Three Questions With Johnny Gamber From Pencil Revolution

The Pencil Revolution will be written, and that’s just how Johnny Gamber wants it. Johnny has been doing his thing online since 2005, making him the godfather of our little online world. My thanks to Johnny for answering Three Questions.

1. What role do analog tools such as pens, pencils, and paper play in your day to day life?

Paper is literally My Brain on a daily basis. It is my Memory and my Expansion Slot. If I need to remember something, I have to write it down. A combination of sleep deprivation, over-exposure to technology and too much time in higher education have combined to really erode my memory. When I realize I haven't written something down, there is a horror I feel in the abyss of my Being because I know it is gone forever. I have an obsession with record-keeping that owning a lot of stationery probably exacerbates. I note cute things my kids say or do and what adventures we have together in my journal or in my 5-year diary (the latter, in seasonally-colored Micron 05 pens). There are also frequent times when I have to write something down to get it out of my head and have a better look at it. This can be something about which I am anxious or a diagram for making matchstick rockets on my marble stoop. In this way, paper becomes a literal space to expand My Brain. I don't leave a room without paper and something to write with. And while we joke about me hating pens on the podcast, this is sometimes a gel pen or a Bic. I usually have a sharp pencil somewhere on or near my person, though, and – to be sure – I will probably impale myself with it one day.

2. What are your favorite products you are currently using?

I am always using an embarrassing array of stationery at one time. Currently, my journal is a Baron Fig Three-Legged Juggler, while I am using a custom Write Notepads and Co. pocket notebook for Erasable podcast notes. In my pocket, my Field Notes change pretty quickly. I am at the last part of an Ambition notebook and am eying my next charge – possibly a Shelterwood for a winter feel. To write in these nice books, I have lately been experimenting with less soft pencils than I usually prefer. The Staedtler Wopex and the Faber-Castell Castell 9000 (in grade B) have been great on the Baron Fig paper, and General's Cedar Pointe has been the weapon of choice for my Ambition books, whose paper I really like for graphite. On the go, there is a short Blackwing 602 and a Bic Cristal in my vest pocket, with a small knife for sharpening and old grocery lists.

3. What post are you the most proud of on your blog?

I think the two-part interview I did with Aaron Draplin back in 2011 stands out the most (Part one, Part two). He was so kind and generous with his answers that I had no idea how famous he was/is. I found out first-hand that Mr. Draplin's kindness is as legendary as his amazing designs.

Posted on February 28, 2015 and filed under Three Questions.