So like many others, when I started bullet journaling I saw the fancy brush lettering and calligraphy others were doing and I wanted my bullet journal to be just like theirs! And what pens were they using? Those fancy Tombow Dual Brush pens. And you know what I went out and did? Purchased that beautiful pastel pack which was pretty expensive. If I remember correctly, they retailed at around $27 when I purchased them at Michaels. I know I should have got them off of Amazon, but I wanted them immediately and that two day shipping was NOT fast enough for me.
I went home with my new pens and expected to be great at hand lettering because my natural hand writing is really good! Spoiler alert, I was not. I did not realize how steep of a learning curve the Tombow pens had! I did not realize they can easily fray if not used on the proper paper so of course I frayed some a few poor souls.
I should have never jumped in the deep end like I did. I should have done all my research before I purchased them. But knowing myself, even if I DID do all the research in the world about this, I probably would have still bought them anyways. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say. I stopped trying to hand letter after that disaster. My confidence was shot. I thought I could do it and I failed miserably.
When I finally did more research into how to use brush pens, everyone was saying not to start off with using Tombows but something that is easier that way you can learn your hand lettering “grip” style. I learned that it is not uncommon to have a different grip between the way you hold your brush pen and regular pen. And yes, my grip is ever so slightly different between the two. People online advised to start with cheaper alternatives like cheap brush pens from Amazon or even Crayola Supertips. That last one stood out to me, I had seen several people use those in various Youtube and Instagram videos.
So a few weeks later when I found myself back at Michaels, I saw a 50 pack of Supertips on sale for only $10! There was no hesitation when I put them in my basket. If hand lettering with them did not work out, then I just got myself a bunch of markers for pennies on the dollar. I was excited to learn how to hand letter and if I could get things down with these then I could “graduate” to lettering with Tombows. Well let me tell you this. I am getting pretty good with hand lettering and have yet to touch those Tombows.
For now, if I want the traditional brush pen look, I will use my water color pens. They are another cheaper alternative to the Tombows. I can just mix up any water colors I like, and use them. I will do a blog post about that soon. Maybe in the future, I will have enough confident to use those pretty pastel Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Until then, I will continue to use my Supertips! Check out my swatch below!