Buzzer illustrator interview: Hiller Goodspeed

Buzzer illustrator interview: Hiller Goodspeed

Illustration and Hiller!
Illustration and Hiller!

This summer we put out a Special Edition of the Buzzer to celebrate both I Love Transit Week and 125 years of transit in the region!

While one side recounted the history of Metro Vancouver’s transit, the flip side was dedicated to the I Love Transit colouring contest created by illustrator Hiller Goodspeed.

His beautiful illustration depicted many of  Metro Vancouver’s landmarks as well as captured the spirit of our transit system!

To learn more about Hiller and his illustration style, we did a quick interview:

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 27-year-old who is originally from Florida, but now lives in Vancouver by way of Portland, Oregon. I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Studies at UBC and have a background in illustration and design. This time of year I enjoy hanging out around a BBQ and eating popsicles to beat the heat.

How would you describe your illustration style?
My work is filled with lumpy shapes and little faces and cute things, but not too cute— I try to keep it a little weird. I work almost exclusively with pencils because I think they are the best.

What was your inspiration for the I Love Transit illustration? Was it your LOVE of transit?
Yes! I love public transportation and use it every day. Riding the bus gives me time to reflect and process all kinds of things, and I get some of my best ideas while riding public transportation. I like that a few dollars can take you to a place you’ve never been before, isn’t that cool? Sometimes, I wish I could live on the bus.

The colouring page is so detailed! How long did it take you to create?

I drew three different versions of the cityscape, the last of which was an amalgamation of the first two. I also reserve time to daydream before I start working, which is an important and necessary step in my creative process. All in all, I probably put 8-10 hours into developing my illustration. Plus many more hours if you include all my time spent on the bus as preliminary research.

How did you pick which iconic parts of Metro Vancouver to include in the drawing?
I tried to include as many references to my favourite places in Vancouver as I could: the downtown VPL branch, the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre, and of course, the sculpture from Dude Chilling Park. These places are all integral to what makes Vancouver so great. There’s even a Nardwuar reference hidden in the illustration because Nardwuar is the coolest.

Have you illustrated transit systems before? Was it difficult to capture the essence of an entire system?
No, I haven’t! The most difficult part was deciding which elements made it into the illustration. I really wanted to include the Alex Fraser Bridge, but when I tried to draw it, there were just too many supports and it turned out looking like some kind of spaghetti disaster.

What has been the best part of your summer so far?
In June I proposed to the most beautiful and wonderful lady in the world and she said “yes”. We’re now engaged!

Still haven’t got your hands on the Special Edition Buzzer? You can download it here.

Author: Laura Tennant