Meet Jupiter V: Nocturne's 2024 Graphic Designer!

Signy Holm
Posted on July 3rd, 2024
by Signy Holm

Jupiter V has been selected as Nocturne’s 2024 graphic designer, tasked with reimagining our N* logo, and integrating that same look and feel into all of the designed elements of this year’s festival, including our vertical graphic and poster, the label for the official Nocturne Propeller beer, and the exciting return of our printed festival guide!

Nocturne’s Communications Director, Holly Fraughton, sat down to chat with Jupiter V. to find out what inspires them, what meaning Nocturne holds, and what we can expect to see in the designed elements of this year’s festival:

Holly: What influences your art, creatively? What do you draw on for inspiration?

Jupiter: To me, art is about communication – I think that’s partially why I’m so drawn to sequential art and comic books! That messaging is very direct – you’re telling a story. To me, all great art – high or low – tells a story. And those stories should be accessible. Really great art just takes you deeper. You can always dip your toes in, and then it invites you to take a dive, right?

I think for the most part I’ve really had to embrace the fact that I’m mostly influenced by things that might be considered “low art” as opposed to the gallery stuff. My dream is to take those things and elevate them to that high art level, or to even put a lampshade on the idea of high art and low art, and what exists in pop culture that’s not considered bougie enough, or things that exist in the gallery art world that can sometimes be vacuous and shallow.

I love music, I’m also a musician as well, so that heavily influences what I do. I’ve been around a lot of circus performers and worked with those groups as well, so it’s also something I’m trying to incorporate into my life, with juggling and acrobatics. So pretty much everything is up for grabs, as far as I’m concerned.”

All of these things go through a filter and get siphoned into whatever squirts out the other end and becomes my visual art.

H: Why do you think Nocturne matters to the community?

J: There’s the obvious answer, which is just that art is good and people should see art, and here’s a bunch of art, people, go see it!

But what’s really special about Nocturne and is fundamental for the art experience is that Nocturne is a very special and different presentation of art, too. Part of the role of art is to shock people into opening their eyes, and in a way, just the idea of Nocturne existing already makes people wake up, ‘oh well that’s different, that’s not some gallery exhibit or some natural history museum thing.’ It’s not in the expected place. And every year, even though you kind of know it’s coming, it’s always different and it always has the element of the unexpected, and this strange new world. That’s what is beautiful about Nocturne.

I think Nocturne wakes people up a little bit, and then it warmly invites them in to get shocked again. It does really promote this synergy between the participant and the artist in a way that is really difficult to achieve sometimes.

Sometimes the act of paying attention can be exhausting, and I think that Nocturne does a great job of exciting people instead of exhausting them, which is really important in creating a positive relationship with art.

H: What kind of impact does it have on the artists?

J: The accessibility and diversity elements of Nocturne are really important, as well, because it can be really hard for BIPOC or artists of colour or artists who aren’t fully ablebodied to break through, because they don’t have the privileges that some other artists may have. Getting into a gallery, for example, sometimes is about who you know, or who your dad knows, and that sort of thing. And Nocturne allows for such a variety and an atmosphere of openness and exploration that it invites people to encounter artists that they might not encounter normally. And it expands those artists’ horizons, as well, I think, too.

That’s what’s really special about Nocturne – how accessible it is. And not just in like a literal accessibility way for people who are maybe not as able-bodied or for people who have different sensory experiences or requirements – but also the art itself is accessible on different levels, and I feel like that’s a really important aspect to explore. It can be kind of alienating to go to a gallery and feel like you don’t know what’s going on, and feeling like you’re missing out on something.

H: Why did you want to be involved in graphic design aspect of the festival?

J: It’s kind of been a dream to work with an organization like Nocturne and to contribute something to the experience of Nocturne. This year, the theme is Microcosm, which I feel is a theme that I’m able to express. This idea of worlds within worlds, or this idea of entering into what seems to be a smaller world, but the expansion of that world: like you go into a room and the door is bigger than the one you came in through. Or the idea of the worlds that exist in peoples’ heads, or the worlds that exist in peoples experiences: those are very juicy ideas to me.

…The Nocturne folks have really embraced my natural inclination towards cartooning. In my heart, I can pretend to be an ‘artist’ with the big quotation marks and the capital A, but in my heart, I’m a cartoonist that is moonlighting as an artist in many ways. So its good to embrace those things and those more fringe kind of designs that I’m coming up with.

2024 Nocturne N Logo

H: Tell us more about those fringe designs.

J: The thing I love drawing the most are people and characters. I just love to make up people and imagine this story or history behind all of that, you know? The way they pose, or the look on their face, or the scar on their cheek, and imagine where all of that came from. And that plays into the Microcosm theme quite a bit, where I’m trying to create images that invoke stories and also kind of invoke this idea of personality and character, because even though the designs I’m coming up with might be kind of weird or even in some cases kind of alien, or just look like these living doodles, I do want to create this idea that they don’t just exist on this piece of paper, they came from somewhere, and they’re going somewhere, as well. You can imagine what that is – I might not be the one to tell that story – but I want to try to inspire people to imagine that story.

H: We’re bringing the guide back this year, in a ‘zine format. Can you tell me a bit about that?

J: To me, the idea of a zine is really great, because i’m hoping i’ll be able to assist people in creating their own memories of Nocturne. The idea is to provide all of the information about the exhibits, we’re going to be providing a map, as well, which I hope people enjoy, because we’re going to be trying to put some personality into all of that. But I really do hope that in the guide we have space for people to leave their experiences there.

People love to take notes, but they had to write them into the margins, because there wasn’t a whole lot of space in the guide itself. So that’s something we want to create this year – to give the program guide some more purpose besides information delivery.

H: It sounds like it’s designed to be a more interactive experience?

J: We’re dreaming big with it!

** Nocturne is taking place from October 17th to 20th, with the main event scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 19th from 6:p00pm - midnight. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.