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The December 2011 Buzzer, and Dani Vachon: Buzzer illustrator interview

The cover of the December 2011 Buzzer and the artist, Dani Vachon.

Cover of the Buzzer

The December 2011 print Buzzer

There’s a new Buzzer on the system! This month, the focus of much of the issue is dedicated to the December service changes. Every December, TransLink makes changes to bus service in order to optimize resources. Sometimes, these changes include reductions in service or even discontinuation of bus routes that have very low ridership. This time around, TransLink is adding service to seven bus routes thanks to the assurance of funds coming online in 2012 as part of the Moving Forward supplemental plan.

Additional service to existing routes start today, December 5. One other change (the #236 is being renumbered as the #231) happens on December 12. For specifics on the changes, pick up a Buzzer, download it in .pdf form or check out the Transit Service Changes page on the TransLink page.

The conclusion of the Transit Pet Peeve Battle is also featured in the issue. The biggest pet peeve is a smelly one: Funky Ferret. The campaign generated a lot of comments on our Facebook page. I’m still going through them!

Rounding out the rest of the last issue of 2011 are the usual suspects: the Contest Corner, Back Issues and the Coming Events.

This month’s illustrator is Dani Vachon. She’s a bit of a renaissance women when it comes to creativity. I think her illustration really sums up the feel of this time of year, even if we don’t see much of the white stuff. Dani was nice enough to answer a few of my questions.

Tell us about yourself and your art.

My name is Dani Vachon, and I love to illustrate. I also love other things like nature, music and business, but lately i’ve been focussing a lot on illustration. Illustrating along with walking in nature and listening to music are the things in my life that never ever feel like work, but only illustrating seems to be the one I’ve figured out how to earn an income from. When I illustrate, I do it with a big grin on my face, and I find myself dazzled by the thought that I’m being paid to do this. That’s how I want to spend my life: dazzled.

How did you come up with your illustration?

Most of my design/illustration career has been spent focussing on more organic sketchbook-based work, and I felt that with my recent re-entry into freelance-ville, that my skill set might improve by experimenting with a more vector-based style. I have also been spending a fair amount of time on seeking inspiration and watching illustration trends, so when I began the project, I began by browsing Dribbble specifically looking at different shape treatments and the art of negative space. I was most inspired by a certain series of pieces that utilized negative space really well.

Are you a transit user?

Yes I am! I’m 33 and have never owned a car. In 10th grade, I was a member of “Team Green”, which was an environmental club at my high school. It was at that time that I swore not to own a vehicle until a completely green alternative (recycled, recyclable and with an entirely renewable and eco-friendly fuel source) was available.

Which is your favourite ride: bus, SkyTrain, Seabus or West Coast Express?

I’ve never had the pleasure of riding the West Coast Express. I’d have to say that the Seabus is probably my favourite because of the views. I like the SkyTrain as well, but only when it’s not rush hour and I can have a seat.


  • By Karen Fung, December 6, 2011 @ 9:53 am

    I bet it Dani’s illustration will throw newcomers to the city for a loop. Those buses are in Argentina now! (but forever in our hearts :)

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, December 6, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    It’s amazing how many Buzzer illustrations have included trolley buses. Are they as iconic for Vancouver as the streetcar in Toronto or the cable car in San Francisco?

  • By Allan K, December 7, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    @ Karen: Actually there still exists a Flyer E901A/E902 bus in Vancouver as part of the TRAMS society… but sadly someone decided during the Olympics in 2010 to break into the place where it was being stored and stole major parts of the electrical system for their own profit (e.g. like recent Telus telephone wire thefts). As such, the bus is not running at the moment and is delisted from their site.
    @ Derek: You could say that they are… lol. Vancouver’s pretty much the last city in Canada that uses them, and it fits with the green image the city has been trying to promote for the last several years. In fact I wish about expanding the service into more hilly areas… but that’ll probably take a long while given the costs of the infrastructure and the piggy-backing issue associated with the busiest routes.

  • By Robert Willis - Buzzer Editor, December 9, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    Hi Allan: Thanks for all the info! That’s really unfortunate to hear about the Flyer E901A/E902 bus. I love those! And yes, Edmonton has discontinued their trolley buses, so we are the only major city in Canada still running them. I also understand that at this time there are no plans to expand the trolley system here, but TransLink is committed to maintaining what we have. We’re quite proud of them!

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