Have you ever stuffed your cart so full of art supplies, paid for them, lugged them 1000 clicks across an international border only to be strip searched for stolen erasers!
OK, I did buy a few bags full of paper, pens and other artist sundries while visiting New York City in the Spring of 1994 and we did get stopped by the border patrol on our way back across into New Brunswick, Canada. We had to take everything out of the van and report all that we did, bought and drew upon. Sadly I’ve never returned to the United States since then. 14 years passes rapidly when one is consumed with Chron’s Disease, going into remission, getting married, then divorced, succumbing to addiction only to recover and have your boyfriend leave you. My god.
Whilst those 14 years of joy and agony were, I lugged around an accumulated arsenal of artist materials. I drug them from Fredericton to Saint John, Saint John to Fredericton and back again only to fly and mail them out to Vancouver for five years where I resided and began drawing solely with black and occasionally red ink. I swore off pencil all together thinking it an unnecessary time consuming evil that could be cut from the creative process all together. And I began painting extra large wall paintings to break the cycle of fear of going big.
I bought fat black pens, phat black pens, skinny black pens, no name brand black pens and ultra-fine-grip no slip tip permanent eat your heart out black pens. I bought them all. I tried them all until they ran dry. At one point I was averaging two to three pens per week. That is a lot of drawing and writing folks.
Why did I buy them?
How could you not buy something that makes you happy. How can you not buy a tool to help you find that means to an end. I found an answer while in Vancouver. I discovered two brands of pens that to this day are still my favorites; the Viscose based Pilot G-tec C4 pen and the Archival Micron Pen; each costing $5.
For the next 14 years I plan to buy more black pens. In the near future I’m buying an Epson printer and then…
When you purchase a good quality artist supply it will not deteriorate over time with proper storage, use and care. If your art supplies are becoming goopy, yellowing or drying up perhaps you should invest in that $30 paint brush or that $45 sketchbook. This standard does not hold true for all supplies but I will tell you this, those bags of paper I bought in New York 14 years ago, today remain in the same condition as they were then.
Next Week’s Tip – Did you mix enough of that color?