Life Lessons from Pen, Ink, and Paper

A few posts back, I’ve mentioned how relatively new to the fountain pen experience I am, with less than 5 years under my belt. However, within that span of time, I’ve learned a few things from using fountain pens that have created ripples of change in my life. These tiny yet effective realizations have helped me get through those moments when I feel less than myself.


JUST BEGIN. To anyone totally new to the world of fountain pens, the vast multitude of choices can seem paralysing. However, taking that first step is essential to knowing your preferences. There are likewise many sources of inspiration and recommendations for you to tap into for guidance. The rabbit hole might look daunting and deep; but you’ll only discover the hidden treasures if you take that leap.

EMBRACE MISTAKES. Getting to know the dynamics between pen, ink, paper, and hand is a process of discovery. Part of that evolution is obtaining results that may fall short of expectations. Errors, though sometimes frustrating, still offer information, and can help you make adjustments. That humongous ink blot on a whole page of carefully written words is trying to tell you something.

BE PRESENT. One thing I truly enjoy about using fountain pens is the mindfulness that is born from it. This particular writing instrument enjoins you to be aware of your grip, of the pressure you exert, and the speed and angle of movement. For me, it’s quite fascinating actually, how the pen just dances on the paper, how the nib feels as the ink flows from it, and how the fluid colour makes its mark. Sometimes, the tactile sensation of writing or sketching is relaxing in itself.

REACH OUT. For me, being part of a group of like-minded individuals who encourage each other was instrumental in my growth as an artist.  They were also ready to give advice, to share awesome finds as public service announcements; and cajole one another to give in to the call of a particular pen. Like any other avocation, a system of support helps the whole community adapt and thrive. Friendships have flourished from what once were merely shared interests.

OWN IT. Yes, we adore our pens (and inks, and papers). To collect? (Hello, Limited Editions.) To use? (All 50 pens inked and ready.) It doesn’t really matter, does it? During times like these, doing what makes you happy carries a more vital role. Whether it is the unique craftsmanship of the body or nib that moves you, or that fulfilling sensation of the pen in hand working as an extension of your mind; what is essential is that it resonates and gives joy. So go ahead; get that grail when you can, and the perfect ink to complement it.



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Written by Lekz Umali
Check out her art on Instagram!

Author: LekzFeature Article

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