Time for another of the #8PenQuestionsYou can see my all of my #8PenQuestions answers here.

3. How have your ink and pen tastes changed over time?

Let’s talk about ink and pens separately. When I got back into fountain pens a couple of years ago, I bought a lot more ink than I needed, mostly aiming for rich, strong, darker colours. And sheen was my jam; an attractive sheen to an ink would win me over straight away. (I spent a lot of time staring, transfixed, at Lamy Turmaline and Robert Oster Bondi Blue.)

Over time, however, I started appreciating some of the more subtly-coloured inks, and fell in love with grungy, murky ink colours and heavy shading, which lasted until I realised that really heavy shading actually made inks harder to read for me and I reluctantly started reining my shading in a bit. 

These days my colour tastes are all over the place, and my biggest hurdle is in trying to avoid buying multiple inks that are super-similar to each other. And this year I’m challenging myself to learn to appreciate shimmer inks, too – so far it’s going well.

Drawer full of ink bottles

My pen journey has been an interesting one, too. When I got back into fountain pens in 2021 bought way too many pens without enough discernment, and it took me a while to realise that I don’t actually need three different colourways of every pen I like. These days, I try to only buy one variant of any given pen model, unless the nibs are really quite different; there are too many great pens out there to need duplicates. (The big exceptions to this rule are TWSBI Ecos, where I’m trying to collect all of them, and Lamy Safaris, where I collect the special editions and collabs I particularly like.)

The other big change in my tastes has been in nibs. To start with, most of my nibs were Mediums, until I picked up my first TWSBI Eco in a broad nib and fell in love; I bought almost entirely broad nibs after that… until I started using Hobonichi journals and notebooks, which are ruled with a 3.8mm grid. Trying to write to that ruling with a Broad nib is an exercise in frustration, so I started exploring the world of Fine and Extra-Fine nibs… but those make my handwriting look wobbly and awkward. So I’ve come full circle and I’m back to (mostly) Medium nibs again, and here I will probably stay.

(I still can’t make myself love stub nibs, though.)

Thanks for reading! Stick around for another #8PenQuestions post coming soon.