Tag: fountain pens

The Start of My Art Journal Journey

I’ve always loved writing journals. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always preferred to pouring out my thoughts on paper rather than speaking. Integrating art in my journal entry is something I’ve only recently discovered, though. I liked sketching when I was younger, but it’s an interest that I did not nurture. It was only when I joined Fountain Pen Network Philippines and became social media friends with many talented artists that my love for drawing resurfaced. Of course, you lose what you don’t use, so it feels like I’m starting from nothing again. That’s alright. 🙂 I don’t mind it.

A lot of people I know are so intimidated by the talent of great artists that they don’t even act on the desire of starting an art journal. I personally believe in not resenting your own progress, no matter how slow it is. With the overabundance of ugliness in the world (especially on the internet), contributing your voice in the form of art and other hobbies is not a bad thing.

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I learned that I like to combine words and pictures. The photo above is a rough sketch about the great protest march at Selma. I wrote my thoughts down about the movie after we watched it. It takes longer to finish a journal entry, but it’s so worth it afterwards.

Calligraphy is also something that I just recently discovered. Integrating calligraphy with art is so much fun. My journal is a hodge podge of pure text, text and drawings, alibata brushwork, drawings and calligraphy, photos, clippings, etcetera etcetera. It’s not a neat catalog of watercolor paintings or pen and ink sketches. It’s imperfect and ink-stained, crumpled and cramped, and it brings me so much happiness.

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After all, isn’t that the whole point? Each day in our life is different, anyway. I’d like my art journals to reflect that. Each day is a new adventure, a blank page waiting to be filled.

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If you’re thinking about starting your own art journal, I hope this nudges you to the right direction. 🙂 Do it. Do it today, with whatever art supplies you have and make your pages even more vibrant and meaningful to you than they already are. Art is <3

A Silent Outrage

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It’s been sickening to read or watch the local news recently. There are so many news of extrajudicial killings, and that’s always been concerning to me. Every time I see somebody killed execution style with a placard labeled “Huwag tularan, Rapist/Adik/Pusher/Snatcher”, I always ask myself “Says who?” Who gets to decide who has forfeited their right to live? Who deserves to be killed in such a violent way? Now I see this kind of death every day. Fat chance that these cases will be investigated (I’m still waiting for that kind of change). I understand the outrage of people about druggies and criminals, but killing them off without due process is a dangerous shortcut to take. The collateral damage in this kind of war will mostly be the voiceless people who live below the poverty line. They aren’t pests that need to be exterminated because they offend your middle class sensibilities. These are people who have the same rights as everybody else does.

Reading comments in social media about this topic is equally nauseating. It looks like many people are in a blood frenzy, they have forgotten to act like civilized human beings. It’s heartbreaking for me to see friends and family members participate in such discussions like they’re just talking about killing rats. Anybody who disagrees with anything about this all-out war is a sentimentalist, anti-Duterte (and therefore pro-LP or pro-Aquino, which is a false dichotomy), tanga, bobo, mangmang and deserves all kinds of insults. There is no talking with most people nowadays.

There’s no real welfare system to help the street children survive instead of buying rugby to stave off the hunger. No real juvenile justice system to keep young offenders out of trouble. The pervading system in the country is decidedly anti-poor.

I am not blaming the President for all of these extrajudicial killings, and I laud him for the many things that he has achieved on the first 15 days of his presidency (one can appreciate the good and be critical of the not-so-good-yet, it’s not impossible to do that). However, the government should act like the government and uphold the rule of law. All shootings that happen where policemen are involved (agaw-baril, shootouts, etc) should be investigated properly, regardless of who we perceive the victims to be. You know, like any democratic society where rule of law prevails. Policemen who are involved in legit police operations against drugs should be mindful of collateral damage and accountable for them no matter where the encounter happens.

There’s no doubt that this war on drugs will be long and bloody. That doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it. Times like this, it’s okay to not be okay.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

That’s a mouthful.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I first saw this pen in person last year, during the first big pen meet that I attended in Makati. The owner is a nice young man, well put-together, with a warm smile and a gorgeous green Vacumatic tucked into his shirt pocket. I asked if I could see his Parker Premier (which he dubbed The Batman Pen), and he happily opened his pen case to let me hold it. Gosh. I recall thinking what a handsome pen! And I carefully handed it back to him.

Modern Parker pens don’t really get my motor going. I find them so lacking in character compared with vintage pens, making it painfully obvious that Parker today isn’t what it used to be. This pen, though, I really liked. It’s perhaps the only modern Parker pen that I liked a lot. So when this nice young man put up this very gently used pen for sale (at half the retail price in National Bookstore), I snapped it up.

Parker Premier Monochrome Black

I’ve been using it to write, write, write the entire afternoon and evening yesterday. I’ve been literally writing until way into the wee morning hours. It’s so hard to put this pen down. I’ll take better photos for my upcoming review. 🙂

Nemosine Review Roundup

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I just finished reviewing Nemosine Neutrino, Fission, and Singularity these past few days. Overall, my experience with Nemosine pens is pretty good. I like that they all have very simple designs, and that they have pretty color options for each model. In terms of look and feel, I think my favorite is the Neutrino. It’s slim, doesn’t post, and the weight is just right. Even if the body is metal, the size makes the weight just right for me.

The nib is pretty standard across all three, even though Neutrino has a #5 nib and the other two have #6 nibs. Here’s another look at the writing sample of different nibs:

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I enjoyed the broad nib most, and the 1.1mm nib next. The broad nibs that I tried wrote pretty well, as far as steel nibs go. They don’t require tuning or fiddling (at least not those that I tried), so these pens could be great for fountain pen newbies who just want something they can use without much fuss. I also noticed that the nibs are more reliable compared with similarly priced pens.

As far as entry level pens go, all these are pretty su-weet. If you’re looking to get a pen that looks good and won’t cost too much, any one of these would be a great option.

Click here to read the review on Nemosine Neutrino
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Fission
Click here to read the review on Nemosine Singularity

All these pens are available at Everything Calligraphy (obviously one of my favorite online shops).

Review: Jinhao 155

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Here’s another Jinhao pen review thanks to the people at Everything Calligraphy who let me try them out. It’s the Jinhao 155. These are very simple-looking pens, and it appeals to people who can’t really bring cobra pens to work. These are nice, budget-friendly, conservative-looking pens.

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I like the design of the clip. It’s boxy and straight, very industrial-looking. the section is smooth with a matte finish and made of hard plastic. It’s a nice contrast to the textured body of the chrome-finished pen. The metal parts of the pen give this some heft,  but it’s not an uncomfortable pen to use for long writing. It feels solid, but not overly heavy.

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I like the black one best, but the chrome and gold colored pens are also quite pretty in person. They remind me of vintage pens that have this barley corn finish on them. They’re different if you look closer, though. If I would change anything on it, I’d rather the barley corn-like finish be all over the barrel instead of alternating with a smooth finish. Here’s a couple of close up photos of the barrel.

The nib writes okay, virtually the same as the other steel Jinhao nibs. Here’s a writing sample below.

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It’s a pretty simple, understated pen that is great for everyday writing. The Jinhao 155 is available at Everything Calligraphy.