Pen and Paper

One of the side effects of the journaling class I'm currently taking at BookWorks is that I'm thinking more about paper. I've been considering the relationship of the paper to the journal's purpose, which seems pretty obvious, but which I haven't thought much about when making blank books (for which I usually use Velata text blocks). Reflecting on the types of information I'd like to collect and the journals that will hold them has led me consider each journal's specific needs. For example, it makes sense to use watercolor paper as the basis for the journal I'll set aside for my art "experiments" -- i.e., techniques I'd like to try without assurance that they'll result in anything good or pleasing or that I'll want to repeat them. (That's why it's called an art experiment journal. It's strange but true that I'll be more likely to experiment if I have a journal that's specifically designed for that purpose, rather than trying something out on a surface that might conceivably be a "keeper." -- Go figure.)

My daily journal -- the one I regularly carry with me -- should be able to withstand washes of wet media, so I'm going to try using a text block made from watercolor paper also, but lighter weight than what I'll use for the experiment book: 90 lb - 100 lb for the daily journal, 140 lb for the other. For those journals into which I'll tape or paste items -- say, my "flip book" for images that resonate or inspire me -- I plan to use standard notebooks. In this case, it's the wire binding that's most important, since I want to be able to flip easily through the pages.

I'm also more aware now of how the pen feels against the paper; I expect that I've always been conscious of this but, nevertheless, I kept buying the same kinds of pens: those extra-fine-point ones, such as the Sakura Pigma Micron pens, that graphic artists seem to favor. I suppose I didn't make the connection between the diameter of the tip of the pen and my writing experience. Then I started noticing that my most confident writing (I mean this purely from a graphic perspective; nothing to do with content) comes from pen points of at least medium thickness. I also like a bit of resistance from the paper as I write. The fine-point pens I've been writing with (and used on Velata) simply haven't done the trick.

So I'm experimenting with pens with thicker points. I recently bought a Sakura Gelly Roll Gelato retractable pen with a 0.8 mm (medium) point that I'm enjoying. I'll also be trying paper with a bit more texture for text blocks. I'll be working on a new daily journal tomorrow, using 90 lb watercolor paper. I'll let you know how the combination feels to me.

1 comment:

An Odd Duck said...

I would love to see some pictures of your experimental journal (if that is allowed). I think it is a great idea and an probably an exercize that would be beneficial to any artist.