You Don't Need an Expensive Pen for Lettering


When I started lettering, and even now, I am always attracted to shiny things.

Ohhhh that pen actually looks nice! Ah, Seb Lester used this pen, so it must be superb! Hmm, these Tombow brush pens are all the rage!

And, I end up wanting all the pens in the world.

But in the end, I don't actually use all of them. To be honest, these materials cost a lot of money. Especially when starting, it can be pretty daunting. Even for the seasoned letterer, there are always new pens to use. In reality, though, what do you need to draw?

A pencil, paper and your creativity.

This is the most basic set that you need. The rest, are mostly luxury. However, there are still cheaper alternatives to use.

Case in point, Crayola Markers. The whole set of 10 cost the same as 2 Tombow brush pens. Yep.

I can't believe I just recently purchased these markers. They've been recommended by some lettering artists and calligraphers, but I did not realize that it was indeed cheap, and easy to use. And you would probably notice it was written using less expensive pens. Here are some examples.

And even if you only use ballpoint pens, you can still do a lot with them. You can exercise your creativity and skill using different objects as your pens.

Heck, some even use cotton tips or vegetable stalks! Look at this from Ian Barnard.

Of course, some end up being better than the others. But remember that pens do not define you as a calligrapher or letterer. You are you, and you do you! Always experiment, and don't be afraid to use cheap materials. You might be surprised at the result - it may be a lot better than you expected.