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Justin Chen: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Justin Chen: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Justin Chen and his illustration. (Justin said he needs a haircut, so an illustrated self-portrait will have to suffice!)
Justin Chen and his illustration. (Justin said he needs a haircut, so an illustrated self-portrait will have to suffice!)

Continuing the fine tradition of interviews with the Buzzer cover illustrators, here is Justin Chen, who drew the November cover this year. (He’s posted about the cover on his blog today too!)

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art!

My “actual” illustration career is actually quite brief; I’ve started taking in assignments after my graduation from School of Architecture at McGill in 2008. But I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. My style is a fusion of everything I enjoy; children’s story book, cinema, architecture and fiction.

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

I loved going on the “big car” when I was little; it was thrilling seeing all the people riding with you, as well as being above everyone else when you looked out the window. I tried to capture this relationship by having the child sharing a winter scarf with his buddy- and Vancouver buses have such a friendly “face,” it was not difficult to personify it at all!

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

Totally different from illustration, I have just finished a set of 26 lowercase typeface; it is based on elements of architectural drawing. You can check it out here:

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

Since I live in West Vancouver, almost everyday I’m taking the 250, 257 to Downtown. I also take the Canada Line quite often; I always sit in the first couple rows of the first train if I get the chance- the view of the motion feels like going on a theme park ride! Definitely makes commuting much more enjoyable.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Check out my flickr portfolio and let me know what you think! I need feedback to grow!

Thanks Justin! And check out the earlier interviews with our illustrators: Michael Gilbert, and Jane Koo!


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