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Art for Nocturne Podcast

Art for Nocturne Podcast

Magdalena Metrycka
March 30, 2023
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Since December 2020, I’ve had the pleasure of creating monthly cover art for episodes of Nocturne, a podcast created by Vanessa Lowe and Kent Sparling. I also designed a new logo (featuring an adorable possum) and promotional images for Nocturne. Since the theme of the podcast in nighttime, each art piece follows that theme as well!

The creator of Nocturne, Vanessa Lowe, reached out to me after seeing my work in the Academy of Art University's Spring Show. Her podcast was already established, but she was looking for a fresh new look to bring in more listeners.

Nocturne is all about storytelling. The stories that Vanessa chooses to feature and the music used in the podcast have a unique, whimsical energy that I also try to express in the art for those episodes. Some episodes are quite lighthearted such as a feature on a 24/7 donut shop in Oakland, or an interview with a night-shift zookeeper, some are more serious and raise the subject of women's safety and how scary nighttime can be, but all of them share high quality production and wonderful attention to every detail.

Every month, I get an email with an overview of what the next episode is going to be about. The first step of my process is always research. I look up images on google and pinterest that I can use as inspiration for my illustration. Then I start on the sketches. I usually do around 6-10 sketches, pick the best 4 and send them to Vanessa. Once she chooses the one she likes best, I proceed to clean up the linework, add values, color, and render. I always do a few different color roughs and send them to Vanessa as well to make sure she's happy with the final result. When everything is approved, I send her the final file.

I create each illustration for Nocturne in the Procreate app on my iPad. I really like using it for nighttime illustrations because it allows me to easily add-in glowing effects to things like the stars and the moon, but also warm lights inside of a home while the outside is dark and cold, etc., which can be a little tricky to achieve with traditional media. I also like it because it's easy to make changes and corrections, which is very important when working with a client.

The response has been really positive so far and I'm thrilled that I get to work with Nocturne. My first ever illustration for Nocturne, "Rest for Them," was featured on the main page of Apple Podcasts and I got multiple requests to sell prints of it after the episode came out because people loved it so much. It's been wonderful too, getting positive feedback for my art from the people featured on the podcast, the people that some of the episodes are about.

This started as my first illustration job. I got it while I was still at school, so I definitely learned a lot from it. One of the most important things that I learned is how to communicate with a client. I feel like I've built a great relationship with Vanessa, the founder of Nocturne, and I'm so happy that we continued our work together after the initial 1-year contract. This project also helped me with nighttime scenes, haha. I very rarely painted nighttime scenes before I joined Nocturne, so figuring out the lighting and the values was a little tricky at first, but I grew to love it.

I'm open to commissions and freelance work!
My instagram is @purple_guacamole.

Magdalena Metrycka

Magdalena Metrycka is an illustrator & visual development artist from Poland, currently based in San Francisco, CA. Her art is inspired by seasons, travels, fairy tales, and childhood memories.

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