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The September 2011 Buzzer and Ed Spence: Buzzer illustrator interview

The September 2011 Buzzer and Ed Spence: Buzzer illustrator interview

The cover of the September, 2011 Buzzer and the artist, Ed Spence

The latest issue of the Buzzer is now on buses, SkyTrain, SeaBus and West Coast Express! Well, many of them are. The issue got picked up by drivers and attendants on Friday and gets distributed throughout the week starting today. If you are anxious to get your hands on a copy and can’t find it yet, you can always download a pdf. This month, the Buzzer is primarily devoted to September service changes. Due to the City of Vancouver deciding if the 800 block of Robson Street would remain open or not at the time the issue when to the printer, I wasn’t able to include the return to regular service info for both the 5 and N6. So, please note:

5 Robson/Downtown
N6 Downtown


Effective Tuesday, September 6: the 5 will return to its regular routing in the downtown core, from Robson onto Granville northbound to Hastings and then Richards southbound back to Robson. The Burrard/Pender detour will be discontinued.
The N6 Downtown will also return to its regular routing (eastbound Robson, then northbound Seymour).

Also in this issue is info about student transit passes, Moving Forward workshop dates, TransLink and the partnership between the United Way of the Lower Mainland, a recap of Bus Stop Hop 2011 and the usual Contest Corner, Back Issues and Community Events sections.

Ed Spence is the artist this time around. I found myself staring at the drawing with a big smile on my face for some time. I stumbled upon Ed’s work recently and fell in love with his varied styles. He kindly answered a few of my questions about himself and his work.

Tell us about yourself and your art.

I’m essentially a small-town kid who was drawn to the city by its bright lights. I won’t say where because it’s a secret gem that ideally will never change. I’d like to return when I’m 60 and see the same candy bar wrapper stuck in the storm drain. As for my fine art, it takes many forms. It is sound, performance, video, photography, painting, installation… basically anything I want it to be. Whatever feels right for the project.

Ed's Buzzer front cover artwork
Look at that kid skate without a care!

Why did you choose a guy on a skateboard as your illustration?

I chose to do a skater because I wanted to illustrate a supplemental mode of transit. A skateboard is something you can easily pack around the city, carry onto the Skytrain and use as a way of getting between your destination and the transit station. I am a skater and have been since I was 13 years old, so I have a special affinity for the lifestyle. There is a sense of freedom I get when seeing someone tearing down the street on a small piece of wood with wheels, and I wanted to communicate that in this illustration.

Your illustration is kinda fun and cartoony? Is your other work like this?

My illustrative work varies quite a bit. Sometimes it is quite serious and has a different aesthetic altogether. The content depends more on the clients’ expectations than anything else. It’s mostly about pleasing them. My fine art practice, which is a completely different beast, allows me to be more selfish—to really delve into some abstract concepts that might not have any practical application beyond evoking thought or triggering conversation.

Are you a transit user?

Yes, I like that it gets me out of my car. I really don’t like driving in the city. Driving truly ruins my day half the time. Good people turn into monsters when they get behind the wheel and I see that in myself. I find my day more enjoyable when I don’t have be on the lookout for over-caffeinated maniacs swerving into my lane.


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