Work, School or Art?

What do you use your pen for the most? Do you use it for schoolwork, for office work or for art? I ask this question because if you are having a problem with your ink, paper or pen you need to look at what you are using it for.

When working whether for school or at the office, I tend to color code subjects to better organize myself. This means having multiple pens and colors. I have lots of Lamy Safari pens so I tend to use those most. Because my pens are all the same brand I unwittingly created a science experiment. I have found that Lamys’ can take almost any ink and work great. On occasion when I get nib creep, I look at the ink and nib combo to see if it’s something I can change quickly or if the pen needs a good cleaning.


To negate the worry of a mess, I tend to use a medium nib on thicker paper. I can use a medium nib because I tend to write slowly and have time to let it dry when I am working at the office. Because there is a tendency to sign lots of documents, it is to my benefit to make a bold stroke. A bold stroke is easily seen in a fax or an email.


If I have to take notes and am going through paper quickly I tend to use a fine nib with a thin ink. Thin ink in a fine nib tends to dry very quickly which works perfectly for school work. I have also found that thin inks are more permanent than the thicker shimmer inks in my experience. I also love a good permanent ink for school because I can highlight over it. You’d think with my awesome color coding skills I wouldn’t need to highlight but alas tis true. I use a pretty neutral colored ink for note taking and leave color coding to the highlighter. I use neutral inks because they are more permanent. It would also hurt my eyes to stare at a page full of vibrant pink ink, even though I love it.


Ink and pen needs will vary wildly based on the type of art you are creating. Being a Handletter I adore using my bold nib with a shimmer and sparkle ink. A bold nib really allows the ink to “shine”. Both a good sparkle ink and lettering requires a slow, smooth hand. This type of art allows the ink plenty of time to dry and when making a custom piece flow beautifully on heavy paper. No one wants feathering ink on a custom piece, no one.

I sometimes dabble in floral drawings and these tend to be in a much finer nib with darker inks. The ink doesn’t need to be as thin because I have time to let it dry but it does need to be bold. Other artists need one ink that has lots of color variation. They will spread their ink purposefully for the type of art that they are creating. You can see a totally monocromatic scene of all blue but with a good ink you will also see a ton of variation in that one blue. The ink brings an entirely new depth to a piece.

What do you use your pens for most? What is your favorite pen and ink combo? I’d love to know in the comments below.

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