Inspiration

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In The Toolkit: Seven top creatives share their favourites

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Some people buy fast cars or exotic holidays. Others invest their cash in digital technologies or own 500 pairs of shoes. But if there’s one thing a creative’s wallet has a soft spot for it’s ‘kit’. Who can walk past a supplies shop without going inside, to later emerge with a stack of new sketchbooks or a pocket full of your favourite pens?

We decided to chat to a few of our creative chums to find out what piece of kit they just can’t live without. Here’s what they had to say.

(And if you spot anything you like, our good pals at family-owned art shop Fred Aldous are helping you to #MakeAnything by giving Creativepool readers 10% off all online orders. Just use the code CREATIVEPOOL10 at the online checkout before 31st March 2016.)

Supermundane - The pencil

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“My crucial piece of kit is the humble pencil. The Faber-Castell TK4600 Clutch Pencil to be precise (and these leads). I now have this pencil on me at all times. I've always loved pencils but I'm forever breaking the lead or forgetting a pencil sharpener. I'm not sure where I found out that the top of these pencils has a sharpener hidden inside, but when I did it was a life changing experience and I went out and bought one straight away. I draw all the time now and I think it's partly because of this pencil and it's utter usefulness.”

Supermundane is artist, graphic designer, typographer and illustrator extraordinaire Rob Lowe.

Jon Massey - The pen

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“My doodling weapon of choice is the lion-hearted Rotring Tikky Pen. From the time of squiggling ninja turtles on my bedroom wall to now, I have been on a persistent quest for the perfect pen. After years of playful experimentation, I have finally settled on the fibre-tipped tool. The ink is black as hell, lightning fast and seems to last ages. I'd be pretty nervous to draw anything without it.”

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Jon Massey is a multidisciplinary designer and idea-brewer. He’s also one half of collaborative group hug Manchester Moleskine.

Animade - The sticky note

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Sticky notes are a crucial bit of kit for us here at Animade. Animation production requires a lot of time spent generating ideas, experimenting and changing the direction of a style or concept. That’s why I find sticky notes indispensable when drafting out a visual idea; they enable me to change a certain part of an image by covering over it and drawing on top. I can also use sticky notes to elaborate on a drawing when the sheet of paper just doesn’t accommodate it anymore. They’re great for quickly moving rough storyboard frames around too. The ease of access is another bonus—almost any shop will have a block of these for sale!”

Lana Simanenkova is a Designer/Animator at London-based animation and digital production studio Animade.

DR.ME - The scalpel

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“We couldn’t live without the Swan Morton graphic scalpel. In our practice at DR.ME we create a lot of collage work, so we go through a lot of these scalpels. They’re really lightweight and easy to use and the blades don’t go blunt too quickly. And, when they do, they’re cheap to replace!”

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DR.ME is a creative studio based in Manchester (UK) & Toulon (FR), who ply their trade in art direction, graphic design and video.

The Neighbourhood - The marker

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“I’ve always preferred to use pens and pencils to brushes as I feel like I’ve got a little extra control with them. So for bigger scale artwork I think Posca marker pens are a great solution. You can draw straight onto almost any surface and although they can take a bit of shaking to get the nibs loaded with paint they provide a really good solid coverage.”

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Chris Moran is Senior Designer/Animator at The Neighbourhood, a creative agency based in Manchester’s bustling Northern Quarter.

Instruct - The ruler

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“I love my HAY Cube Ruler, it has many analogue purposes such as ‘Pointing at work / people / objects,’ ‘Stirring Tea’ and ’Measuring Things’... I do genuinely like this ruler (although I may look slightly annoying when waving it about the studio).”

John Owens is Creative Director of Instruct, a team of thinkers, writers, creatives and project managers working together as a multidisciplinary communications studio.

Design by Day - The notebook

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“We couldn’t live without the DBD team’s notebooks! We get through so many sketchbooks here at DBD. Mine contains all my meeting notes, sketches and ideas, so losing it would be a small disaster! I’ve made my partner send photos of pages to me multiple times when I’ve accidentally left it at home. The DBD team raided their desk drawers for notebooks past and present. There’s an eclectic mix of styles and sizes, but clear winner is of course the Classic Moleskine!”

Angela Roche is Creative Director at Design by Day, an independent design and digital agency ‘oop North who like to tell stories and paint pictures.

What’s your favourite piece of creative kit? Let us know what you couldn’t live without in the comment section below.

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