Remember back to primary school when writing in pen was forbidden? The daunting processes of ruling up a page in a red pencil and handwriting in finely sharpened lead. Those things looked like weapons! I remember the teacher pacing the rows of desks and eyeballing for when she spotted a blunt soft pencil. It was as if waiting to pounce, she’d spook you before making you sharpen and restart the whole page. Then comes that glorious day when you’ve passed the test and are proudly awarded a Pen Licence. Ahhh. Though I never got a special certificate, or welcome bag, I was happy to be done with the repetitive process of sharpening to perfection, messy rubbers and dull handwriting.
I think it was the great emphasis on not making mistakes which made the concept of drawing in ink terrifying. I always assumed that it was difficult and that making mistakes would ruin the whole thing. Thinking on that, how much time do we spend while using pencil and other easily erasable materials going back and rubbing out, fixing and striving for perfection? For me, a lot. I wanted my drawing to be perfect the first time that the fear of making mistakes prevented my will to just continue on. With practice, I’m not so bad at drawing but I go through phases of spending time honing my creativity this way that sometimes isn’t often enough!
What I came to know and love when I got used to picking up pen to draw, was the way that ink can be manipulated and lines seemed to hold more purpose. Even the glitches and wobbles of my nervous hand would add form and character to scribbles and sketches that I wouldn’t have usually allowed. Simply, I love the flaws. I still enjoy using chalks, charcoals and different types of pencils in my drawings when I’m using that type of medium for a specific purpose. I think also, that because I like to write as well, my diary pages are usually a mesh of words, scribbles and little pictures that sprawl the pages. Using a pen became convenient for me because I never have to switch tools.
For the past ten years I have been using these nifty little pens by Copic which are refillable! They come in different nib sizes and you can easily happen to have just a few with you and a sketch book for those on-the-go moments of inspiration. You can also get replacement nibs for them and honestly nothing is overly costly about them at all! Double win in my book!