So quick disclosure: This “collection box” was bought with money from my pocket, I am in no way affiliated with Artsnacks or any of the brands mentioned and was not provided with anything I am reviewing today, nor was I asked to give my review. All opinions are my own.
What is Artsnacks?
Artsnacks is a subscription box service that mails subscribers a box with a few art supplies in it once a month. They also sell “Collection” boxes which are independent from their monthly subscription service and are a more expensive one-time fee per box. The collection boxes contain more products and usually follow a theme (such as ink drawing tools for Inktober!). For more information on Artsnacks or to purchase the Inktober collection box, head on over to Artsnacks.co.
What is InkTober?
Inktober is a 31-day drawing challenge that runs in October and was founded by one of my favorite artists, Jake Parker. The challenge is simply to draw something daily using ink, pretty simple 🙂 For more information on Inktober, you can check out Inktober.com!
What’s In the Box
I am only going to be reviewing the art supplies, but the Inktober Collection box did come with quite a few goodies! Here’s a full list of what was included:
- Custom Inktober + Denik Spiral Sketchbook
- Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Sumi Ink
- Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Pen Nibs
- Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Nib Holder
- Princeton Kolinsky Sable Short Handle Brush
- Copic Multiliner SP
- Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
- How to Ink Class with Jake Parker
- Note + Print from Jake Parker
- Air Heads Candy (my “snack”)
Denik Spiral-Bound Sketchbook
My first impression of Denik’s sketchbooks was from one of their perfect-bound books and I wasn’t happy with that one. Based off of that first assessment I started into this book with a cautious optimism, and honestly was really not disappointed.
The paper is extremely smooth to the touch, which I prefer for books I am expecting to put a lot of ink on. The pages are also nice and thick, and there is very little bleed through when using the supplies sent in the InkTober box. Actually, unless I was literally painting the page black with the sumi ink or when using alcohol markers (Copics, Prismacolors etc), there was no bleed through at all.
According to the “menu” that comes with the collection, this sketchbook has 124# paper and retails for $18. At the time of this writing it is nowhere to be found on Denik’s site though. If they do add them to the site eventually, I would definitely buy a second sketchbook after finishing this one. It really is very nice for inks. You can check out Denik’s site here.
Dip Pen (Nib Holder*, Cartoonist Nibs*, Sumi Ink*)
So these I am going to review as one. And to put it simply, I love them, will absolutely be getting more nibs when these wear down and more ink when this is used up. The collection comes with a set of 3 nibs and 60mL of ink though, so that wont be very soon! The nib holder is comfortable to hold for long inking sessions thanks to the squishy grip. The ink dries quickly when it isn’t piled on the paper and did not feather, bleed or smudge even when I used alcohol marker on it.
The best part though, is just how DELICATE a line the nib lays out! It is so much easier doing tiny details the way I like to with this thing. And the nibs have just enough flex that I can get some line variation in, too, without having to switch tools.
Okay, so this was the low point of the box for me. NOT because this is a bad brush, no, it is a very nice paint brush.
The price point got into my head!
It’s too expensive to experiment with. Now, I DID use it with the ink, but wound up switching to my much cheaper Grace Art paintbrush* for most things because the last thing I wanted to be doing with a $30 real fur paint brush is actually use the thing to experiment with a medium I am still extremely new to! It just felt like a huge waste of that brush’s potential, and so it was hardly used in comparison to my cheapie brush.
Not much to report here, felt tip pens are my every day go-to for inking so I already have a set of Microns. It was nice to try out a brand I hadn’t used, but there was very little difference between this pen and my regulars. No feathering or bleeding, once dry the ink doesn’t smudge when used with alcohol markers. These seem like good pens.
I already own 2 of these, if that tells you anything 🙂 Having 3 doesn’t bother me at all, this pen makes lineart FUN and was my first introduction to non-felt-tip pens. Before finding artists like Jake Parker, Joverine and Anthony Holden that are crazy inspiring and make using this pen look easy, I was always afraid of brushes and ink. This has been a great introductory brush pen and I very highly recommend it if you are someone interested in trying out brushes. It even comes with an extra ink cartridge, so you don’t have to feel the need to be super precious using it.
I will say, despite having 3 of these I am still using the first brush I bought 4 or 5 years ago and the bristles are still going strong. The second brush I bought for the refill cartridges and now I have 2 more refills thanks to the InkTober box!
My final thoughts on this box are mostly positive! If I could go back in time, would I still get it had I known what was in it when I preordered it? Yes, absolutely. I didn’t preorder hoping for some deep discounts, bargains or anything like that. I wanted a box of relevant art supplies curated by an artist I respect. And in that sense I am 100% pleased!
Were there a few let downs? An eensy bit, yeah. Firstly, I would have liked more pens 😛 Second, the paint brush was a nice touch, but as a newbie to paint brush inking I had an impossible time trying to make myself use it thanks to the crazy price point for something that is essentially a beginner tool for me. If they were to ask me how it could have been improved I would say scrap the $30 brush for a $10 brush (which would still be a really decent paint brush!), and toss in a couple more pens of different types. Maybe a marker or something like the Pentel Aquash Pigment Ink brush pen.
In closing, I still highly recomend the box if you’re interested in these supplies. It’s a great mix of things to try!
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