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

The January 2012 Buzzer and Karen Garry: Buzzer illustrator interview

The January 2012 Buzzer and Karen Garry: Buzzer illustrator interview

The first Buzzer of 2012 is now on the system!

The first Buzzer of 2012 is out. This month is all about art and the Canada Line. If you ride the Canada Line regularly and spend any time around the stations, you’ll notice some pretty cool art within their vicinities. If you don’t take the Canada Line, then you might want to visit the stations to see the wonderful works of art featured around them. They change every six months or so and are always engaging. The images of them in the Buzzer don’t do them justice, so you really should take them in, in person.

The cover of the new Buzzer

Also included in this month’s Buzzer is an OnTrack and Compass Card update. OnTrack is the name for all the upgrades, improvements and updates to the SkyTrain lines system wide. With the Expo Line being over 25 years old now, TransLink needs to make sure things run smoothly for the next 25 years. This work started in spring 2011 and will continue in 2012. There have been a number of service impacts already due to these changes and will be more in the future.

Beside keeping SkyTrain in good working order, OnTrack is also about getting the system ready for Compass Card, which includes installing fare gates and card readers to name just a couple of the items that will be part of switching from tickets to smart cards system wide. Construction of fare gates has already started at several stations on the Expo and Canada Line. Compass Card will be fully operational in 2013.

As usual, we have the Contest Corner, Back Issues and Coming Events featured in this issue. I’d also like to note that the image of the FareCard on the front cover and Contest Corner section should read “2012” not “2011”. Of course, if you win a card this month, you’ll get a card for 2012 (a 2011 card wouldn’t be very useful now, would it!).

The cover artist this month is Karen Garry. Karen is multi-talented artist with many weapons in her creative arsenal. You can check out her other work on her website. I got the chance to pick Karen’s brain about her work and interests:

Tell us about yourself and your art.

I’m an illustrator, animator and designer who has been drawing since I could hold a pencil. I’m a fan of stories; reading them, hearing them, living them and working in the visual arts lets me do what I love best: tell stories! When I was younger, I really wanted to be a writer and split my time between writing and sketching, but as I get older, I find I like the anonymity that drawing allows. If you pour your heart out in writing, it’s easy to spot. Pour it out in drawing, and it’s a little less obvious. Works well for a hopeless romantic like me.

How did you come up with the concept for your illustration?

Well, since the topic was Translink and the installation of the new fare gates, I wanted to somehow incorporate how transit plays into our lives. Transit services are for people to get around. Some of us use them daily, so I figured just highlighting regular people doing regular things might work, hence a couple of cool cats going out on the town, taking the train.

Why cats?

Why not?

Are you a transit user?

Of course! I own a car, but I usually opt for biking to work and take transit on the weekends when I’m going out dancing and know I might have a drink.

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

Definitely the bus. I’m lucky because I live by two routes that work perfectly into my life and rarely have to take anything else. I even have my stop numbers memorized so I never have to wait. I like all the random people watching and conversations you can get into on the bus. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes flirtatious, sometimes even a bit irritating, but always a good story