Completely geeked out and bought a bunch of new nibs last week. They arrived in the mail with a pair of birthday shortalls, gifted to me by my bestie, and a birthday card from my grandmother, so yeah, it was pretty much the best day of mail ever.

It can be pretty overwhelming to buy these new tools and I always appreciate any recommendations I can find, especially these kind of product testing posts, so I figured I would do my part and contribute one.

As you can see from the top photo the nibs are:
- Brause “Rose” *
- Zebra G*
- Hunt 101
- Brause Steno
- Hiro #40 “Blue Pumpkin” *
- Nikko G
- Nikko Saji
- Leon Principal

*= used before/am fairly comfortable with

I also ordered a new holder, because I thought I’d need a different one than my trusty plastic Speedball Deluxe Oblique to work with a few of these new nibs, but none of the new nibs seemed to take any more easily to the new holder, so I just used the Speedball for all of these.
Typically I prefer to work with gouache, but I was feeling a little lazy today so did all of the above with black Bombay Ink.

The biggest surprise was the Hunt 101. Never having working with a shorter nib like this, I didn’t know what to expect, but got really beautiful thick downstrokes and lovely delicate hairlines. Really impressed and excited to use that one on new projects.

Being comfortable with the Brause Rose I was a little irritated to see how little control it appears I had with it - first strokes of the morning, maybe, or a little ink heavy? Either way, it was surprising to see it next to all of the other nibs and how thick and uniform its lines look.

Really loved the ease of the clean, simple line from the gorgeous Nikko Saji (the close-up on the left hand side) and look forward to doing tiny work with it.

The Brause Steno (other extreme close-up, in silhouette) is striking in person - it has a slightly darker blue sheen to it than the Hiro #40, but is quite similar in appearance. Wrote like a dream until I had an ink blob halfway through my “d” and “l” - I think I just need a little practice with it, though.

Definitely understand why the Nikko nibs are most popular among us newer calligraphers - you can get a really lovely line out of them fairly effortlessly. They’re stiffer, which can translate to more forgiving, even if you don’t get the dramatic thicks and thins.

Looking forward to getting more practice with the other shorter nib, the Leon Principal. I think this one was supposed work in my new penholder but didn’t want to squeeze in there - let me know if you have any advice on adjusting those things!

A thing I have, that I love, is a chalkboard wall in my kitchen.

Another thing I have, that I love less, is an undying, unquenchable, insatiable desire to eat fluffy warm crusty bread all the time.

I don’t care if this song was overplayed when it came out. It’s only because it is fantastic and fiercely romantic.

This was a custom first anniversary gift from wife to husband and I wanted to keep it for myself.

Done with black gouache for ink, and a Blue Pumpkin nib.


Potent minimalist art sends a strong message about police and vigilante brutality in America

Journalist and artist Shirin Barghi has created a gripping, thought-provoking series of graphics that not only examines racial prejudice in today’s America, but also captures the sense of humanity that often gets lost in news coverage. Titled “Last Words,” the graphics illustrate the last recorded words by Brown and other young black people — Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and others — who have been killed by police in recent years.

Let us not forget their voices

(via malcolmjamalwarlock)

Family trees - beautiful concept, hard to execute. It’s weird, because trees are just about the loveliest thing, and we use them well in other aspects of our design and decor. But, to me, they always end up looking like Clip Art or science textbook drawings in artistic family tree renditions.

There are definitely some lovely options out there (I’d be remiss without referencing EvaJuliet for initial spark of inspiration) but I wanted to incorporate some handwritten modern calligraphy and some depth, rather than a simple print.

The base is an original gouache painting of a blossoming cherry tree (some may look a bit more plum or peach… I’m no botanist) digitally scanned and giclée printed. The calligraphy banners were each hand written, cut, and affixed to create this truly one-of-a-kind family tree, unique like each family I hope they come to illustrate.

Now taking orders for the holidays!

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys—to woo women—and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.”
— Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society (via thekhoolhaus)

This is one of my most favourite quotes. I remember it every time I use the word. Every time.

(via blackwhiteandcolour)

(via blackwhiteandcolour)


I drew these while watching Paranormal Home Inspectors the other day so that was not a complete and utter waste of time. 

(via comicsnthat)


Type Installations

Set designer Nicola Yeoman has created a series of artworks, installations and set design for both editorial and advertising campaigns.