Foxy purchase or what a mug! You decide.Posted: November 25, 2011
Its a guilty purchase and foxy in two respects. Its foxy of me to buy them on the sly and they are a foxy little item themselves the Staedtler set of four pigment liners, fineliners or ink pens, whatever you want to call them. Or have I been a mug tricked into this by the foxlike deception of Staedtler the german company that sells these pens?
I have wanted this set ever since I first saw them about four years ago when I worked as a Graphic Design tutor at Natcoll Design Technology. One of the tutors who was leaving requested a set as her going away present in one of those office botched stealth missions where you have to buy the gift for someone but realise they are so particular it’s better to just fess up and ask them what they want. The tutor in question was a dame of very particular good taste and a doodler extraordinaire. Ever since seeing them I have thought that I might make a similar request for this item as a gift but standing in the shop with the item before me and the time restraint a 3 year old companion puts on one I went for realising it has been four years and I have never remembered to request these so followed the Nike principle and just did it.
Overnight genius Illustrator
The idea behind these little beauties is that there are four different nib thicknesses allowing your drawings to achieve a range of variation and subtlety not possible with just the one implement. Did it turn me into an overnight genius illustrator. Doh! No. Above is my picture of a fox. Ok admittedly its on crap paper and done in like twenty seconds but its not great and to tell the truth I can barely tell the difference between the pen weights. So I wrote them out on the side so you and I could compare. I will of course have another go with them and see if practice improves things but I’m not optimistic and wish I’d just bought one for seven bucks instead of four for thirty five. Naughty.
I suppose I better justify my suggestion that Staedtler might be a bit foxy by eplaining that I mean packaging these pens together makes you kind of assume that you’re getting a really good range of thicknesses when in fact what you’re getting is a subtle variation and maybe if you are doing illustrations every day with pens you might come to appreciate that difference but to be honest I just feel a little duped. There wasn’t any of the pens on display in the singular for me to try them out so I just had to assume they were awesome. Generally I like the Staedtler products, they make the best eraser I’ve ever come across and the pens individually are good. This is just my opinion but I’m just not sure the set is necessary. However it does one cool thing that may almost justify it and that is the little stand that the case creates when you fold it back. Took me a few goes to figure it out but you clip the top back together in behind the unit and it forms a stand and since the nib thickness is on the lid of the pen you get to easily see which pen you want to grab. Thats kind of sexy and apparently award-winning too.
Having now checked out their website there are a number of features to the quality of these pens that I didn’t realise when I bought them. For example did you know you can leave the lid off for eighteen hours and they won’t dry up? Thats a good feature. Theres also a fascinating history dating back to 1662 to be found here.
You show me yours and I’ll show you mine
I’m going to have a go at something I haven’t tried before and put a poll on following this post so you can tell me if you think my purchase was foxy or if I was a mug. Also I’d like to hear from you. You may have personal experience of using these products and can show me how to get better use out of them. I’d like to hear what tools and materials other artists recommend. Show me a picture of your work with the tools beside it.
The other bad thing is that my foxy husband follows this blog and so now he knows about my sneaky purchase. Double Doh!