It’s no secret that artists hoard art supplies like dragons. How many blank sketchbooks are sitting in arm’s reach right now? How many different colors of white paint do you need? How deep down the rabbit hole have you gone on pencil sharpeners? Well, I have a new spot for you to hang out, every Wednesday (6pm PST, 9pm EST) on Twitch, and talk about art supplies, office supplies, creative rituals, habits, and hoards…the Ink Witches.
A really hard part of being a professional creative is that your hobby easily becomes your job, and then creativity doesn’t recharge your batteries the same way. The way around that is to build enjoyable creative pursuits, hobbies, and habits into a recharging practice that’s still a refuge from the pressures of creating on command. Many artists know this trick — painters will knit, and musicians will get into woodworking — changing the medium is actually a known and accepted method of using Art Therapy techniques on professional artists. And when Mallory O’Meara got me headlong into fountain pens the end of 2022, I realized even though I have plenty of creativity in my life — too much of it was tied up in work anxiety. And our swatching phone calls and daily tarot pulls and discussions about the best blank journals had formed into something that really recharged me. And that was great, and comfy, and nice, and dependable among us. It wasn’t until we were guests on the JoCo Cruise this year that we realized how good it felt to share these nerdy creative loves with others.
There’s something about art supplies — and the fountain pen community especially — that really seems to bring out the cozy in people. Mallory & I hosted a fountain pen meetup on the cruise and it was amazing. People were needing out, swatching inks, trying out each other’s pens, and just loving sharing this niche knowledge. It just felt so good and pure. And anyone who’s on reddit knows how toxic it can be…but it turns out r/fountainpens is the warmest nicest coziest reddit I’ve ever seen.
So Mallory & I decided to take our weekly swatch session online so more folks could join in. We’re not interested in doing too much video editing, or putting too much work in, so we decided the platform that fit us best was Twitch and Instagram. It’s not about US teaching and people watching — it’s to hang out, share info, and have some background banter when you’re enjoying your own creative rituals. AND NO SERIOUS WORK TALK! This is a cozy safe space!
We just finished our first stream and almost 100 people showed up! Check it out here
We were pretty freeform to test out this first stream but in the future we’ll have topics posted ahead of times (but of course it’s very dictated by questions from the folks watching as well) and we’ll be covering all kinds of art supplies, office supplies, and creative tools. As Mallory said:
If you’ve been missing a chill artsy hangout space, or need someone to motivate you to clean your pens, swatch your inks, and organize your wash tape, then come join us every Wednesday on Twitch!