In this Goulet Q&A episode, Brian talks about exclusive inks, how his taste for pens has changed, and when pen boxes matter!
- Atlanta trip!
- very entertaining vlog coming
- Hung out with Mark Bacas
- At show with David Parker (Figboot), Ana Rienert, Brad Dowdy and Myke Hurley, Jeff Bruckwicki, Jonathan Brooks, Nik Pang, Ryan Crusak, Pierre Miller of Desiderata, and so many others!
- Met wonderful people, like Irene
- Takeaways: We don’t know it all, being with other pen people in person is so energizing, we’re all the pen weirdos at our office!
- Goulet Nation continues to grow
- Retro51 visit
- TWSBI Precision
- Lamy All Black looking to come next week??
1) jarot186- Instagram (14:34)
I have seen your videos about how to use Mylar paper, but I would like to know, how to smooth an Italic or Stub nib with a Mylar paper?
- it’s essentially the same concept, but you have to hold the nib in a very exact way when you smooth it
- further nib training has since shown me it can give you more control to hold the nib and use the paper in your hand to smooth the nib in the final stages (mylar)
- with italics and stubs, they’re less forgiving with smoothness
- making sure the outer edges and edges inside the slit aren’t sharp is key, and alignment, obviously
2) Granite- Email (21:24)
What’s your take on boxes? I’m speaking specifically about the boxes that fine pens come in, but that could also include ink boxes. Some are really nice, others are pretty basic. Over the years I’ve amassed boxes of boxes. Is there any value in saving them or are they more trouble than they’re worth? I’ve never sold any of my pens but if I did I don’t know whether a purchaser would care if it came with the box or not. Guidance please.
- Boxes are such a funny thing!
- I love the presentation of a pen in a box, and I find satisfaction in that
- the truth is I hardly ever look at a box after getting the pen initially
- boxes aren’t cheap, and it’s always a delicate balance pen manufacturers have to weigh out
- I think they matter for LE’s, collector items with unique packaging
- regular pens though, hardly matter at all, especially when you buy online because boxes often aren’t even photographed!
- do they matter to you?
3) Dale M- Facebook (28:15)
I have a couple of vintage pens, a 1920’s Mabie Todd and a 1950’s Waterman. I’ll only use Black, blue or blue-black in these as that was all there was pretty much back then. Can you recommend a modern pen that has the feel of the old BCHR and Ebonite pens that I can whack modern inks into?
- modern ebonite pens will be your best bet
- Conklin Classic (special edition), Noodler’s ebonites, Namiki ebonites
- there are some others out there that I’m failing to recall, maybe we can get some shoutouts in the comments?
- Truthfully there aren’t a ton of regularly offered ebonite pens, not like there used to be
4) oatmealandcambria- Instagram (33:31)
Does Goulet Pens have any exclusive inks in the works? I love Liberty’s Elysium, but it’s been years since it’s release; I’ve recently purchased exclusive Diamine and Robert Oster inks from other retailers and it got me thinking about the mighty Goulets… You offer several exclusive pens, but are there any additional inks on the horizon? Thanks.
- It has been years!
- Honestly we don’t have anything in the works but we really should!
- What should we do???
5) pansorie78- Instagram (34:18)
During a recent Write Now you mentioned that it was an exciting and crazy time for the company when the Dark Lilac came out. I was just wondering what was going on that made it such a memorable moment?
- Any annual special edition like that is always really busy for us
- The pens were set to arrive ahead of time, but it was a fright shipment and it was delayed!
- FedEx freight made a mistake and missed putting it on the train from Texas, so it missed the weekend
- we got our shipment about a week after most other retailers, and we felt like we had to launch as soon as they arrived
- in particular, this one was crazy because we’d scheduled an off-site training session (EntreLeadership 1-day event) in North Carolina, about 3 hours away
- it was set to arrive the day of the training, so we decided to bail on the training and do the launch
- it ended up being our highest sales day to date
- we sold out of ink almost immediately, and there were frantic calls, emails, and live chats for people looking for more
6) oatmealandcambria- Instagram (41:16)
Has Goulet considered a “Brand Story” page for the website? You offer many amazing tools like Nib Nook, Swab Shop, etc. – how about a page listing each brands info, founders and founding date, notable achievements and innovations, what they’re known for? Brand Story pages are common amongst premium electronics; how about amongst premium pens? It can help users feel more attachment and loyalty to the instruments. Thanks.
- that’s a pretty good idea! I like that, and I’ll give that some thought!
- Are there any specific sites that do this that are helpful? I’d love some to look at to consider
7) Michael W.- Email (42:59)
How has your taste in fountain pens changed over time (and have you retained your appreciation for your “first loves”)?
- I started out loving shading inks, deep blues, and stub nibs, and I still love all these things!
- day to ay I use more fine nibs than I used to, and my price threshold has gone up quite a bit
- I did start out in acquisition, buying a variety of pens to get a diversity of experience, and I still do that
- I do a bit of collecting, finding LE and SE pens more appealing (LAMY, Pelikan)
- My first gold nib pens like the Pilot Custom 74 and Lamy 2000 I still love
- largely though, I do still enjoy the types of pens I was using in the early days!
QOTW: What is your expectation for pen boxes? Do you find that you expect a nice box when you spend more on a pen? What do you do with your pen boxes after you get it? (49:44)
It’s always fun for us to announce a new special edition color from LAMY! This year’s Safari special edition color is the All Black! It should be arriving to us in the next few weeks, and we’ll have the fountain pens available with extra-fine, fine, and medium nibs. You can always pick up a spare nib in a different size to change up your writing experience.
The All Black joins the Safari Charcoal and Shiny Black, but it’s different enough from both of them to still stand out. The All Black features a black clip, nib, finial, and grip, different from the others. Since LAMY already has a black ink in their collection, there’s no new ink being released with this All Black Safari.
The All Black Safari is a special edition pen, so while it won’t be around forever, we expect to have it for the foreseeable future. You can find it available in the next few weeks at GouletPens.com for $29.60. You can sign up for the waitlist to receive an email when the pens are in stock.
We want to know what you think about this year’s Safari color! Leave us a comment with your thoughts.
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Inspiration is blooming all around the Goulet office and spring has us all in a sunshiney great mood. We love seeing all of the flowers in their brilliant array of colors. Apparently, we’re not the only ones that appreciate this colorful time of year either. The third Saturday in April is known as Dogwood Day here in Virginia, as an homage to our state flower. Thursday Things: Virginia Dogwoods is a demure and delightful collection of pink and brown modeled after this charming flowers. Who knows, you may find the perfect petal among these blooms that is just right for your writing needs.
Featured products from left to right:
- Edison Nouveau Premiere Fountain Pen- Cherry Blossom– $169
- Platinum #3776 Century Fountain Pen- Lilas– $200
- Robert Oster Cherry Blossom (50ml bottle)– $17
- Robert Oster Pinky (50ml bottle)– $17
- Field Notes Notebooks- Cherry– $12.95
- Leuchtturm1917 Medium Hardcover Notebook- New Pink– $19.95
- Faber-Castell Ambition Fountain Pen- Pearwood– $120
- Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Fountain Pen- Swirling Petals of Cherry Blossoms– $192
- Platinum Cool Fountain Pen- Crystal Rose– $42.40
- Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen- Pink– $17.60
- J. Herbin Bouquet D’Antan (30ml bottle)– $12
- De Atramentis Apple Blossom (35ml bottle)– $14.95
- Lamy Safari Fountain Pen- Pink– $29.60
- Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo Fountain Pen- Champagne– $140
What is your favorite spring flower?
The Goulet Pen Company Team
We love seeing the amazing art people create using fountain pens. It’s absolutely mind-blowing to see what people can make with a blank piece of paper and a pen. Here we’ve gathered 12 artists who use pens to create art and asked them what makes fountain pens such a great tool.
My name is Candace and I live in Sydney, Australia. I’m a long-time fountain pen user, having been introduced to fountain pens at the age of 8 or 9, but I only just started using them for art and drawing last year. I share my creations on Instagram under the handle @pensivecandy.
I love using fountain pens for art for many of the same reasons I enjoy using them for daily office work. Fountain pens feel much nicer in the hand from the shape of the grip and the body to the way the ink flows onto the paper, than say, a fibre-tipped pen which I know many use quite happily. The drawing experience is smooth and feels effortless when I have the right fountain pen in my hand. I tend to gravitate toward pens that come with springy or flexible nibs because they offer line variation, which makes the result so much more interesting.
For someone who is thinking of using fountain pens to create art, my top tip would be to pair the pen of your choice with fountain pen-friendly paper – my go-to is Tomoe River (I’ve bought so many of Goulet Pens’ A5 notebooks of this paper) – because if you don’t use the right paper, you’ll be disappointed and discouraged to find your creation has either feathered or bled through thanks to unsuitable paper.
See more here: Instagram
“My name is Andrew Banks and I am a Chicago based artist, freelance illustrator, and owner of Andrew Banks Illustration. Whether I am choosing the right ink, nib size, pen grip, or weight, fountain pens offer a variety of options that help me achieve desired results in my work. I drew the majority of this Chicago Skyline with a TWSBI Eco with an EF nib, filled with Platinum Carbon Black ink. The Eco is a nice light pen even when fully inked which makes it really comfortable for longer drawing sessions. The EF nib is really precise, yet smooth at the same time, and allows me to incorporate fine details and texturing. The pen’s feed has a great flow of ink, and its large body provides a large supply of ink which is also especially helpful for long drawings sessions. While the Eco with an EF nib was used for the majority of this drawing, I also used other pens, including. Lamy Safaris with M and B nibs and even brush pens to achieve varying line weights and textures throughout the piece.
Platinum Carbon Black ink is one of my go to inks for these types of drawings. Carbon Black is a pretty fast drying ink. While being a very dark black, its pigmentation also provides a nice, subtle textural quality. Carbon Black is also great for its archivability being waterproof, permanent and lightfast. I love these qualities because when I use Carbon Black ink I feel confident providing my clients with art made with products that will last a lifetime. Artists looking to use Platinum Carbon Black ink should clean their pens out every 3-4 days. After multiple, prolonged drawing sessions, you will begin to notice slight buildup of pigmentation (and paper fibers) on you nib. This is completely normal; however, it can begin to impact the clarity of your line work if you are not careful.”
I like a good amount of line variation in my cartoons, so a flexible nib is important to me. My favorite nibs are Pilot’s Soft Extra Fine (on my resin Falcon) and Pilot’s FA nib (on the Custom 912). The Custom 912 can be a little finicky, so the Falcon is my go-to pen for drawing. Noodler’s also makes a couple of more affordable, steel nib options (the Ahab or Konrad) that also flex without breaking the bank. Have fun making some drawings with wonderful, expressive lines!
Brenda Swenson Watercolors
I have been sketching for twenty plus years. Rarely do I use a pencil. Long ago I realized drawing with pen and ink requires I spend more time looking and observing. When I put the pen to paper I do it with a greater sense of awareness. I spent more time looking at my subject. Since I can’t erase I slow down and pay more attention to how I’m holding the pen, the pressure, the speed, the ink flow… All of these things mean I’m more involved with the experience. I draw slower and with a greater awareness.
About seven years ago I started exploring fountain pens. I wanted a pen that would do more than simply get the job done. I had grown tired of cheap disposable pens and wanted something that was enjoyable to hold, look at and a pleasure to sketch with. Little did I know how big the fountain pen world was…I was lost! That’s when I stumbled upon Goulet Pens. At last I was able to make sense of all the terms, option, nibs, inks…
See more here: Website
I love using fountain pens for my work because of the expressive quality of the line, there’s just nothing like it. I am also attracted to the idea of creating something that’s somewhat timeless in feel. My sketches have a certain nostalgia to them, and drawing with a fountain pen connects me to all those great artist who sketched in a similar way decades or even centuries ago.
A tip I have for artist, especially all those lefties out there (like me) – grab whatever fountain pen you can get your hands on and draw with no fear of smudging! I’ve always loved the idea of fountain pens, but couldn’t use them because I’m left-handed. But with sketching, all those pesky writing rules don’t apply. You are allowed to draw from right to left! Drag that pen across the page with beautifully fluid movements, and create something amazing!
See more here: Instagram
I love working with fountain pens because they provide a completely different user experience than working with a disposable pen. I love the wonderful feeling of liquid ink flowing off the nib and onto the page. I’m kind of addicted to that sensory experience. I also love the way my fountain pens feel in my hand. Since I started using fountain pens, my hands never seem to cramp up or tire anymore, even after writing or drawing for hours. Finally, a disposable pen is intended to wear out and it’s something that you can’t get too attached to, by design. But a fountain pen is a tool intended for years of use, and I love the relationships I’ve built with my pens over time.
A tip for artists who would like to use them:
Build community! Brian likes to refer to the “fountain pen community” in his videos, and I know some people who aren’t fountain pen users might think that sounds a bit strange, but this is a very real thing! Fountain pen users are so enthusiastic about their tools that we generally all love to talk to people about them, ask each other questions and give answers. Similarly, there are so many amazing and supportive artists and sketchers doing meet ups and connecting on social networks, and these communities are very generous with their support. My own community regularly gives me inspiration, teaches me skills, answers my questions, and encourages me to keep going.
Or, for those looking for a more “concrete” tip: With most pens you can turn the nib upside down to get a finer line when you’re drawing. 🙂
See more here: Instagram
I love sketching with fountain pens because the flow of the ink suits my loose style. I also love using a few different pens with different inks as this increases the fun, particularly when I am constantly switching between linework and paint.
To work this way all you need to do is to pick two or more different fountain pens and then start sketching – maybe with a stroke of paint in the most important part of the scene. Then switch to one of your fountain pens and draw for a little while before changing to another pen. Then go back to paint and continue mixing it up! It sounds a little crazy but it will result in a really expressive sketch!
I’m an author/illustrator of Graphic Novels and Children’s books. An obsessive drawer. A professor of Illustration at Frostburg State University in Maryland and a devout fountain pen user. My books can be found in stores and by searching my name on amazon or any web store.
The reason I use fountain pens is because I feel they give my work the permanence that I desire. The ink won’t fade and I can control the amount that I have without worry of running out. Also, I feel the reward of accomplishment whenever I complete a book and when I’m actually making the work though, (which takes months of my life at a time) I like to have a tool that I also enjoy using and holding in my hand for those months. I’ve only gotten this feel with a fountain pen– of all the tools I’ve used over the years.
See more here: Instagram
I like using fountain pens for art because it has a consistent flow of ink, I am able to choose the ink I use, and the thicker line forces me to find simpler ways of communicating details. The pen’s comfortable design and eye-catching appearance also makes drawing more enjoyable.
My best tip for artists who want to use these pens for art:
I find that fountain pens are eco-friendly as it’s reused and refilled with ink rather than thrown in the garbage after use, so I recommend it for environmentally conscious people. I also recommend them to artists who have experimented with many pens and knows the exact characteristics they like so they could cater this to a longer-lasting, better looking fountain pen. And for me personally, I always feel bad throwing away a pen after finishing it because it feels like discarding something that helped me in my art journey. But with a fountain pen, this problem is fixed. 🙂
See more here: Instagram
The main reason why I love using fountain pen is the experience. The stroke thickness & black intensity of the ink is similar to digital tool. I use Namiki Falcon from Pilot & Noodler’s Ahab, both has flex nib to create bold & thin line.
The fountain pen I used is the Pelikan M100 which is one of my favourite pens because it has a huge ink capacity. I like to use fountain pens because they are economical in the long run as long as you use bottled inks. You also have more control over the type of ink. For my watercolor sketches, I use Noodler’s Bulletproof ink which is waterproof when dry although on some paper it may not be as waterproof.
See more here: Instagram
I’ve always been into the black and white drawing tradition, and when I got down to start drawing I just chose ink as a medium. The first couple of years I used traditional dip pens but then I discovered all the advantages of fountain pens (no need for constant dipping, more freedom of drawing direction, more portable) and have never looked back. I also state that a fountain pen has a lot of advantages over for example technical pens and fine liners as it is possible to draw with a much more slanted angle making it perfect for a companion to a sketchbook.
As for tips, I would recommend not to choose an expensive pen first, I tend to say that pens like the Platinum-Carbon pen are a good start to get a feel what drawing with a fountain pen is. Fountain pens might be expensive to buy especially when you go for a pen with a gold nib (which I prefer especially if you would like the added flex it gives to the line) but handled properly they can last a lifetime.
The Goulet Team
We can’t be more proud of our Goulet team and the beautiful artwork they’ve created using fountain pens. Every order from us includes a notecard showing off our talented team’s art. If you want to see a collection of them, definitely check out all of our previous Monday Matchup contests. Here are a few examples of their work:
If you’re inspired and need a pen, don’t forget to take a look at our Fountain Pens for Sketching shopping guide! Do you have any tips for making art with fountain pens? Let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
The newest ink brand to sweep over the fountain pen community is Colorverse! These awesome inks come from South Korea and feature a unique design and theming. Each ink comes with a 65ml glass bottle and a smaller 15ml bottle as well! Trade the smaller bottles with your fountain pen friends to try out different Colorverse inks!
Colorverse releases the inks in different ‘series’, each highlight a different property. The Spaceward series, which includes Einstein Ring and Sea of Tranquility, focuses on shading inks. If sheen is what you’re looking for; Andromeda, Quasar, and the rest of the Astrophysics series (Featured in the video above) could be good options for you!
The newest series, Multiverse, is brings something totally unique to the ink scene. Instead of 1 ink with 2 bottles, you get 2 totally distinct inks designed to compliment each other. Early favorites include Schrödinger & Cat, as well as Photon & Gluon. Some of the smaller bottles within this series even include some shimmer properties!
Each of these inks are available for $36 on Gouletpens.com. You can also find 2ml samples of the Spaceward and Astrophysics inks for $2. Can’t pick just one sample? We also have package sets of both series!
What do you think? Have your eye on a particular ink? Leave a comment and let us know!
The Goulet Pen Company Team
Hello ink friends! I have another great ink I got to try out this week! I haven’t written with many Graf von Faber-Castell inks in the past, so I was interested to try one of their new inks, Turquoise. This ink is one of my favorite shades to write with, so I was especially excited!
- Lamy Al-Star with medium steel nib (also EF and B nib)
- Rhodia No. 16 dotpad, 80g white paper
- Tomoé River white paper
- Moleskine notebook
Smear Test (Dry Time):
- About 25 seconds– The ink still smeared at the 20 second mark, but not at the 30 second, so it dried at some point between those two.
Drip Test (Water Resistance):
- Medium – While the ink smeared, you can still definitely see what was left behind after the water was applied.
- Medium – The ink didn’t look very saturated as I was writing, and the swab test only showed much difference between swabs 1 & 2.
Ease of Cleaning:
- Easy – I found that the ink flushed out of my pen pretty quickly and easily!
- Medium – While the ink didn’t have much shading, I gave it a medium because it wasn’t one color through every stroke- some of my downstrokes were a bit darker in color.
- Medium – The ink flowed relatively well out of my nib, but it wasn’t very wet by any means.
Packaging and Aesthetics:
- The bottles that the Graf von Faber-Castell inks come in are really lovely. I find the rounded edges really aesthetically pleasing, and I think the bottle would look great displayed on a desk.
Inks Similar in Color:
Overall, I liked this ink! It wasn’t quite saturated enough for my liking to be one I would write with all the time, but it’s a great color! It flowed nicely, and I feel like the color still falls within a safe spectrum to be used in most settings. The water resistance is also appealing, because you could spill water on your writing and still have a good chance of being able to read it.
Do you have a favorite turquoise ink? Leave a comment and let us know!