Tools of the trade.

I've had a lot of people ask me about what tools I use so I figured I'd share this bit. This is my case that I have on me everyday. It has every tool I need. It's important to dial in your accessories so that you aren't carrying a hundred different pens, Here is my dialed in portable office.

From left:

Pigment liners 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7mm from Staedtler


Pigment liners are great. They give you a smooth, non bleeding consistent line weight. The black is very similar to sharpie and is great for outlining / touching up areas. The tips are super strong, and in my experience, outlast a micron of the same size. They do smear a bit so wait until they dry and settle in before going over it.


Low Center of Gravity Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm from Muji


Having a great pencil is crucial. Everyone has a different pencil preference. The Low Center of Gravity pencil from Muji is super sturdy, and makes curves flow naturally. The rigid grip never slips while drawing. 


Eraser Shield from Staedtler


I picked this up just to experiment with and now I find myself using it on the daily. The main issue with erasing is that you need to cover a larger area than what you intend on erasing. There are two solutions: either use a mechanical eraser with batteries, or use an eraser shield. This guy covers the areas you want to protect, giving you a crisp and clean edge. Also, there are 3 line weights in there allowing fro consistent strokes, (great for mastering mono-weight script!) However, I never found a use for the dozen same size circles, or the curves cut into the piece. And due to the nature of an eraser shield, the piece is very thin and easily bent out of whack.


Acrylic Folding Ruler from Muji


Carrying a full size ruler is problematic for obvious reasons. Muji makes an amazing folding ruler which opens up to a full 12". The joint connection is super smooth, and when drawing or tracing with it, is invisible and impossible to feel. Lines don't have a bump like when using other folding rulers. Also, dotted 1" apart in the center of the ruler, are perforated holes. This allows the ruler to double as a circle compass, making this ruler twice as useful!


Black fine point marker from Sharpie


I almost exclusively work in black and white. This makes it easier for me for a variety of reasons, one of them being I don't need to cary a hundred colored markers on me. Sharpies are cheap, quick, fast acting, bold, and rarely bleed. The color matches up well with the Staedtler pigment liner. These are great for filling in areas but don't expect to master brush lettering with them.


Eraser from Staedtler


I cary 2 erasers and usually have a 3rd and 4th one on me. A good eraser is the most crucial tool to have. When getting an eraser, just make sure you get one that will physically pick up the lead off the paper, rather than push it around.


Dot Grid A4+ Master Notebook from Leuchtturm1917


Friends call me a slave to the dot grid. If that's true, then I'm happily a slave to the Dot Grid A4+ Master from Leuchhturm1917. They make premium notebooks with great details like having a pocket folder embedded on the back cover, perforated detachable sheets, and an elastic closure band to keep your book closed when needed. I've sworn by them before and will be using their notebooks again and again. 

What's in your bag?