The first thing that I want to make clear is that I’m still using a lot of the equipment that is listed on my website for my various projects. It’s just that my approach to writing and drawing utensils changed a lot during the past few months and I wanted to talk a bit about my current choices and reasons behind them.
As you know I have been in Japan almost 10 years already and because I’m a huge fan of art supplies it was almost impossible for me not to buy a lot of different stuff just to try them out. Some of these I used a lot (like my watercolors, pencils, brush pens or fineliners) but a lot of my purchases just ended up in my “art stuff” drawers.
Recently I discovered that some of the mechanical pencils and pens that I used during my university time and later swapped for different models were no longer usable. The plastic was discolored, rubber parts turned to a sticky mush and the ink dried-up. I started systematically clearing up my art supplies getting rid of all the things that just got old or that I know I’m not going to use. It pains me every time I have to throw things away but I knew that it’s my fault they ended up in those drawers in the first place.
I decided to change my ways.
When buying art supplies I was more concerned with the new functionality than anything else but now I decided to put more question on my “do I really need this” list, like:
According to these rules, I changed my “everyday” set of tools I almost always have with me, even if I’m not planning to draw anything:
1: For writing: LAMY AL-star with EF nib.
This is a fountain pen I already had - Kana bought it for me some time ago - it even has my name on it. With this fountain pen, I signed a lot of “Tokyo Storefronts” books already and use it often for writing my memos and journal entries when I’m outside. It’s also good for some sketching on good, smooth paper.
2: For writing on stuff: Kaweco Special Ballpoint pen, black
I have this in my “basic set” to write the things which are hard to do with a fountain pen: a quick sign, address on an envelope, some fast notes. I was surprised that I actually like to write with it (I dislike ballpoint pens in general) the cartridge I bought for it in Itoya is excellent!
3: For sketching: Caran d’Ache 844 mechanical pencil 0.7mm
I use this pencil for sketching my ideas when I’m outside but because it’s so nice to use I’m drawing with it at my desk a lot too! It’s light and not to thick. It does not have a fancy rubber grip but that’s all right, the mat paint finish is just great. I have a simple eraser in my pen case to accompany it.
These three writing and drawing instruments are currently in my pen case. I might insert a wooden pencil there if I know I’ll be doing a more serious drawing, but that’s mostly it. I hope these three will work for me for a long time!