I love tools! Rulers, scales, t-squares, angles, curves, blades of all shapes and sizes, handles and grips of all textures, model knives, scissors of all lengths! And that isnt even getting into paper, cutting mats, tape or finishes. Here are some of my favorite tools to work with…
Top row: white Magic-Rub rubber eraser, metal (cork backed) ruler with english and metric, rainbow pack of Staedtlar marker pens in the stand-up case.
Bottom row: chalky white soft pencil, medium-hard .3mm Alvin mechanical pencil, purple Fiskars swivel tip blade, Blick standard red blade handle with a soft rubbery gel grip on it, and a blue Fiskars triangle shaped blade handle.
On: 24″x36″ Alvin gridded rubber mat with various angles outlined.
My marker and pen selection is 100% related to the papers I like to use. I like very smooth papers, like vellum and tracing paper. Anything with texture or tooth is not really my thing, and I also really like cutting black or deeply pigmented dark paper. The white pencil is perfect for sketching and laying out on dark papers, and the magic rub fixes all my mistakes. I use the fine line markers when trace paper sketching, to play with different ideas and overlaying elements. I use different colors on each layer of trace to play with ideas. If I have opaque, or lighter-colored paper, like in my sketchbooks, my design background has made me super in love with mechanical pencils. For the same design reasons, I always have to have a good ruler handy. The metal ruler is perfect because it is nice and heavy, the cork has good grip on the back, and I can also use it to make smooth, long, straight cuts with my knives. I probably have 7 different rulers, all for different uses!
My knife collection is pretty extensive, and this is only about 1/2 of it. When you cut a lot, you need to give your hand a lot of changing grips just to keep your fingers flexible and not cramped up. The different types of blades that can fit in each knife also are good for different types of cuts. Some knives feel better for straight, long, even cuts, while other are far better for curves and small details. If you have a generic x-acto knife, I cannot recommend putting a 99 cent gel grip on it to save your hand and wrist. Not pictured are my giant boxes of fresh blades, of course. Switching up the blade often keeps things smooth with minimal snags. With fresh blades you also don’t have to apply as much pressure so your cuts can be more free, and more delicate.
<3 Tools! <3