Thursday, October 06, 2011

Travels with Ink and Nib and Brush

Next week it's NYCC time (New York Comicon). The convention is a great time, of course. The journey there maybe not as much. Here's some advice I posted from January 2010 about traveling with your precious old school drawing tools:

Traveling? I don't envy you. But if you have to travel, and you are a dedicated old school cartoonist who loves the old school drawing tools, then you already have a method for safely transporting your beloved art supplies through the rigors of the TSA, the baggage handlers, airplane pressure, etc.

Here's what I do:

Nibs! Those nibs (that you have delicately broken in) can be easily placed ...

... in a protective matchbox. When the TSA employee asks, Do you have anything that could be considered a weapon? -- Well, I have do not believe that nibs could be used as a weapon. At least, not a very effective one. Regardless, nibs get checked thru baggage. Along with the holder.
I like the ink in those squatty glass containers that are tough and ready for some travel tumbling and turbulence. (No Higgins Ink plastic containers if you please!) Wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap and then this baby is wrapped again in swaddling clothes (i.e., a black t-shirt),

A good brush is like your pal. Like a pen nib, it needs to be broken in and then it can last (with the proper care) for a long time. The problem is how do you protect your brush shape?

I just get a card (an index card, or piece of cardboard) and tape the brush down. And then I take another card and tape it on top, creating, for all intents and purposes, a snug brush sandwich.

Confession: I usually use those Pigma permanent ink pens. Below is a drawing from last year depicting "the pens on my desk:"

Related: Some sketchbook drawings and a few more of my sketches.

Also related: Do you have too many sketchbooks?


Dan Reynolds said...

While I don't use nibbed pens (I use pens with archival qualities and waterproof), I think these pens offer a better and more expressive line. I use the other type more out of shear convenience. Funny how you can acknowledge you're not using the best thing you could use as a cartoonist and yet continue doing it.
I guess it's like eating donuts. You know they're not good for you, but they're in the box in front of you and the hole is asking for you to stick your finger in it to assist in eating it....whoa...I just went off on a donut tangent.

Forgive me. I just lost 30 pounds and I've been having donut fantasies.

Rina said...

Mike, great post. But I must disagree with the words "old school tools".... I propose "tools" alone.
Also -- I like those little plastic tubes that go over brush heads, so the sable doesn't get messed up. Art supply stores usually give them away for free, or for very cheep.

Mike Lynch said...

One thing we have to do as working cartoonists is produce a lot of cartoons. Old time tools slowed me down, I hate to say, despite, as you point out, the superiority of the line, and the archival qualities.

Mike Lynch said...

OK, Rina! I never liked those tubes. I'm a klutz and I can't get those tubes on their in a smooth move. I always bend a couple of brush hairs back, realizing I am (GASP!) destroying the brush's integrity.