Yes, I'm a pen freak. I'm that guy at the pen section, mumbling about pen tip sizes, gel inks and barrel design. It's been an addiction of mine since grade school days, when Parker Jotter retractable ball pens were all the rage.
In high school, I became a fan of Flair pens for drawing and writing. I used to eat through those pens, drawing, writing reports and for everyday use. I read somewhere that Quentin Tarantino uses Flairs to write his scripts.
In my college days, when I was introduced to fountain pens. My design and drawing instructor, Mr. Bonifay, was a total sketch freak, toting his huge 12 x 14 bound black sketchbook with hundreds of drawings in it. Odd thing was, he religiously used a simple, black Sheaffer fountain pen (something like this one, but black plastic) for sketching, which further blew me away.
I bought one of those fountain pens myself and sketched with it, and you know what? It wasn't bad at all. I adapted to the quirks of a fountain pen for sketching. The old pen is now broken (pocket clip broke) and is in need of a trip back to the factory in Iowa for lifetime warranty repairs. (Note to self: send that Sheaffer pen in!)
When I began getting back into sketching and journaling with Moleskines a few years ago, I found my interest in pens reviving. I tried the ol' Sheaffer, but the Moleskine's paper couldn't handle the scratching of a fountain pen tip, nor the ink liquidity.
Next I bought some Pilot G2s on 0.5 and 0.7 widths, as these were so often mentioned by Moleskine users. I loved the gel ink — its density and the pen shape. However, after several months of use, I began to experience some issues with the G2. I disliked that the flow was not totally smooth on my Moleskine pages. The ink would flow nicely and then abruptly, thin out on me.
I put up with this for a while, until my most recent trip to Office Max, where I bought several pens for home and work use (I do a quite bit of sketching at work). One of the pens I took a liking to was the Sanford Uniball Signo 207 gel pen. It looked and felt very much like the Pilot G2, but the ink flow was much better. I bought one and have now switched over to the Uniball.
But the story goes on — my pen freak revival brought to mind yet another über-favorite pen: the Niji Stylist 100. This unassuming black plastic pen had a smoothest tip for sketching, never skipping on me. Apparently it has a unique plastic tip construction which makes it durable. All I know is, these things rock.
This weekend I hit the local art store and found the Niji Stylist 100, and immediately appreciated the smooth flow of ink it provided. I've been enjoying it so much, I've started carrying the Stylist around everywhere, using it for work and personal sketching, notes, my diaries and more.
So what are your favorite pens? Any suggestions for this pen freak? Please feel free to leave a comment — I'm always on the lookout for great new pens to feel my addiction. :-)