Unboxing the ArtSnacks InkTober Collection Box!

Originally posted on September 14th, 2016, at SharondaWoodfin.net.
Edited and republished at Sharonda.net on March 10th, 2017.

My birthday was in June. I’d just like to make sure we’re clear about that.

If you’re a regular reader (ha, ha; just kidding), you’ll recall that I got the main part of this year’s birthday present from my wife in August, even though part of the gift was delivered on my actual birthday.

Well, apparently, before Linda had discovered that Cabaret would be playing at the Segerstrom, she had already order a different birthday present for me, scheduled to arrive just before October.

Then she forgot to cancel it.

And it arrived today. And I’m delighted. Because, timing aside (and seriously, what the hell, babe?), my wife knows how to pick a gift!

Inktober Collection Branded ArtSnacks Box
InkTober Collection Brand on the ArtSnacks Box – Note that the ArtSnacks pretzel has been incorporated!

That’s right! Someone decided to combine the curated art boxes that Linda and I love with the InkTober that I also love, and the result is the Limited Edition ArtSnacks InkTober Collection!

ArtSnacks Unboxing Sticker
The ArtSnacks Unboxing Sticker on Orange Tissue Paper – Will those hashtags work on this blog???

This is my first ArtSnacks box, and I’m impressed enough that I’m now taking orders from stickers. See: #ArtSnacks

I’m also posting lots if pictures, so this article may be a little less wordy than my usual, but all that orange screams to be seen!

Unboxing the ArtSnacks InkTober Collection Box – What was hidden beneath the paper!
Unboxing the ArtSnacks InkTober Collection Box – What was hidden beneath the paper!

That right there is an exciting box! And not just because of the color!

Inktober ArtSnacks Contents List
First things first – The ArtSnacks InkTober Collection Contents List

If you’re a blogger, and you blog about curated boxes, you know that the contents sheet is your friend. This one lists Kuretake and Copic among its other brands. If you own a Kuretake brush pen or a Copic marker, you know that the inclusion of either of those brands bodes well for a bodacious box!

The Inktober 2016 Theme Calendar
31 Days, 31 Drawings – The InkTober 2016 Theme Calendar

If you can’t make it out in the image, there’s a part of that calendar insert which reads:

Your Challenge: Create a drawing everyday for 31 days, using only the supplies in your ArtSnacks InkTober Collection. For inspiration, use the theme that is in the corresponding day on the calendar.

The bolding is mine. That stipulation will make this InkTober a bit more challenging than last year’s!

Inktober Sticker
The included InkTober Sticker. Not sure what I’ll do with this. It’s still cool, though.

I guess I could put this nifty InkTober sticker on whatever sketchbook I use for all my InkTober drawings… But nope! Someone beat me to it:

Inktober Imprinted Sketchbook
Limited Edition 7″x9″ InkTober Denik Sketchbook – Because drawing in a limited edition sketchbook isn’t intimidating, at all!

I didn’t actually notice the damage to the upper left corner of the sketchbook until I uploaded the photo to this blog post. As my mom always said:

If it’d been a snake, it would’ve bit you!

Sure would have, Mom!

That imprint is snake-subtle, too! Maybe it deserves a closer look:

Closeup of the InkTober Imprint
Closeup of the InkTober Imprint

Nice! But let’s get to the tools!

Pentel Pocket Brush Pen
Pentel Pocket Brush Pen

As you can tell by the caption, this is a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. I already have one of these, but I’m quite happy to have another. These are great for when you want the expressiveness of a brush, but also want to work on the go, or even just with a little less mess than a brush and open ink can cause. Easy to use and easy to refill, no one who enjoys ink would criticize the inclusion of this brush pen in this collection. (And, if they did, they’d be wrong.)

Copic Multiliner SP
Copic Multiliner SP

I’ve tried a wide-body Copic marker before, but never a Multiliner pen. This pen has an aluminum body and a nice bit of heft to it. It’s a bit thick, but otherwise feels great in my hand. It comes pre-filled with permanent ink that’s labeled as “water & Copic proof”, and it’s refillable. If it performs as well as some of my disposable drawing pens, this could become my go-to tool for detailed drawings.

Kuretake Sumi Ink
Kuretake Sumi Ink – This is my first bottle of sumi ink. I have Indian ink on hand, and pigmented acrylic inks, even ink with bits of gold in it, and a Kuretake brush pen, but this is my first bottled sumi, ever.

Ink is nice, but I don’t think I should use this particular ink with the Multiliner. What in this box can I use it with?

Oh, yeah…

Princeton Kalinsky Sable Round Brush
Princeton Kolinsky Sable #4 Round Brush – Possibly my least favorite part of the entire box. I make a point of buying synthetic brushes because no weasel needs to die in order for me to draw or paint. (Some bugs might. But not weasels.)

I am probably going to use this brush. I wouldn’t have bought it, and I won’t knowingly buy another, but the weasel whose hair this brush is made from won’t benefit from the brush lying unopened on my shelf. When/if my conscience defies logic to make itself felt, however, there’s always this:

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Nib Holder
Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Nib Holder

I’m pretty excited about that! This is my first nib holder that isn’t a Speedball, and my first that isn’t plastic! (That’s real wood on the handle!) It’s also my first nib holder with a grippy thingy on the barrel. I’m hoping I’ll magically get less ink on my fingers with this holder than I do with my classic Speedball holder, but I suspect I’m going to miss that holder’s bulk and shape.

There are also nibs to go with the holder:

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Pen Nibs
Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Pen Nibs
Kuretake Nibs Laid Bare
Kuretake Nibs Laid Bare

These nibs are similar in size and shape to the nibs I normally draw with. I’m excited to see if there’s any substance to the notion that Japanese nibs are better than the Hunt and Speedball nibs I’ve always used.

The Assembled Nib Holder and Nib
The Assembled Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Nib Holder and Nib – I can see spending a month working with just this combo!

Finally, to truly make this collection complete, the box includes a letter from InkTober’s founder, Jake Parker:

A Letter from Jake Parker
A Letter from Jake Parker

And on the reverse, an inky bit of inspiration:

Way Cool Inky Octopus Illustration
Way Cool Inky Octopus Illustration

This is going near either my drawing table or the Veronica Guzzardi original we have hanging in the hallway. (You can see some of her octopus prints at Sharptooth Snail.)

And this? Well, the color is appropriate, and I guess that candy is, too, since InkTober, like October, culminates in Halloween.

Orange Airheads Candy
Orange Airheads Candy

But really, y’all? We both know coffee would be a better choice. It’ll take a lot to keep me drawing all month long!

As excited as I am to try most of the non-edibles in this box, I’m going to make an effort to not use any of them until the first of next month.

The rest of this month? Those 16 days are just for building anticipation!

And you? Would you like to draw along? Fire up your blog, if you have one, get out your pens, and go read the rules of InkTober!