I often get ideas in my head late at night about things I want to try or buy. Last night it was the idea to include more illustrations in my journals (even though I am so bad at drawing–you will see soon just how bad). The day later, I stopped in at Dymocks Stationary in Sydney on my way to work on a mission to buy just one thing. A fine line pen that I can use in my journals to illustrate. It had to be the finest line pen I could find.
The shop assistant showed me the Copic Multiliners and I chose the finest one they had, the 0.03mm.
I am in no way an artist or designer, I have never used a Copic before and I have never used a pen under 0.38mm, so I was surprised at just how hard it is to write/illustrate using fine tip pens. Did some small sketches in my notebook to test out the pen (the eye is a traced drawing, I cant draw remember). The detail you can get with a 0.03mm pen is amazing but also difficult to use. I have a long way to go to learn how to render and add textures in to my drawings so any tips or ideas would be helpful.
That same day I got the Copic I also needed a new writing pen too as my other one was running out of ink. The only time a pen runs out of ink for me is when the pen is a Uniball Signo RT or Sarasa Gel pen. I use them up in an instant.
While browsing the pens I found the Uniball Sign 307 and wanted to give it a try. Couldn’t find it in 0.4 or 0.38 (my preferred writing size) but found one in 0.5. Close enough I thought. As expected by uniball, the writing experience is super smooth and extremely flowy (for lack of a better term).
It was a mistake.
That night when I did some writing, I was so dissapointed with just how much ink flowed out. Usually the Uniball inks dry quick enough for my left hand writing that by the time my palm smudges over it it doesnt smudge, however with this pen, because it is so inky, I had to bend my hand uncomfortably just to allow the ink to dry while I wrote normally. It is hard to find a good pen if you are a left handed writer. I wasnt accustomed to just how thick and dark the writing would look. It gave my writing a kind of rushed appearance which is probably due to all the smudging and thick inky lines.
The right hand page of that image is the Uniball Signo 307, hence the smudges.
This pen will not become my new writing pen and for now I will keep to what I know works best for me. This pen however may be suitable to right handlers and to those who love a real thick, dark heavy line when they write.
When I left Japan last year, I was given a farewell gift from someone. Inside this farewell gift was some amazing Japanese stationary. I hadn’t used it until recently due to all the stationary I have accumulated and just wanted to show you all what it is.
It started the other night.
I found myself going through my things I brought back and stumbled upon these beautiful Japanese watercolour brush markers in spring colours by Sai.
I am in no way an artist. Drawing anything more than a stick figure is beyond my skill set. But even though I know my drawings look like automatic writing, I decided to incorporate more drawings/sketches in my notes and these newly found old Japanese brush markers have made my chicken scratches look less crap more decent.
Now while writing this entry, I was looking up the markers online and almost crapped myself when I came across this.
A full set of the beauties! How much? Take my money. Take all my money.
Unless you are a master calligrapher, the markers are hard to write with, but they do very well colouring and adding life to illustrations. Actually, these markers have made me want to delve into the world of water colouring. I can see it now. Title of my next post…backpack disaster; how I ruined my Moleskine and made expensive paper mâché at the same time.
Bought myself a small present while out shopping the other day. A Tachikawa T-25nib holder. I have been looking at buying a nib holder for a while to get more into calligraphy and using my inks and paper. And since most of them are made here in Japan, I just had to buy one. There was also the Tachikawa T-36 for sale too. The difference being the T36 has a rubber grip for your hand but I liked the plain wooden look of the T-25 a lot more.
The Tachikawa T-25 is a nib holder that can hold various sized nibs. I purchased some Zebra G nibs to go with it after seeing reviews that these are pretty much the standard kind and best ones for beginners to dip pens. I have never used a dip pen and I was told there is a steep learning curve to learn writing with one. Being a leftie too brings a whole new bag of problems too, but, I tried it out and think I did pretty well with my first dip experience.
I have been using my Iroshizuku Shinkai ink with it. Some Youtube videos say that using fountain pen ink is not reccomeneded because the ink drips off too quickly, so I will look into buying some proper dip pen ink and see what the difference is.
Found this Uni-ball AIR 0.5 pen at the shops today. As soon as I picked it up and tested it out I was shocked at how smooth it writes. The name says it all, it feels like you are writing with air.
The pen has no feedback what so ever. The ink flows so smoothly out from the strange weird tip and so quickly. It seems you can write really fast and not have a problem with skipping lines. My biggest love for this pen is the colour. I love blue inks and the colour this pen has is perfect, to my standards.
My only complaint with this pen is the way it pools small dots of ink at the end of letters. Now this could just be my style of handwriting causing this but I found that ink tends to just appear when I lift the pen after writing words. And because I am a leftie, this is a major problem for me. My writing gets smudged to death. Drying time is a little longer than your average gel pen.
I actually like this pen a lot and despite the occasional smudge here and there as well as staining my hand a nice blue colour, I find myself grabbing this pen a lot to use.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of finding a new little stationery shop while on your travels. The excitement rush you get when you enter as you think about what kind of pens, paper and other things (not to mention Field Note Editions) may be waiting inside. I can never just browse a stationery store and not buy something. Especially when I am spoiled with all the Japanese pens and paper choices here in Tokyo which cost a lot less than in my home country.
There are the famous big brand stores here like Kinokuniya, Tokyu Hands and Ito-ya, the 11 floor stationery shop in Ginza that have a huge selection of pens, paper and pencils to choose from, but there is a store I pass every day on my way home from work called Chikuho I often go to which I love.
I often post about my little stationery store in my posts that I visit all the time and decided to post about it here.
Chikuho is located at Takadanobaba on the Yamanote line in Shinjuku-ku. They stock the regulars like Moleskines, Rhodia, Campus notebooks, albeit not in all the sizes or selections of some of their bigger competition stores, but their selection is enough for any regular stationery user. Chikuho also have a lovely fountain pen area where you can even try out some pens and inks. Most of their stock is priced at recommended retail price with no mark up.
The area I can never leave without buying something is of course the pen section. They carry all the Pilots, Uni-Balls, SARASAs, Pentels, you could ever ask for and have all the sizes, colours, editions and styles you need.
The staff noticed how often I visited them and offered me a point card which is filling up quickly, giving me some yen off when I reach a certain amount of stamps. 1 stamp per 200yen spent in store.
If ever you are passing in the area, be sure to check them out!
Ive been listening to the Pen Addict podcast for the last few weeks but decided to go back and start from the very behinning and re-listen from the first episode.
While on the train home I was listening to episode two where Brad and Myke were talking about their favorite pens so decided to stop off at my little stationery store I’ve been frequenting recently to see if I could find a couple of their recommendations, buy and play write.
Didn’t find what I went in for but didn’t leave empty handed. I mean, who really leaves a stationery store empty handed?
I decided to buy the Rhodia No.16 dot pad, a Zebra SARASA Clip 0.5 in white ink and an impulse buy of new notepad made in Japan, the 3feet square notepad by Marumon.
I actually freaked out a bit when I saw the white gel ink SARASA as I have never used a white gel pen. The only paper they had available in the shop to try the sample pens on was white paper, so I couldn’t really see how it writes or looks, but, I plan to try it out at work tomorrow on some black card stock.
So, with a little help from the magic of blogging, see the photos from tomorrow, now!
I have no idea how often I will be writing on black card but I can sleep at night knowing if I ever do I have this pen to cover that.