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Jane Koo: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Jane Koo, illustrator of the September Buzzer cover!

Jane Koo, illustrator of the September Buzzer cover!

As you may know, Jane Koo is the illustrator behind the September 2009 Buzzer cover—even though it says “Michael Gilbert” on the actual Buzzer (Michael Gilbert is our October illustrator!)

So to make sure Jane gets a proper moment in the spotlight, I asked if she would do an interview with us about her illustration and her connections with transit. Here she is!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your art!

Hello! My name is Jane and I am a designer/illustrator, living here in Vancouver.

2. How did you come up with the September Buzzer cover? Can you talk a bit about the other concepts?

I like drawing playful things. I also enjoy working with type, especially the handdrawn ones, so it seemed like a good idea to play with this month’s headline, “September Bus Service Changes,” to create a playful image. I had other (sort of silly) ideas about flying buses (with wings, of course!) above heavy traffic (and disgruntled drivers). Another one was of a bus and a Canada Line train high-fiving, to show the buses and the new Canada Line working together.

3. What kind of work are you doing lately, and where can we see it?

I try to constantly make all kinds of things that interest me, from a slipcover to a poster. This may sound strange, but I am really into cross stitching right now (it’s like a sophisticated pixel art!), so I have been trying to do that in my free time. I sometimes post things I make on my blog once in a while, so if you are REALLY curious, I suppose that’s where you can see the stuff I make.

4. Do you have a regular transit route that you take? And do you have favourite seat to sit in on the bus or SkyTrain?

I live in the neighbourhood where two Vancouver B-lines used to cross, which means that the B-line buses are the pretty much the only buses I’ve ever needed to take, to go anywhere pretty much. So whenever I am on the bus, I always like to sit or stand close to the back door, which is clearly a classic B-line exit strategy. It’s also a pretty good spot to watch people in my opinion. When it comes to my daily commute, I ride my bike to work everyday.

5. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for this! Hope everyone enjoyed the September issue of The Buzzer!

Thanks Jane!

And let me know if you guys enjoyed this: I am more than happy to start interviewing our Buzzer illustrators going forward.


  • By Tsushima Masaki, September 30, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    I liked this story. Truth be told I never paid attention to the illustrators… actually I never even assumed it was more than one person.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 30, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    Well, that’s enlightening. I guess I should do more interviews then!

  • By Cow, September 30, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    “I had other (sort of silly) ideas about flying buses (with wings, of course!) above heavy traffic (and disgruntled drivers).”

    If you like that, check out China Mieville’s book Un Lun Dun; you’ll love what he does with London transport…

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, September 30, 2009 @ 5:17 pm

    You’re right! The double deckers have feet!

  • By Tessa, September 30, 2009 @ 5:35 pm

    Hey! Any chance we could see the picture of the Canada Line train and bus high fiving on a future issue of the buzzer? Love the idea.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, October 6, 2009 @ 9:49 am

    Tessa: Well, since we pick a different illustrator for every issue, the concept is up to them. I’d certainly enjoy high-fiving transit vehicles on the cover though!

    However, I did pass your comment on to Jane, and she said that she might do a proper sketch of the bus high fiving the Canada Line and put it on her blog. I’ll keep you posted!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Stephanie Wiriahardja: Buzzer illustrator interview! — February 8, 2011 @ 8:02 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » Andrea Wan: Buzzer illustrator interview! — April 6, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  3. The Buzzer blog » Sarah Taylor: Buzzer illustrator interview! — May 9, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  4. The Buzzer blog » I Love Transit 2013: Buzzer illustrator interview: Jane Koo — August 6, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

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