I’ve never considered myself a good doodler. Honest. I just don’t feel that I have a large enough internal doodling encyclopedia to create anything varied enough to not be boring.
A couple months ago, one of the women at the mixed-media group I attend told me about this new pen she’d purchased off someone’s recommendation (and I’m sorry; I don’t remember the teacher’s name!) and how she loved it. “It wasn’t expensive at all!”
When I started college, I got my first fountain pen. Nothing fancy or expensive, just a lime-green one I would write with. It feels cool to write with a fountain pen — if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out! There is just something almost magical about writing with a fountain pen, the way the ink swishes from the nib, a smooth, continuous stream that isn’t dry like a ballpoint or even slick like a gel pen. But smooth. Flowing. It almost lends itself to transforming even your grocery list into a piece of art.
But I lost that pen. And forgot the magic. It was replaced a few years later, and I carried it in my purse when I moved out to Los Angeles for a bit. It was snuggled in the little purse next to my very first visual journal, where paintings about airplanes and oceans were sandwiched between notes and plot ideas for scripts. I remember asking a writer for an autograph and having to say, “It’s a fountain pen!” when he tried to sign the program (Oh, Eric Kripke, I’m sorry for throwing that curve ball!).
That, too, was lost.
I never thought of applying a fountain pen to art until that meeting, in July, when I was reminded of the magic. You can draw with them? Many artists actually do? The only talk of ink with drawing I’d seen was from my own experiments writing and doodling on journal pages with a dip pen, and a few weeks over the summer when several people were discussing Noodler’s Ink.
Why not? my inner voice asked. You can save up and get one and see what happens.
I haven’t bought art supplies for myself in three weeks, darlings. Three glorious, fountain pen filled weeks. And I don’t regret it at all.
The doodles on these journal pages were done as I sat idly in the morning, curled on myself, letting my mind wander. Each gesture, when I draw or write with my Lamy, is exaggerated. Swirls and swishes and hash-tag lines. Want a thicker line? Press down. Thinner? Less pressure. You don’t need much for the black ink to come out, and it works over anything. Magic.
If you’ve read my post from today’s newsletter, you know how odd it is, to write that you don’t need a certain supply to make certain art. But I wanted to write this post, in conjunction, to show that when you have saved up, when you’ve waited and researched and gone to finally get that supply, cherish it. I wasn’t holding off on doodling or drawing because I didn’t have the fountain pen, but I sure am awash in joy from holding it, even if I’m writing my day’s to-do list.