The Dream of Pens

In the last several months, a few artists I know have been given license agreements–they now have a line of glue, or paints, or digital grounds with their name on them. It’s very impressive.

It wasn’t surprising when I had a dream last night about licensing. In the dream, I was using Artist A’s paints, when Artist B came into my studio and said, “Why aren’t you using my paints?” I didn’t know what to say to either artist, and a funny dream sequence ensued, in which Artist B’s paints were the only ones that would work in a certain brand of visual journaling book. The paints endorsed by Artist A just drifted off the page. When I noticed this, Artist B gave me a wink and said, “I have a great contract!”

As the dream continued, I got a phone call from a licensing agent, who wanted to sign me up. Knowing that my paints would float off the page, I declined. When he asked what I would like to endorse I said, “Pens. I want to endorse a pen I can believe in. Something I’d use all the time.”

“No one uses pens anymore,” said the agent in my dream.

Rapidograph technical pens have interchangable tips, small reservoirs to make ink color exhange easy, and color-coded barrels for nib size.

“I do. But it has to be a fiber tip pen, write smoothly, have a hefty barrel, be refillable and easy to clean,” my dream-self replied.

“How about a nice roller ball?” The agent asked. He clearly didn’t know me very well.

“No. I don’t like roller balls. Too smeary, too slippy on the page. I’d like to endorse a good fiber tip, a cross between Pitt Pens and Microns and Rapidographs. Something that will last, and is easy to use,” I said, expressing a very real wish for such a pen. “I love my Rapidographs, but the steel tip can catch on Arches Text Wove, and I hate that.”

Each Rapidograph has a color-coded section on the pen that indicates the line width of the nib.

The agent rolled his eyes and said, “In your dreams.” And I woke up. In my dreams, indeed. I don’t think this dream is a glimpse of the future, although I sure wouldn’t mind owning, if not endorsing, my perfect dream pen.

–Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art. She would love to endorse a line of art pens, either in her dreams or in real life. Meanwhile, the book is available from the publisher with free shipping–at least for a while.

6 thoughts on “The Dream of Pens

  1. Love pens, but have never tried Radiograph! I will have to try that while using/reading my New copy of “Raw Art Journaling”!! I’m so happy it came today!! I’ve been drinking in the ink like an empty fountain pen!!
    Met you years ago at Sugarloaf (I used to live in Baltimore) and have followed your work. Love you new book, glad you are still in my life if only online! You Go Girl!!

    • OMG, Lois, I remember you from Sugarloaf! Are you still doing the shows? Are they still working for you? Rapidographs are wonderful technical drawing pens, and I prefer the slightly larger nib sizes for smoother writing. Online is not such a bad way to stay in touch!

  2. See, this is why you are much more interesting than I. I have licensing dreams too, but mine are invariably about losing mine due to something like “doing 145 in a 35mph zone”. 🙂

  3. I’ve been using Rapidographs for 20 years. Yes they don’t work on some papers….but those papers are often wood fiber filled papers. A very good smooth cotton w/c paper will work nicely or of course any of the cheaper smooth bond papers. I love my Rapidographs. They also have a lifetime guarantee….for $7 return the pen intact and they ship a brand new one to you. Enjoy!

    • Another Rapidograph freak! YAY! I carry mine in my purse and use it instead of a fountain pen. They last forever. Arches Text Wove is 100 percent cotton fiber, but it doesn’t have a calendered surface. You can write on it with a Rapidograph, but it can flick ink. Still, I’m holding out for a pen endorsement!

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