a new pen every other day.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

pen 03: bic ultra round stic grip

ive often stated that if i really wanted to make money off of art i'd have gone into art supply sales. i know that sounds mercenary but its true, in fact, had i been smart i would have done it instead of joking about it. i'm not entirely sure why they charge as much as they do for supplies. the whole starving artist concept would make me think that maybe they should lower their prices. no, we aren't starving or struggling because of what we create, it isn't a lack of talent (mostly), we are starving because you're charging us fifty dollars for a fracking paintbrush.
okay so maybe that isn't really the case but it doesn't change the fact that art supplies cost a FORTUNE! in a world where a complete set of prismacolor markers cost several hundred dollars or copic for that matter, it is easy to fall into the mindset of if its worth using, its worth money.

lets face it, its not all that likely that many of us are going to be the next da vinci, waterhouse, basquiat or chagall, and that's fine, being an artist doesn't have to be about making money, i'm not saying that it's impossible but from what i've seen it can be tough... very tough.

i'm not sure if that's what justifies the pricing, but i often feel like its a little unrealistic.

this is an attitude that i've seen in the sale of art as well, there's an old joke when selling art, if its not selling, try adding a few zeros to the price tag. there is a certain truth to this, people buy expensive art often because it is expensive and therefore good. its faulty logic but there you go.
okay so enough about that. the point is that sometimes you don't have to spend a fortune.
this pen is a perfect example, the mighty bic.

these are the pens you see EVERYWHERE, they are the workhorse of writing, they are used in every school, office and resturant, they are the mysterious pen you find in the bottom drawer of a desk that hasn't been used since clinton was just a governor. these are the pens your grandfather used for writing notes on pricing car parts and your mother made grocery lists with. they are the ones that havent been used in years, even left outdoors to the elements and after a couple of dry scribbles (and a little rust) work just as well as the day they were purchased.
yes, you can spend $810.00 on a fancy pen but i know from experience that i would probably end up losing it, and look like quite the douche in the whole process.

at $3.36 for a dozen at staples, the price just can't be beat.
okay, okay, its quality vs. quantity i get that, but the bic pen holds it own for what it is, it doesn't really bleed, it can be smudged (but most inks do) sometimes you get build up on the tip that can make a bit of a mess and i wouldn't leave them in the car during a heatwave and you probably will end up with some interesting results if you wash them in a pocket, but again this is true for most pens anyway.
some of the shortcomings are that they don't write well upside down or at a 90 degree angle to what you're writing on unless gravity is involved, they can "explode" in a pocket or a bag. the flow isn't always smooth and like i mentioned there can be build up that gets on the paper or your fingers and makes a mess, the ink dries fairly quickly, but for you lefties it will make your life difficult.
the bonuses are that they are everywhere, easily found, no one is going to come after you if you "accidently" walk away with one, and makes a solid tracheotomy tool in an emergency. (kids don't try this at home.)
so the conclusion: they are cheap, versatile, and abundant. definitely not the greatest quality but for under 40 cents a pen you really can't go wrong.


Aloquin said...

It's so funny... just reading your first paragraph, I immediately thought of both Copics AND Prismacolor, before you mentioned them :) It's true, they are ridiculously expensive.

And you really drew the illustrations on this post WITH a Bic pen? Fantastic. I like Ink Joys, too... but I suppose you'll get to those ;)

Patrick Brennan said...

no i dont think ive heard of ink joys, ill have to look them up

Patrick Brennan said...

strike that, just googled them, yep i have a few lol.

Aloquin said...

They're great so far :)