Portrait of the Artist as a Man
June 2, 2016

Desert Island Desks

Are you a Pen Addict?

A few episodes ago and discussed in the recent podcast episode, Brad and Myke discussed what stationery they’d take to a desert island - 1 pen, 1 ink, 1 paper. This lead to much goofiness and a new Tumbkr from a show listener - Desert Island Desks.

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Of course I’m getting on that boat.

Pen: rOtring Lava, custom ground stub nib. This was my first Grail pen after dipping my toe into the fountain pen water. The pens I like the most have some distinct, modern design. High gloss bodies or non-round shapes or similar. I like my tools to be pristine, strong, and clean. This pen pretty much everything along with a Brutalist aesthetic (and Brutalist heft…) in the grey, textured exterior looking like concrete. Love at first sight… until I saw the prices on eBay - $400-$800. O_O.

But. But! Alyska, with her bargain-fu managed to find one at not even close to that price and gifted it to me on Christmas in 2014. I’ve been using this pen nearly daily since then. And I miss it when I’m not using it.

Psst.. (Have I mentioned recently that my wife is amazing?)

Ink: Iroshizuku Kiri-same, Autumn Shower. A good match for the grey pen, no? It looks old and worn in a well-loved sort of way. I’ve always coveted notebooks as artifacts of a person. My favorite movies all have important journals or notebooks with all sorts of art and diagrams and codes and I want the stuff that I write down to be like that.

It’s exactly the opposite of what I like in my tools. I want the things I create to feel old and loved, secret and personal. I get that feel faster with a light, washed out ink.

Also, if you’re still using Moleskine notebooks…. why

Paper: Leuchtturm medium hardcover notebook - I’m not sure if dotted or grid…. the Leuchtturm was the first notebook I found that stood up to ink while still packing a ton of paper - 249 pages. And they’re numbered. I gravitate to the white covers because they wear in quickly and plesantly, all dirty and ink-stained by the time you’re done with it. I think the ribbon on my last one has three inkblots on it, one that came in the first week of use (I was very bad at inking my pens…).

Regarding artifacts

Some of my favorite pages from my last few notebooks.


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