Q & A with Eric Aycock

1. First thing you do early in the morning?

I normally check my Facebook and email accounts to make sure there is nothing that I need to reply to.

2. If you were trapped on an island, which pen and ink would you take with you? And, why?

I would choose a pen with a large ink supply, so
I would have to choose either my Conklin Word Gauge or something really durable like a Stipula Ventidue Tocco Ferro. As for ink, I would have to choose a variety pack like a Monteverde Sampler pack probably the Noir Collection. Or I would try to match my inks with the water around the island so either Monteverde Horizon Blue or Stipula Deep Blue.

3. Who would you say is your number one pen inspiration?

My number one pen inspiration is my friend Adam. He gets to work at a local pen shop, he has an amazing pen collection, and he knows almost everyone in the pen community. He got me started on fountain pens about 6 years ago and he has been my go to resource for every question.

4. What made you decide to start using fountain pens?

I started using fountain pens about 6 years ago.
I first got into pens to try to improve my handwriting and to have something that wasn't just another throwaway item like so much of our products today.

5. Do you remember your first pen memory?

My first pen memory, was borrowing a friend's PHD pen/pencil when I was in middle school.
I loved the idea of a reusable pen and I convinced my Mom to take me to a local stationery store in town to buy one for myself. I remember my Mom telling me that there was no way that I could spend $10 on a pen, if only she knew back then that I would eventually spend a whole lot more on fountain pens. :)

6. How many pens and inks do you have?

I currently have 41 pens that are mine and 2 that are on loan for review. I also have 35 inks plus another 10-15 samples.

7. Favorite pen and ink…

My favorite pen is my Conklin All-American in Sunburst Orange with a 1.1 stub nib that my Dad bought me at his first pen show. I am a huge fan of blue, green, and brown inks. I am currently using Monteverde Sapphire in a few pens as well as Moonstone and Olivine.

8. Latest ink color you are using?

I am currently using Robert Oster Frankly Blue which I am writing a review of for Federalist Pen's and it is wonderful.

9. Coffee or tea?

Coffee all the way

10. Journaling or Calligraphy?

Journaling. I don't have the skill or patience to do well with calligraphy, but I can sure fill pages with my thoughts.

11. Life philosophy you live by.

Leave a mark. Either by making a mark on the world by making it a better place, or just making one person's world a better place. To you, a simple action may not seem like much, but to another person your actions could make their day and as a result help them see the good in the world.

12. Which pen and ink color would you like to get next?

The next pen on my list is the Conklin Duraflex.
I have wanted one since I saw the first pictures and reviews come out, but sadly I missed the first release from Goulet Pens. I have wanted a Duragraph since my Dad bought one, throw a flex nib on that design... yes please! As for my next ink, I have been looking at the Monteverde Ocean Noir.

13. What are your favorite pen accounts on Instagram?

I follow a number of pages on instagram: @bertramsinkwell (who I write for), @gourmetpens, @sbrebrown, @woodshedpenco, @andersonpens, @gouletpens, @figboot11, @inkdependence, @penaddict, @karaspenco, @onfountainpens (who I write for), @federalistpens, @conklinpens, @yafabrands, and @monteverdepens.

14. Any pen – ink trouble shooting tips?

Always flush a pen when you get it, even if it is new. Also, get a lighted Jeweler's Loupe to help with checking the alignment of the tines. Not related to pen or inks but if you can afford it, keep a cheaper fountain pen in your daily carry case to lend out to potential new users.

15. What color ink would you never get and why?

I don't think that I have found any color of ink that I would never get. As a pen, paper, and ink reviewer, I am open to trying pretty much anything and try not to have thoughts or judgments beforehand.

16. Does your pen describe your personality?

I think the styles of my pens describe my personality. Almost every pen I own is a good everyday workhorse that is dependable, utilitarian, not super flashy but writes beautifully.
I see myself very similarly, dependable, always there when people need me, and not super flashy but effective.

17. Would you close a $10M deal / contract with a $10 pen?

If the pen wrote well, with no skips or hard starts, I would absolutely use a $10 pen to sign a $10 million contract. I have had $3 pens that wrote better than $300 pens. I think the old adage of "don't judge a book by its cover" comes into play a lot in the pen world. You could own the most beautiful pen covered in gold, diamonds, and platinum filled with the most expensive ink you can buy and it could write terribly. But a $3 pen with a $.25 cartridge could write for days with no issues.

Special Thanks to Eric Aycock

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