Monday, 25 July 2011

'I wear my Pen as others do their Sword.' John Oldham

I think we can all relate to this. Be you cartoonist, artist, illustrator or graphic designer. At one time or another and most likely even now, we have all had that single beloved tool. Be it a Staedtler pigment liner 0.1, a Faber Castell PITT artist pen M or perhaps a Derwent Graphic pencil 3B. It could be Round Sable brush #7, or perhaps its the Dr Ph. Martin's brown india ink you use it in. It's more than likely that at one time you've  entrusted your working ability to a single implement. 

During it's life that tool can become essential. It can become the make or break element to your work. Maybe yours is a £30 Rapidograph rotring pen, it could be the Argos pencil you accidently left the shop with. Regardless of what it is you use, or how you use it, you become familiar with it. You become familiar with the way it reacts to certain stock. The pressure it requires to give that perfect tone. How best to handle it along side different media. You perfect it's use to the stage where it may come to feel like an extension of your ability. 

I think it's important that we have these utensils which are unique to us. And sure, any number of people can own the same pen, but it comes down to the individual to use it in their own way. After all what is a chef without their specialty dish, or a football player without their lucky socks

(I'm dedicating this post to my beloved mapping pen)


  1. Interesting video, and interesting philosophy too. This is something I should probably look into, which tools suit me the best, etc.

    Oh, and thanks for commenting on my blog, I will use the info you gave me to effect :)

  2. Yeah with what i've read and from the people i've spoken too a lot of creatives tend to grow quite attached to their tools. And of course not everyone restricts themselves to just one piece of equipment. Plus, a good byproduct of this is that it perfects a working method too. It's assuring to have an idea of how it's going to turn out when you start a piece of work.

  3. Like the video cool! erm blue Staedtler propelling pencil 0.5mm 2b leads, on seawhite A5 sketchbook cartridge...
    Staedtler pencils 2b usually sharpened with a scalpel NOT a sharpener.