blacking 602 creative

The Write Stuff

Sunday, May 17, 2015 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Inspiration is an interesting thing. It can be hard to pin point the exact moment of inspiration or what exactly sparks that inspiration. Inspiration is defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. The all illusive inspiration comes and goes as a moments notice. Yet, what I have found is that if I am prepared for inspiration, it is more readily available to me. Whether it be creating an inspiring environment to work in or using tools that spark my interest, creating a positive atmosphere that gets me excited about my work, can definitely lead to inspiration.

Two things that I need at my disposal and always within arms reach are pencil and paper. In this digital world, people can forget the satisfaction that writing something down can give them. As an artist/designer and writer, I am constantly writing notes, doodling images or sketching out garments ideas. So, a good set of pencils and a beautiful notebook are a staple at my desk.

Blackwing pencils are icons of pop culture. Known for the legacy of visionaries that used the brand, the Blacking 602 is making a comeback. Truman Capote and Aaron Copland are some of the more famous names that are associated with Blacking. Yet, the Blackwing is more than just hype and looks. The mechanics of the pencil make it easy to use and easy on the user. Which makes sense if you're going on a writing spree for your latest manuscript.

The eponymous product has developed a cult following and has been labeled "the best pencil ever made." It's widely touted by artists, writers and creatives alike.  What's great about this pencil is the fact it is made of  a very soft pencil with wax added to the lead, and has been advertised as requiring only half of the usual physical effort to produce the marking. The wood was made from cedar. The Blackwing pencils are more than a writing tool; they represent a culture of creative people who support the arts and demand quality in all its facets.

Blackwing has been revived and can be purchased at and if you go through pencils constantly, you can get your own subscription. The brand is introducing the first ever subscription club: Blackwing Volumes. The program is a quarterly limited edition pencil program that emphasizes the people, places and things associated with the Blackwing Culture. Customers will be able to purchase a 12-pack of each Blackwing Volumes edition for $24.95 while supplies are available. Customers may also purchase a subscription package, which includes four quarterly editions, for $99.

In addition to a 12-pack of each Volumes edition, subscription members will also receive a hand-numbered tube containing a single pencil for collecting purposes. Each tube will feature with the year, quarter and volume number, along with the initials of whoever packed it. The Program Commences on June 10th, 2015.

Now, aside from pencils, the next go to item for inspiration is a good notebook. I use different types of notebooks for different things. If I am sketching or doodling, I enjoy blank books. If I am taking notes or need a notebook in my bag to jot down ideas, I tend to go for gridded or lined notebooks.

Princeton Architectural Press has some amazing options for the creative note taker in you that are bound to spark inspiration. The Noise Lined Journal was inspired by Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha who started painting single words or phrases on intensely saturated solid backgrounds during the 60s that he dubbed word pictures.

The Eat Sleep Read: Indiebound Journal Set is a great option for those who want different types of notebooks in a fun and playful set. There is a gridded, lined and a blank notebook each with a different saying: Eat Sleep Read, Love Your Local, and Peace Love Books. These beloved slogans, from independent bookstore champion IndieBound souce, keep your imagination going all while helping you support local first.

Finally, Grids & Guides: 3 Notepads for Visual Thinkers is perfect for note taking, schematic drawings and any type of mathematical note taking. This comes with a set of graph paper pads, 3 designs, 3 colors and includes scientific charts. 

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