Thanks to Tina, the #21penquestions has been converted into 12 Pencil Questions. Why didn’t I think of this? I’m so glad that Tina did modify this meme. So here are my answers to her 12 Pencil Questions.
1. What is the pencil they’ll have to pry out of your cold, dead hands?
My Prismacolors . The new ones, the vintage ones and all the ones in between. Prismas make me happy. Sure, they break easily and shatter often. Sometimes. The core aren’t always centered but oh. The colors are so good. And when they work, they are the yardstick by which I measure the quality of all other colored pencils.
There are other pencils you would have to fight me for as well like my NoBlots, my Pantone Colored pencils and my collection of vintage red/blue pencils.
2. What’s your guilty pleasure pencil?
I have so many guilty pleasure pencils I can fill multiple cigar boxes with them. I love custom stamped pencils — especially if they have pithy messages on them. I love tourism pencils that are from specific places (often found in museum gift shops and such). I love advertising pencils, bullet pencils, vintage pencils and pencils from other countries. In general, I think my graphite pencil collection is 100% a guilty pleasure.
3. What’s the pencil you wish existed?
Good mechanical colored pencils. I want a creamy, saturated pigment core with a maximum diameter of 0.8mm that doesn’t break easily. I love having a colored mechanical pencil for travel and outdoor drawing adventures.
4. What pencil would you give to a new enthusiast?
For graphite pencils, any modern Japanese pencil from Tombow Mono or Uni-Mitsubishi Hi-Uni. They feel beautiful in the hand and write beautifully. Pencils do not have to be scratchy, gritty objects that people remember from grade school.
For colored pencils, I would recommend the Caran d’Ache Bi-Color in red and blue. Its creamy and luscious and its water soluble too. Its a great gateway into bi-color pencils AND colored pencils.
5. What pencil do you want to get along with but it just never clicked?
I know lots of people love the Uni Kuru Toga pencils. I appreciate the idea of a self-rotating mechanical pencil but I must be too fidgety because I don’t get the experience. I am not yucking someone else’s yum but this pencil is more technology than I need in a pencil.
6. What pencil do you keep only because it’s pretty?
I have some fancy designed pencils from Louise Fili. They are not the best tools but OOOH! the packaging and lettering is fantastic!
7. What pencil did you buy because everyone else did?
Not to parrot Tina but I also found the Irojiten colored pencils a bit overrated. I knew I wasn’t going to love them going into the purchase because I had heard they were harder cores, the pencils are all white except the end caps which are dipped to indicate the color which is a pet peeve of mine. Colored pencils benefit from being colored from top to bottom. It makes them easier to identify quickly.
8. What pencil is over your head or just baffles you?
Pretty much any pencil, particularly mechanical pencils, that have the gel grip section really makes me wonder. I wonder why pencils more often feature this grippy grip section than pens. And I also wonder why do we need this?
9. What pencil surprised you?
Magic pencils! I bought my first on a whim and fell in love with them. I prefer the classic red-yellow-blue Magic pencils over any of the other color combinations. The shades in the Koh-i-noor Magic pencils is the perfect shades of color and blend to create really uniquely. Thanks, Milton Glaser, for the inspiration too!
10. What pencil do you love in theory but not in practice?
Please don’t hate me, Tina! I want to love the Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils but I find the cores a bit too big. They feel like a jumbo pencil in my tiny little hands. They also don’t fit in my regular pencil sharpeners and they are SOOOOO expensive. I have a few and they are fantastic cores but I just don’t reach for them very often. The best way to try these is to visit a local art supply shop like Dick Blick and buy just a couple to try rather than buying a large box set.
11. What’s your favorite vintage pencil? And 12. What’s the pencil that got away?
The last two question, for me, are really the same question for me. Sanford NoBlots are my favorite vintage pencil and the ones that got away. I got my first (and last) full box of Sanford NoBlots on Amazon for about $15 about 15 years ago. It was 100% an accident. At the time I didn’t really know anything about NoBlots but they looked cool and $15 for 12 pencils was a steal no matter what they were. Well, by the time I figured out that I had the amazing indelible “ink” pencils, the dealer who was selling them on Amazon was sold out. Had I known what they were, I would have bought every box that was still available.
To be honest, this list is only slightly different than my Top 10 Pencils post from a couple years ago. Clearly, my tastes have not changed much.
Okay, now its your turn!
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