Buzzer logo

TransLink news, commentary, and behind-the-scenes stories.

Allison Koberstein: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Allison Koberstein: Buzzer illustrator interview!

Allison Koberstein with her lovely cover illustration for the January 2011 Buzzer!

Ack: I kind of fell off the wagon with interviewing our Buzzer illustrators last year, but for 2011, I’m restarting the tradition!

Here is an interview with Allison Koberstein, who drew the lovely illustration on the cover of the January 14, 2011 Buzzer this year.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your art!

I’ve been drawing pretty much forever. I love it. My illustrations tend to be stylized, lighthearted and whimsical and I take a lot of my inspiration from pop culture. If you peek into my sketchbook, you’ll mainly see girls, animals and monsters – in various styles and combinations.

As for me, I’m into personal development, vegan baking and the Internet, and I’m currently studying Interactive Arts and Technology over at SFU. Pleased to meet you!

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

To come up with the concept for the cover, I brainstormed different images that came to mind when I thought of “birthdays”, since it was the SkyTrain’s 25th birthday. Confetti, presents, parties, little cone shaped hats, candles, cake, banners.

I ended up sketching many variations on the cake theme (like a SkyTrain on top of a cake, a SkyTrain MADE of cake… mmmmm). I did try drawing SkyTrain-shaped candles, but it just looked like the SkyTrain was on fire. (It’s kind of a faux pas to draw your client’s system in flames. Oops.)

I eventually settled on the cupcake design because the shapes were easy to recognise at a glance. And who doesn’t like cupcakes?

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

At this moment I’m laser-focusing all of my attention on school projects, but when this semester is over I want to experiment with ways that illustration or illustrated products can help encourage people to make real improvements in their lives. Oh, and games. I would love to illustrate for iPhone or Facebook games!

Whatever I end up doing, I will post about it on my blog. I’ll also put my new portfolio up somewhere on after I survive this semester. If you can’t wait until then, my old portfolio is still available.

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

I’ve taken the 401 almost every day for the past 3 years! I have this down to a science. Whenever possible I take one of the seats in the back right corner of the bus. It affords the best view (in terms of figuring out where you are so that you don’t miss your stop), the lights are on (so you can read even if it’s dark out), and there are fewer people walking past you (which might distract you from your reading). Ssshhh, don’t tell too many people or it might get crowded back there.

Thanks so much Allison!

As for me, I’m going to do my best to play catch up and get all the other illustrator interviews up! You can see all the past illustrator interviews done so far here:


Sorry, your website browser is no longer supported.

Upgrade to one of these browsers to visit