Apologies for the delayed newsletter. We were experiencing a few technical difficulties with the the website. Everything is resolved and functioning properly now after a few days, and late nights, of troubleshooting. Phew! This newsletter is what should've gone out last Thursday. You will still be receiving this Thursday's email right on schedule.
Thank you for your kindness and patience.
... onto more important things.
The Cuttink-y Tools
A question I am asked often is “what type of tools do you use?” So I figured it is time I wrote about the tools that are part of my arsenal.
Pocket sized sketchbook
One of my first products created were Cuttink mini-books. I use them all the time and am alway carrying them in my pocket. It is great item to have on me at all times. Especially when it is sized perfectly to fit in my pocket. They are perfect to jot down ideas or do a quick sketch whenever inspiration or ideas hit me. This allows me to not forget awesome ideas that come to me at times where I cannot sit down and create.
Now, any pocket sized sketchbook or notebook will work, I just happen to love the Cuttink ones a lot ;).
You can read more about the mini-books here.
I find myself usuing watercolor paper for mostly all of the paper cutting pieces and ink drawing work I do. I normally purchase the different size pads depending on the size of the work I am creating at that time. I enjoy the thickness and rigidity of the paper as it holds up well even after it has been cut. It holds the ink well too and has an amazing texture to it. The thickness of the paper also allows for light to cast a shadow onto the wall behind it without allowing light to go through the acutal paper itself.
The Clutch Lead holder contains 5.6mm lead. It is definitely much thicker than a traditional pencil but I enjoy the bold weight for the free hand sketching part of my process. The aluminum body and tapered shape of it make it comfortable to hold. It even has an integrated sharpener in the cap.
Other than the lead holder (see above) that I use, I find myself using a 0.5 BIC Mechanical pencil, No.2 lead.
It should come as no surprise to any of you that I solely use Micron pens for all of my inking work. I love them and treasure them. I own a set from 005(.20mm) to 08(.50mm) tips. However I find myself using the 005, 01 and 02 the most. I own these microns in black (mainly), blue, green, red and brown.
Occasionaly I find myself having to fill in a larger area with black ink. If this is the case I use a fine tip Sharpie marker.
The Knife itself: To cut the paper I use a rubber grip X-acto knife. I choose the rubber coated knife over the metal one as it feels better in my hand. I find that the metal ones last a lot longer than the rubber coated ones. So it is definitely a personal preference.
The Blades: For the longest time I was using the ‘normal’ X-acto blades for all of my cuts, the ones that everyone recognizes. I noticed that these blades were not the best for cutting more intricate curved lines. So after a little bit of research I came across the #12 small and curved blades that I use now for pieces that have a lot of curves. I switch between the blades depending on the cuts that I need to make. This also allows me to prolong the life of the blade by not forcing it to bend and turn in a way that it is not designed to.
NOTE: Change blades when they become dull. If you don’t it will only hurt you and your work. You will use more force and strength to cut the paper than necessary.
I have three Alvin and Co. self healing cutting mats.
1] A 24x36 inch mat which is permanently on my workspace desk. 2] The second is a 12x18 inch mat and will occasionally travel with me if I’m working on a medium size piece away from my studio.
3] The last one is a 8.5x11 inch mat which travels with me most of the time.
I occasionally find myself using color, a very recent step as I am not very sure of my color choices. But when I do I use a set of Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils as it works best with the watercolor paper that I draw on.
If you have any other questions that you would like me to answer, click on the ‘reply’ button.