I've gone back to the beginning and looked at my initial research again, and done a bit more. It turns out that as the oceans, our weather, our climate and the air we breathe are all so interlinked, scientists now consider the worlds oceans as essentially part of our atmosphere. This has really inspired me as I can bring these other factors into my illustrations. Also thinking about what Marcus and Joel said in my tutorial, my illustrations are going to be abstract combinations of these elements. This works as ocean exploration is all about dealing with the unknown and the unimaginable, so this could be anything... I'm also going to go back to the way of working that I'm most comfortable in, which is combining photography with drawing and printing. I don't know how I allowed myself to get so sidetracked and down on the project, but I'm sure that this should be the turning point that I need to boost my confidence in my abilities.
Here's a quick thing from today based on the idea of atmosphere, I don't like it but it's a direction that I'm more happy with and one that WILL be productive for me.
As I've been looking at a lot of infographics since the tutorial, here's a book which is amazing;
And here's a quote from the book that informed todays illustration and I'm sure will inform my future work. It also makes sense of the images I put together earlier in the project.
As well as circles being "impossible to achieve by the human hand" they also feel like the only 'natural', pure and untouched shape. A circle also represents something being whole and complete, so if a circle is fractured, broken or has pieces missing, it could represent something that is unknown or incomplete.