So I fully intended to cover all of the #8PenQuestions within a week or two – and then I sustained a nasty fall and wound up with my wrist in a brace, which definitely gets in the way of blogging. (And writing! And journalling! It’s very annoying.)

You can see my all of my #8PenQuestions answers here!

2. Favorite inks in the beginning? What are your go-to inks now?

Despite my love of colour, I didn’t do a lot of ink exploration when I first started out. I used regular Lamy cartridges in my first Safari, and the no-brand cartridges that came with my Rotring Altro. The first ink I can remember falling in love with, though, was the bottle of Lamy Dark Lilac I picked up when it was first released – it’s beloved for a reason, and rarity’s only part of it; it’s a really lovely ink to write with. I spent a few years buying the Lamy Limited Edition inks each year, but never really explored beyond that.  

Lamy Dark Lilac ink and Safari fountain pen

Now, however, it’s a different story! When I pulled my fountain pens back out of storage a couple of years ago and started exploring, I have to admit I went a bit mad on ink. I bought a lot of partial bottles from destashes on the Fountain Pens Australia group on Facebook, I bought samples galore, I pored through pen blogs and ink Youtubers to assemble a wishlist. I’m not saying that my ink supplies are out of control, but I’m pretty sure I have enough ink to last a lifetime at this point. (Of course I’ve stopped buying ink, right? Wrong…)

As part of my ink exploration I tried sheen, I tried shading, I tried shimmers; I tried brights, near-blacks and pastels alike. Along the way, I’ve found a few firm favourites.

  • Lamy Dark Lilac. Still genuinely my favourite ink. I have half a bottle left and a few boxes of cartridges, and you’d better believe I’m being incredibly sparing with them. 
  • Lamy Turmaline. A close second, this gorgeous teal with a red sheen is striking, well-behaved, and a lovely colour.
  • Yun Jingtang Nàlán Róngruò. I bought this 2021 LE ink and fell in love with it; it’s my perfect near-black ink that’s dark and professional while still being very interesting. And I love the way it looks so different on different papers.
  • Colorverse Valles Marineris. This is a gorgeous grungy khaki that absolutely satisfies my love of colours best described with the aesthetic of ‘old bruise’. The worst thing about this ink is that it only comes in tiny bottles, often paired (at a high price) with what feels like about half a gallon of a different ink.
  • The entire Sailor Yurameku 2 set: Dategokoro, Hanagokoro, Kokoroguma, Sukigokoro and Zaregokoro. These inks are a fantastic writing experience and they’re lovely dark sheen-y inks that change colour as they dry down.
  • KWZ Grapefruit. I never knew I could love orange this much until I got into fountain pen inks. This is bold and bright, and I fell in love as soon as I swatched it.
  • Taccia Momo Pink. This is the perfect warm hot pink, and its gold sheen just elevates it to another level. This is my go-to pink and seeing it on the page always makes me happy.

I could keep going, but that’s nearly a dozen inks already. More about ink in the next 8 Pen Questions entry, coming soon!