Experiences · Tulpamancy

Ink Flows as the Mind Wills

Writing. It’s so simple, yet, sometimes, so hard. You struggle, trying to find words. Hit the keys on the keyboard. Delete. Type more.

It’s so different when you write with ink. Fountain pens are beautiful instruments. Curve after curve, the ink flows, and so does your fantasy, your imagination. A word comes to a word, the world in your head takes a second life on the paper.

I’ve got a brilliant collection of ink samples (twenty-two total), and I feel like spending the weekend toying with them. I also extended my pen collection to facilitate all those gorgeous inks.

My usual writing instrument is called “the bard”—a wooden pen with a fine nib. It fits my hand perfectly and is very comfortable in use. I refilled it with black Parker ink previously, although I’m looking for some more exciting colour now.

One of the new additions is the platinum cool. It has a fine nib too, but more importantly, it’s fully transparent, allowing you to see inside, to witness the way ink spreads in it and understand the whole mechanics. It’s a so-called demonstrator pen. I tried it with a Noodler’s Dragon Napalm ink, and, as you see, the results are more than gorgeous.

Another one is Noodler Neponset Acrylic Flex, with a music nib. It’s a medium-sized flex nib, which means that the amount of ink varies with the pressure. You don’t put any pressure on a traditional fountain pen, but flex nibs are designed specifically for varied pressure, allowing you to control the flow. It’s also curious, as it has three tines (and two slits).

This pen is excellent for ink sketching, and it plays great with shading inks—those that change tones depending on the amount of ink on paper.

There’s always an option of using a dip glass pen, it’s especially handy when you are trying out various inks—it’s really simple to clean this one. The problem, though, is that the first strokes have lots of ink, and they look way darker than if you’d use a proper fine nib.

Why do I consider ink pens important, though? It doesn’t matter what you are going to write, a sassy poem, math homework, or a shopping list. It doesn’t matter if anyone else will read what you wrote. You are doing it for yourself, so enjoy that simple moment, when the pen scritches over paper, leaving an ink trail behind.

How would it look? Dark, perfectly aligned lines? Blue curves, hopping up and down? Orange cursive, leaving reddish marks where it crosses its own path? It’s up to you to learn it.

Writing with a pen is more mentally involving than a computer keyboard. You get more things to care about, more mind to control. There are dozens of ways to write a simple letter “A”, which one you will like the most? Try your own handwriting. See if you like it, and change it if you don’t. Take your time. Try various inks. Try different pens. Find something that is intimately yours. And then you will find yourself.

Let your mind free. Relax. And watch, watch with deep curiosity as words start to appear, one after another. Where will the story lead you today?

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