Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pens and Journaling, a History . . . and slight obsession

After getting most of my art supplies organized and finding all of my pens, I have separated them out, donating most of my everyday workhorse pens to the general pile in the office desk. Then I organized my art pens and realized just how short I am on my brown ink pens.

I started writing in a journal when I was thirteen. A good age to start, right? I think I just began writing on a whim, when I happened upon a journal somewheres. I thought it was a good idea, so I stuck with it. 

In the early days I used a lot of different ink colors, mostly ballpoint. My thinking was that if I switched my ink color for each entry, it would be that much easier to flip through it later in life. Also, it made keeping up a journal so much more fun that way. I also added sketches and doodles and in a few journals I wrote out the page numbers ornately. (Did I really have that much time on my hands back then?) 

My preferences in ink color back in the early days were purple, sky blue, and the regular office variety blue and black. Pink made it into the mix from time to time, because as I remember, it came with the sky blue and purple in a three-pack. 

As I got older and got my hands on more inks, I added orange into the mix. By the time I was in college, I'd entirely dropped the purple/lilac and baby blue inks from the mix and took to only writing in fine point. I added in grass green and had by that point almost entirely switched over to ink and gel pens. I kept a few ballpoints around for class notes, and that was it. Enough years had rolled by to convince me of the importance of archival pens, so ballpoints were pretty much out for me. I switched to writing in mostly darker inks and brown quickly became my favorite. I have one small journal that was 95% filled with brown ink. Then, my last year in college I took a figure-drawing course taught by a illustrator. He enabled my pen addiction and even encouraged it. So off I went to buy a greater variety of pens-- I finally branched out of fine and extra fine points while sketching and drawing for class. And I bought a greater variety of ink and pigment pens. I had so many pens to choose from, and all at my university's bookstore. Graduating didn't keep me away. Nope, it was when I moved to Lehi that I stopped my regular trips to the bookstore to get my pen fix. By then I'd built up quite a stash, so it wasn't much of an issue.

But here we are, years later, and I'm running low. And I've moved about four hours away from my beloved bookstore. And in my lovely little town, I can' seem to find really good pens to save my life. They have a limited selection at the Michael's-- mostly scrap-booking pens that are too thick or they are puffy. Not what I look for in journaling and sketching. There are a few inky pens, but most of them don't hold up for any length of time. 

So I decided to do what any sane person would do, I decided to research good pens to buy and then bought some online. I mean, if a brown gel ink pen is going to get me to journal more regularly, its worth it, right?

Thank you The Pen Addict, for making me realize that I'm not the only pen-obsessed person out there. I feel like I can trust you and your reviews. (Your site's minimalistic style and your handwriting were an added bonus.)You led me to Jet Pens, which led me to my purchase today. (Their prices are quite reasonable for what I needed.) So I have a few pens that should be showing up in the next week. 

This will probably bore most people to tears, so I won't go into particulars right now, but suffice it to say that I have two blue black pens, a couple of black pens, a couple of brown pens (One is called tea brown, I can hardly wait!), and a green black one as well. The mix is almost entirely gel ink, but there is one fountain pen as well as one Pilot Envelope Address Writing Gel Ink Pen. I stumbled upon that one through the Pen Addict when I was getting all geared up for writing out my wedding announcement addresses. It didn't work out then as they were sold out, but I'll be getting one now! I'm not sure how many more envelopes I'll be hand-addressing any time soon, but that's beside the point. 

Oh, and I'm getting a new travel sketchbook, too. Reason to sketch more? I think so. 

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