If you have a particular appreciation for pens, you probably should be reading my friend Brad Dowdy’s blog, The Pen Addict. As I see him day after day reviewing pen after pen, I decided to see if he would be willing to share his story of how his fondness for the inky instruments began.
Ok Brad…. what’s with all the pens? How did this all start?
My pen addiction goes back a really long time. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents house when I was a kid, and my grandfather dabbled as an artist when he wasn’t working his regular day job. He was always taking me and my younger sister to art supply stores and the campus bookstore where we would always test out – and usually come home with – all of the cool pens that you couldn’t get at the grocery store. I liked the ultra fine pens back then as well. I remember my friends and I seeing who could draw the smallest, most detailed objects, like cars, planes, and cities.
What made you decide to start your blog, “The Pen Addict?”
I was in Atlanta for a week long training class maybe four years ago or so, and stopped into an Office Max in my free time (which constitutes a normal activity for me). That was where I first stumbled on a sub 0.5mm pen on a store shelf – the Uni-Ball Signo RT 0.38mm in black. I bought a dozen right there on the spot, and I figured if Uni-Ball made a sub 0.5mm pen there had to be more out there, right? That is where my search began, and blogging about it came not too long after.
A whole new world of pens opened up to me on the internet, but I wanted to see more writing samples of the pens I was interested in, and how they acted on the page. I figured if I wanted to see that, other people wanted to see that too, and thus The Pen Addict was born.
Do you have any favorite pens, love for a specific feature, or color of ink?
I don’t think my search will ever end for the perfect pen, but I do have some favorites. I really enjoy the Pilot Hi-Tec-C line of pens for their clean, sharp lines, durable but simple construction, and the wide variety of colors and sizes available. I like using multi-pens as well, and the Zebra Sharbo X is one of my favorites. It is expensive, but a real joy to use. When I started my blog I really didn’t like the Uni-Ball Jetstream at all, but once I found out they came in an 0.5mm tip size I came around and now they are some of my favorites. It is too hard to narrow it down to just one!
Do you keep all the pens that you review? You must have a house full of pens!
I keep some, and give a few out to my co-workers, but the vast majority I don’t use I send to a charity called Pens For Kids. They send pens to children in Africa, which I think is just a fantastic idea. I am glad to be able to send a box or two of pens a year, plus a couple of checks which help with the shipping costs. Be sure to check out their website for more information.
Anything else you would like to share?
I really appreciate all of the readers of The Pen Addict, and I especially enjoy reading and conversing with all of the other pen and paper bloggers out there. This is a really fun community to be a part of, and it has grown by leaps and bounds in the short time I have been doing this. And thanks for having me on Rhodia Drive!
You bet Brad – Thank you for sharing!