Friday, January 15, 2010

Travels with Ink and Nib and Brush

Traveling? I don't envy you. But if you have to travel, and you are 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?


Mitchel Kennedy said...

I keep my nibs in one of those plastic Kinder Surprise eggs -- works great! Not easily crushed!

Anonymous said...

I have really big Chinese ink bottles, so I pour some out into a film canister. This does the job quite well. My nibs are in a small metal case from an old pen I had, along with the holders, padded with tissue paper for comfort.

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for those great tips, Mitch & huganatomy!

Lars Brown said...

I have one of those brush rolls that look like a bamboo sushi roller thing. Protects the brushes excellently.

Andy Broome said...

My worthless 2 cents...
I fly enough for gold status each year and I use a cheap recycled plastic pencil box for my pens, pencils, nibs and other tools. I keep my ink in a glass bottle with a cork lining under the lid.
All of this goes in my carry-on because I draw while on the plane. Never had a problem with security and the flight attendants seem to always love to stop and chat about my drawings.
I will tell you, have fun inking while flying. I have at least two pairs of pants that have been "re-colored."
I prefer the uni-ball 207 when I can't sketch with my ink.

Kody Chamberlain said...

Great stuff!

I try and keep it practical so I have an ink rag that I use to roll my pens and brushes. The rag is very soft and absorbent for grabbing ink drops and small spills, and it doubles as padding for the brushes and pens. I also try to keep the little plastic sleeves that come with new brushes, and re-apply those for travel. I shove the wrapped brush/pen rag bundle into a cigar box with the rest of my markers and pens (which are usually in a ziplock).

So far it's worked great and I travel with it 6 to 8 times a year for comic conventions, I've never had anything broken or damaged (knock on wood). I do like the cardstock idea for the brushes, but I find the little tubes to work very well.