Hi there, fountain pen friends! Madigan here, bringing you the latest Monday Matchup. This time, I matched a Pilot Parallel Orange 2.4mm fountain pen with Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink. I chose this match because, while I haven’t played around with the Pilot Parallel fountain pens, I’ve been intrigued by the incredible work I’ve seen others doing on Instagram. I knew that they are a little bit tricky, so I chose one with a smaller nib because I figured it’d be easier to handle. I hadn’t tried Yu-yake before either, so I wanted to give it a go. It matched the cap on the pen perfectly, too!

The inspiration for this piece came from a commencement speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford back in 2005. I recently took an online storytelling class where we were assigned this speech to watch as an example of exemplary storytelling. There are so many parts of this speech that I love, but the “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” line really stuck with me. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget to stay focused, inspired, and joyful.

To get started with this piece, I inked up the pen and played around with it. Since I’d never used a nib this wide before, it was tricky to get a knack for how to write with it. I found that drawing a little bit of a line at first and then going into writing with it was a the best way to form letters. I also realized that it was better to write each letter by shape, and not all at once. I tried a few different types of paper as well- I started on Rhodia and then tried writing on watercolor paper. I realized immediately that it was much more difficult to write on the thicker watercolor paper. The nib dragged across the page and skipped. I decided to the smoothest paper I know of, TomoĆ© River, to much better results.

Eventually, I wrote out the quote in a way I liked but it seemed incredibly serious, written out like that. I wanted to lighten it up a little, while still staying true to what it was saying. The ink reminded me of an orange Dreamsicle, so I decided to put the quote in that shape. Once it was complete, I added in wood texture to the popsicle stick, and drew light shapes for texture on the popsicle itself. There was still a lot of white space on the page, so I took a syringe, filled it with ink, and made ink splashes around the page. I loved how it looked!

Just like the quote I used, this piece reminded me to keep experimenting. I could have picked a fountain pen I was more familiar with to accomplish the same thing, but it was really fun to try something new. I enjoyed using this Pilot Parallel! The ink was incredibly well behaved with great flow. This was a great match.

I’d recommend this match to anyone who is looking to add something fun to their writing. It would be great for calligraphers! It is thick enough to get varying line widths, but if you write with it vertically you can get really thin lines. The ink is bright and lively, perfect for note-taking or journal writing. I can see it working well as an editing ink, too.

You can find the Pilot Parallel Orange 2.4mm fountain pen at GouletPens.com for $10. It is also part of the Pilot Parallel Rainbow set, which has all four Pilot Parallel fountain pens and a pack of ink cartridges for $32. Pilot Iroshizuku Yu-yake ink can be found in 50ml bottles for $28 or 2ml ink samples for $2.25.

What inspires you and gets you motivated to write? Leave a comment and let me know!

Write on,