactly my process was other than to say that all the items I’m about to list as inspiration are items that have been in my life and mind for a very long time. All the images in this post were found specifically for this article. I intentionally avoided seeking out the imagery while making the illustrations because I wanted the source material to influence but not overwhelm what I ended up producing. Basically, I wanted the inspiration to be based more on what I remembered or felt about the source material than to duplicate it.
Of course, the absolute greatest influence to the overall design of the Immersus page illustrations came from Jules Verne (I included a rendition I found based his novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea at the start of this article). I’ve always loved the worlds he put to paper and have always wished I could really go on one of the adventures he penned. The feeling of going on an adventure in some uncharted place seems so appealing and frightening at the same time. The submarine I created goes on adventures like Verne’s Nautilus but was drawn in cartoony fashion. In fact, while I wanted to emulate some of the ideas behind what Verne described, I wanted to simplify the art to be more reminiscent of a children’s storybook.
The more cartoony look and themes of space exploration and mad scientists was strongly influenced by two animated cartoon series, Futurama and Venture Brothers.
I purposely made the rocket ship look vaguely like the one found in Futurama, even making it almost but not quite the same color.
As for Venture Brothers, I didn’t really pull visually from that series but I did have the world of that show on my mind.
From the music realm, I found myself listening to quite a bit of The Aquabats while making the designs (listen to one of their non-sensical but catchy and fun songs below).
I’m a huge fan of Pixar and specifically their film, The Incredibles, and that definitely found it’s way into my mind as I put together the illustrations.
The imagery of the lighthouse on the home page was my way of connecting the two intersecting exploration realms, the sea and the heavens. I can’t say exactly what inspired that piece specifically, but I think I like it that way. Although I can clearly identify my inspiration for most of the site, both visually and purely thematically, I still like to let the idea of leaving some to the unknown.
If you’re anything like me, then you love a good adventure – to explore new realms, to go to the outer reaches of creativity, and to, eventually, find your way home. Hopefully, the illustrations on this site give that feeling, if even in some small way. I’m not necessarily in the league of those creative giants that inspire me and I’m definitely no Jules Verne when it comes to writing a story, but I would love to help with your story – visually and otherwise.
1 Verne, Jules. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1869. Artist of artwork unknown.
2 Venture Brothers Image credit: Lines – KidNotorious and Color – skutterfly