I get asked a lot of questions about my art supplies, especially about the “magic” brush and “neverending” ink that I use. If you have a short attention span like me and are only here for that, then no problem my friend – here’s the brush and here’s the ink. Have fun! 🙂 And if you’re still here, then I have a short story for you that starts with “Isn’t life strange…”
Isn’t life strange
In my relatively short life as an artist, I feel like nothing has shaped my path more than stumbling upon a simple paint brush and a cheap bottle of ink. I will start in the middle. I’ve always been interested in creating art, but when life gets in the way sometimes we let it. It wasn’t until 2017 when my parents bought me a set of charcoals and a sketchbook for Christmas that I started to create art for fun as an adult. I’m a messy pup, so I quickly switched to creating digitally because charcoal gets everywhere and found myself playing around with black lines on the iPad.
I know why I enjoy simple line art now, but at the time I can only assume that I was too lazy to play with the other brushes in Procreate. I wish I could say that there was some sort of divine calling towards this particular style of art, but honestly I don’t remember. I started to trace images, making shapes with lines and began to develop my one-line style digitally. It wasn’t until I was a few years into creating digital minimal art that I discovered the physical tools I use to create today. And I’m very glad that I did because earlier that same week I made a very embarrassing dramatic Instagram announcement quitting art forever.
By 2019 I had started to share my art online and had grown a modest following. But the pressure to create and draw digitally had started to get to me. I reached a point where I felt stagnated. Uninspired, bored with my style and frustrated that everybody was better than me, moving forward faster than me, coming up with better ideas than me. There’s a wonderful word that I love, coined by John Kroenig, and it goes:
vemödalen – n. the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist—the same sunset, the same waterfall, the same curve of a hip, the same closeup of an eye—which can turn a unique subject into something hollow and pulpy and cheap, like a mass-produced piece of furniture you happen to have assembled yourself.
That’s how I felt. Frustrated with lack of ideas, sales, attention and inspiration to create – I decided to take a break (forever). And then a few days later I found black ink. It was love at first stroke. If I enjoyed creating at all before, then that was for other people. Black ink I felt was for me. I loved the flow of it, the finite blackness and sharp edges. I loved how crisp it looks on the page and how powerful it is. And then I found a brush that “lasts forever” and I quietly started creating again.
Hello it’s me, I’m back
I felt a little embarrassed about my public tantrum, so I decided to set up somewhere new. I started sharing my inky paintings on Tik Tok and used the feedback from the art community over there to build my confidence with my new tools. The liner brush that I use is typically used for signwriting and pinstriping, so I felt like I’d unlocked a secret art hack that I wanted everybody to know about. Over the years I have loved watching artists experiment with the same tools that I use, and if you feel inspired by my inky creations then I cannot recommend investing in a liner brush and black ink enough.
My supplies & art tools today
- SKETCHBOOKS: My favourite sketchbook is the Moleskine Art Plus series. I also love Arteza sketchbooks as well as anything from Strathmore. If you’re just starting out with sketchbooks, the best thing to do is grab the first good one you see and start drawing!
- PAPER: I also use a large brown scrap book by Clairefontaine and heavy white watercolour paper by Aquafine.
- BRUSH: My main brush is a Kafka Finer Liner in size #8 or #10.
- PENS: For large murals I love Posca pens! Especially the P-17 chisel tip. I also use Copic Markers to add some colour. And the main fine liner pens I use are Micron liner pens.
- INK: My ink is Liquitex acrylic ink.
- EASEL: I use this travel tabletop easel
- OTHER SUPPLIES: I also use lots of masking tape, rubbers, HB pencils, pencil sharpeners.
I hope this little tour of my art supplies has been helpful for you! You can view some of my recent projects here, or purchase my artwork here. If you have any questions about what I use or why, feel free to ask in the comments below—I’d love to hear from you.