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Chloe Lan: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Chloe Lan and her illustration for the January/February Buzzer!

Chloe Lan and her illustration for the January/February Buzzer!

Let’s keep going with the fine tradition of interviewing our Buzzer illustrators! Here is the delightful Chloe Lan, who drew the cover of the latest issue (she describes it as a “Transformer-type of lineup” of our services, as you’ll see :)

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art!

I’ve always been curious about anything fun and creative since I was a kid. I enjoy playing, trying, and creating things I haven’t seen before. That’s why imagination significantly outweighs reality when it comes to the content of my work.
I enjoyed the challenge of adapting to Canada when I arrived from Taiwan at the age of 13. I discovered the power of images and icons to bridge gaps that language could not when I started making friends with my drawings as I first arrived in a school that was completely foreign to me.
I love working on projects that allows me to communicate to the public with sincerity and imagination. Inspired by my mentor, Craig Redmond, I want to listen to the public and create works that will be heard. I want my work to take me to places.

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

Taking the topic of the February issue on TransLink’s extended service to accommodate the higher volume traffic during the Olympics, I wanted to minimize the stress level of the commuters by highlighting optimism in my illustration. Some words I kept in mind while sketching out ideas were: celebration, optimism, smiles, play, winter, sports and the Olympics. With the direction came the birth of the cover with a Transformer-type of line up of the five major services provided by TransLink. I wanted to highlight the Canada Line by positioning it in the centre because it would be the key transporting means for the Olympic visitors. Other concepts focused on different aspects of the word list I came up with. They can be seen on my blog.

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

Outside of working as a designer at an ad agency, I work on my self-initiated projects in a studio I share with other design friends in Gastown. I’m currently self-publishing a book I’ve written and illustrated called Lila and Her Ever-So-Happy Expedition, about happiness.

You can see more of my work at I would love to make more friends and get some valuable feedback to improve on things I’ve overlooked.

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 North Burnaby and work on Granville Island. So, my daily route starts with the Millennium Line connecting to Bus 84 that goes to UBC at VCC-Clark and get off close to Granville Island. My favourite seat would have to be any one that’s facing the same direction that the bus or SkyTrain is driving, preferably by the window.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It was a lot of fun doing the illustration for the cover of this issue. Enjoy!

Thanks Chloe! You can check out the earlier interviews with our illustrators: Justin Chen, Michael Gilbert, Jane Koo!


  • By skytrainboy22, February 5, 2010 @ 6:09 pm

    That’s nice for the mini translink newspaper (The Buzzer) to have Chloe Lan as their “The Buzzer” illustartor.

  • By Bryant, February 7, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    I found the cover art on the latest edition to be maddeningly nonsensical. Specifically, I’m frustrated by Chloe’s portrayal of the sun. I’ve grown to accept the “sun with the sunglasses” character, but why are the sun’s sunglasses not covering its eyes? It’s confusing and pointless!

    I understand there are situations where a wearer of sunglasses will raise his glasses and rest them on top of his head (I’ll ignore the fact that a sun doesn’t have a head to rest its glasses on); this usually occurs when the wearer enters into a dark space or is engaging in face-to-face communication where eye contact is important. But neither of these situations are present in the cover art. The sun is clearly outside on a bright day and its not conversing with any other character.

    But what frustrates me the most about this image is that the sun’s eyes are closed! What possible reason could the sun have to wear sunglasses while sleeping? If the sun is trying to sneak some shut eye, shouldn’t it cover its eyes with the sunglasses? Or if it decided to take a nap, wouldn’t it take off the glasses and place them on a nightstand to increase its comfort level?

    I’m so confused! I’ve never seen someone sleeping out in public with sunglasses resting on his head.

    Chloe, please enlighten me! What were you thinking when you placed those sunglasses on the sun’s head??

  • By ;-), February 7, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

    Interesting assessment. Although I’m wondering if they are sunglasses or ski goggles. In the blog early design, we can see a sweatband or headwarmer.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 8, 2010 @ 9:23 am

    Yes, they’re meant to be ski goggles!

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Tobias Ottahal: Buzzer illustrator interview! — April 28, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

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