Ballpoint Pen: Not Just for Offices Anymore!

I think I first discovered the artistic potential of ballpoint pen when I was a freshman in high school. I was disenchanted with the dull graphite coating on the fleshy underside of my fist, so I switched to ballpoint pen as my writing utensil of choice instead. By extension, it also became my doodling utensil.

As I am often attracted to art with beautiful line quality, I was impressed with the variability of line so easily achieved with a ballpoint pen. Lines could be hard or soft. The cheap Bic pens were the best. Because the ink flow was weak and inconsistent, I could also shade figures by merely inking the tooth of the paper without making any distinguishable lines at all. I saw so many possibilities for man’s favorite office supply tool: the ballpoint pen.

Early in college, I somehow came under the impression that ballpoint pen was not considered a true artistic medium. Maybe such was inferred by my professors. Maybe I expected to see other students use pens and didn’t. However it happened, I deduced that the more messy and expensive a medium was, the more superior. No one ever saw Rembrandt with a Bic. Pencils, markers, and pens clearly were the tools of amateurs.

Since then, I’ve changed my mind.

The following is a spot illustration of Chester and Peter. I imagine that it, and other small illustrations of this nature, could appear above chapter headings or on the title page of the book. I would like to do a few more illustrations like this for my portfolio. Believe it or not, this type of piece is very therapeutic.

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