When I first heard about Caitlin's prompt, I'm pretty sure I instantly turned a nice shade of red. My EDC situation is kind of embarrassing. And seems even more embarrassing after reading all my coworkers' beautifully refined EDCs.
I like to blame my career. As I'm sure I've mentioned an irritating amount of times, I'm a freelance illustrator in addition to being a Pencil Lady. One of the great things about being a freelance illustrator is that I have a lot of flexibility and can work from just about anywhere. The downside is that the supplies I use for illustrating can really accumulate.
Instead of a nice bag or small backpack, I honestly lug around an overstuffed, gray backpack that looks like it's been trampled by all of NYC most days. When I say overstuffed, I mean it's filled with everything from pencils to peanut M&Ms to maybe a pair of socks with avocados on them and it weighs about half as much as I do. My fellow Pencil Ladies (who have all made the mistake of picking up said backpack) can attest to how just how overstuffed/damn heavy it is.
Anyway, let's ignore the socks, the tupperware, the laptop, and the peanut M&Ms (which'll likely be eaten by the time I finish writing this), and just focus on the stationery, writing, and drawing supplies.
Here we go:
First thing's first, my utensil case. For the past few years, I've been rocking a custom-made case by Allison Bamcat, a talented artist and my former coworker back in my Converse pattern and graphics department days. As a going-away gift (moving from Boston to NYC), she created a case tailored to fit my favorite pens (which I'll get to later) out of a french fry fabric she designed. There's even a perfect little pocket on the side for erasers!
Since we're on that eraser pocket, I usually have two erasers in there. Lately it's been two of my all-time favorite erasers--the Caran D'Ache Technik and then a nub of a Matomaru-Kun long rectangular eraser. I've recently added the Mono Zero to the mix as well, because you know what? Odd numbers are nice.
Okay, let's go inside the case. The pencils. In a perfect world, I'd just have an HB, a 4B or 6B, and maybe a 2H on me so I could have access to a range of grades while working in my sketchbook. In reality, as I drew out above, I have:
- 1 Viking Element 1
- 1 Mono100 HB
- 1 Editor (which is sort of my 2H substitute, since it runs a little hard)
- 1 Mono KM-KKS 6B (my pencil crush of the moment)
- 1 yellow HB Bruynzeel from Holland that I think Caitlin gave me?
- 1 Franky and Friends Ibis B that just sort of appeared in my case one day
- 1 CWPE x Caran D'Ache Black Wood, that I use on everything from concept sketches, to To Do lists, to murals.
Now, this always feels a little blasphemous here, but let's move on to the pens. Again, in a perfect world, I'd carry a black gel pen, a red gel pen, a blue gel pen, a brush pen, a white gel pen, and then maybe a regular ball point. Of course, given the brick-like state of my utensil case, that is not the case. Here's the truth:
- 1 black, 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 sky blue Muji gel pen, all with 0.5mm points
- 1 0.4mm Hi-Tec-C Pilot pen with navy ink
- 2 0.5mm Hi-Tec-C Pilot pens with black ink
- 1 0.3mm Hi-Tec-C Pilot pen with black ink
- 1 Pentel brush pen with black ink
- 1 Uni-Ball Signo pen in white ink
- 1 Prodin Seven Year ballpoint pen in black ink
- 1 empty yellow plastic Lamy Safari that I swear I'll refill soon really
- 1 Super Fine Zebra Disposable Brush Pen
- 1 Fine Zebra Disposable Brush Pen ( honestly, I was carrying two, but I just gave one to Caroline)
- and 1 neon pink Gelly Roll pen. You know. For good measure.
I mean, what girl doesn't need to carry around 700 black pens at once.
Now, my notebooks and sketchbooks. Given the state of everything else in my bag, I show a moderate amount of self-control in this area. I usually have on notebooks for lists, ideation, and occasionally thumbnail sketches. Lately, I've been using my Mnemosyne 195 for that.
And then as far as sketchbooks go, I always always always have a 5.5" x 5.5" Handbook Journal on me. Right now I have one with a black canvas cover that's nearly filled--it's actually what I drew all these illustrations in for this post! It has beautifully thick, toothy paper that works well with pencil, ink, and some light paintwork. I've used these obsessively since college.
Last two bits that seem relevant here (since I use them for art things), are my laptop (which 85% of the weight in my backpack) and Wacom Tablet.
So there you have it! My EDC. Hopefully for the sake of my sanity and back I pare it down a bit.