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Saturday, October 28, 2017

VIDEO: My Artistic Struggle With Procrastination

This is the first Vlog I have ever made. Since I intend on documenting my studio experiences, I had to come in front of a camera and directly address the viewer of a video for the first time ever. It is not in my nature, however, I intend on learning how to do so and change. The video below is my first Vlog post. Click in the (cc) tag to display subtitle (in case you can’t understand what I was saying).

My intention was to make a series of videos where I document my effort to overcome procrastination. The second major challenges I often face in regards to my artistic career is the habit of procrastination. I honestly think one the major reason why I put-off things is because, I have really given up on my artistic dreams.

The last serious art project I engaged in was almost one year ago (way back in December 2016). It is not necessary that I have the so called artist-block (where there is no idea); no. I have multitudes of ideas like any chronic procrastinator; I have hundreds of ideas and rough sketches, butwhen I tried to implement them; I discovered that I am not motivated to do so. Some of those ideas are now obsolete because they were not executed immediately… had it been I implemented them at the time I got them, they could have been great work, but now the time has passed especially the caricatures.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

10 reasons HPI-Eureka is my new favourite pen (for making art)

My new favourite pen
  For years, I have always used and prefer the so called Lucky Pen for making sketches, especially quick sketches. However, recently, that type of pen is getting scarce. Most people who use it (for writing) dislike the fact that, if you apply pressure when writing, the tip tends to break, so they bought it less and it reduced in price and circulation (at least where I stay, it seems so).
Yet, over the past three years or so, I have also discovered a new brand that has become my favourite. It is the HPI Eureka pen (made in Nigeria by Hassan PLastics Industries LTD). I so love the way it both write and draw that; twice, I have bought a whole set of it.

Here are ten reasons I personally would be drawing with a Eureka ballpoint pen. In fact, I haven’t discovered a disadvantage to this brand yet.

1) It Feels Like Mechanical Pencil
The circumference is about the same size as a mechanical pencil. For those of us who are used to drawing with that type of pencil, it would be an easy transition switching to Eureka pen.
The tip of Mechanical Pencil
One of the major reasons why I LOVE it is because it has a shape and thin tip. The shape tip makes it easy to make a more accurate/specific drawing (identical to technical engineering drawing). The shape tip makes it easy for the artist to make precise dots, marks and lines.
Mechanical Pencil
Most ballpoint pen has a wider tip than Eureka thereby giving the sketch a blurry crayon type of effect. For the artist to make thinner lines, he would have to graze the surface of the paper softly (barely touching the paper). Even the infamous BIC has a wider tip compare to Eureka. I absolutely love it!

2) Some Might Prefer It Simple Design (Similar to a Wooden Pencil)
Traditional Wooden Pencil
Yes, I know it sounds like contradiction but it’s not. Holding the pen in your hand sometimes feels like you are holding a wooden pencil but trying to sketch with it would give you a mechanical pencil effect/feeling. The body of Eureka pen is smooth with no definite grip, just like a wooden pencil. It's design is such that it can roll around your hand easily. Sometimes when I am wiping the tip with tissue (to remove excess ink), the motion I make is like I am simulating the shaping of a pencil. Those who habitually roll their pencils in their finger when they are drawing or preparing to draw would find using this pen a more pleasant transition in comparison to other ballpoint pen in the market.
Of course not all pencils are smooth, most professional pencil set have a pentagonal shape so it would not roll off from the drawing table. The HPI-Eureka pen has a lid that prevent the pen from rolling over on a flat table  (if the lid is placed at the end or tip of the pen).

3) Durable Ink
Before I discovered this pen, my favourite pen (for making sketches) was Lucky. However, the ink in Lucky sometimes seems to just vaporise. I remember writing a few receipt and noticing that the ink level had dropped drastically. The ink in Eureka doesn’t drain down as fast as Lucky. You could easily use a single pen to make a 16 x 20 inches work and still have ink left in the tube. Indeed, the ink last longer. The ink doesn’t finish as quickly as the other once.

4) Strong Body That Doesn't Break
Well, I have NEVER seen a broken Eureka pen. I think tomorrow, I am going to try and break one to see what is inside.
The pen is sealed in a thick and flexible plastic. I think you can drive a car across it and it won’t break. In contrast, the more known ballpoint pen brands would probably break if dropped or sited upon. I know that Lucky often cracks at the tip if the person who use it to write apply’s too much pressure (it has happen many times).
It is almost impossible to find yourself in a situation where you are struggling to write/draw with a very flexible ink tube because the shell accidentally got broken.

5) Very Cheap
Let me just say you can’t get it cheaper than this. Even if it is just an insignificant ten naira difference, it is the cheapest pen out there which is good news to the ‘starving artist’. I can buy as much I want without breaking the bank. After pencil, this particular pen is the cheapest tool for making drawing/marks. It is about a N30 (Thirty naira), that is like dividing a dollar into ten equal unites and one of that unit would still be greater than N30. It is really one of those mass-produced ‘deification’.

6) Light weight (portability)
This is a general advantage of using pen to draw. It is light weight and portable. It was specifically designed to be carried around as an instrument of writing. There is always space in my pocket or bag for my pen. Especially if you are wearing jeans, it is easy to forget you have a pen on you. It has what traditional wooden lead pencil doesn’t have, that is a hock to hang in pockets like most mechanical pencils, so it is easy to carry along anywhere you are going.

7) It Never Overflows or Stains Cloths
There are some ballpoint pens that if you put them in your pocket upside-down, after a while, they would overflow and stain your cloth. This particular pen is sealed tight and I have NEVER see one who’s ink flouted out. Of course when sketching, the tip emits more ink than usual but never to the point of making a significant mess (wiping the tip with a tissue paper would prevent slight stains on the hand). Once again, I have never seen a Eureka pen who ink leaked out of the tube creating a mess, never, ever.

8) It Is In Circulation, Easy To Get And Not Scarce
They can be found just about anywhere (at least where I live in Nigeria). The average bookshop has them and even some roadside stores. Its not going to be difficult finding one to buy.

9) They Come In 2 Types; The One With A Light Blue Ink And Those With A Dark Purple Ink
I use to assume one might be fake. Before I bought the pack, I noticed that sometimes, I buy or pick one that has light blue ink and some other times I come across once with a darker blue ink. After I got the pack/set, I noticed that the one with a bold blue line painted on the side of the pen had light ink, while the one with a thin blue line painted on the side of the pen had a darker ink.
HPI Eureka Superflo Gel Ballpoint Pens

10) Non Detachable
The fact that it is non detachable reduce the chances of it being damaged which is in agreement with number 4 on this list.
HPI Eureka pen

I would like to stress that this post is just a personal preference. I have used many brands of ballpoint pen in the past, it’s just this is my personal favourites (at this moment). I would recommend you should experiment with as many pens that you can get your hands on, and discover your own preference. 

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