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The Struggle is Real and Completely Avoidable

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Lately, I’ve been binge-watching Copic marker videos for a future project. Many artists are doing incredible things with these alcohol-based markers.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t already, check out Dawn McTeigue’s work. She does stunning work with Copic markers that is second to none.

Inspired, I’m slowly stocking Copics—they’re expensive so it has to be slow—in an attempt to recreate some of the amazing artwork I’ve seen.

First World Problems

So, with my small collection—less than 15 at this point—I figured I could at least practise with them. So, I set out to practise when horror struck:

I don’t have the right paper for Copic markers. The ink bled right through and feathered.

I bought a smooth bristol from Strathmore that I thought would be perfect but alas, it isn’t.

And while it may sound stupid, I’ve been moping around Pulp Nation Headquarters lamenting the fact I had purchased the wrong paper.

What a waste! With limited funds, I could only afford one set of paper. I was beside myself. Anger, mixed with disappointment, consumed me for days.

Of course, what I didn’t realize at the time was the smooth bristol was perfect for my Tombow brush pens.

The True Cost isn’t Always Money

In short, I was acting an angsty teenager set me back nearly a week because I was so hung up on what I couldn’t do. Instead, I should have focused on what I could do.

It goes back to last week’s article when I discussed ridding yourself of clutter. It’s so easy to allow cognitive clutter to take over if you’re not careful.

Furthermore, cognitive clutter has a way of spreading out from work to other areas of your life.

In fact, the Shea-Smiths had a busy week last week, with birthdays and two graduations and a mopey, temperamental artist could have easily derailed things.

Thank You Comic-Con Mum

And this is where I need to thank my partner, Andie. She consistently reminds me that artists make do with what they have.

Honestly, I don’t always hear her when she says that, but she’s as persistent as she is smart and beautiful so eventually she gets through my thick skull.

So, while my current project isn’t happening as I envisioned it, I know it will turn out exactly as it was meant to be.

Don’t let the tools define your art, let the art define itself.


While I’m using my Tombows currently, I’m still dying to try Copics.

I’m still on the hunt for Copic specific paper as my local store doesn’t carry it and shipping costs are a little too rich for my blood at the moment.

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