A few months ago I was inspired by the endorsements of the Pen Addict and Art Supply Posse podcasts to sign up for an Art Snacks subscription. The initial box was a birthday gift for my creative girlfriend but we decided to keep the subscription for a while and share the contents. I used to subscribe to a certain “loot” based monthly subscription box, but the contents became boring and repetitive rather quickly. I was hesitant to commit $20* a month to another box of random stuff, but I figured it would at least be useful stuff that would encourage creative activities. Three months later, I’m sure glad I decided to stick around.
September’s ArtSnacks shipment contained four items: an Alumicolor hollow Triangular Drafting Scale, a Kurecolor Twin S Marker, a Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush pen, and the Alvin + ArtSnacks Draft/Matic Drafting Pencil (my favorite of the bunch, and the subject of this review.)
The Alvin + ArtSnacks Draft/Matic Drafting Pencil is the highly anticipated exclusive item that ArtSnacks had been teasing for weeks leading up to it’s launch. This pencil is functionally the same as the standard Alvin brand drafting pencils, except the body is a very crisp “ArtSnacks Teal” color that looks as smooth as this pencil draws.
The pencil features a stainless steel diamond-cut grip section which shifts most of the weight towards the front end, which is very nice for writing or drawing. Another great feature at the front end is the Cushioned Tip, which adds a little give to the lead when it meets the paper so you don’t have to worry about putting too much weight down.
Behind the grip, the Draft/Matic is equipped with a plastic yet durable-feeling body, metal clip, stainless steel lead indicator dial, and metal end cap. The Lead Indicator dial allows you to identify whatever lead you choose to refill this pencil with, should you decide to switch away from the HB that is included. Under the end cap, you’ll find a fairly standard mechanical pencil eraser. It should work fine if needed, but I tend to stick to external block erasers when I use pencil at all. To each, their own.
I’m not what anyone would consider a “normal” pencil user. In fact, I tend to actively avoid them whenever possible. However, I’ve been trying to draw more lately so a nice pencil is just what I needed. I would recommend this pencil to anyone who wants a step up from the standard off-the-shelf mechanical pencils, but isn’t ready to splurge on a rOtring just yet. The Alvin + ArtSnacks Draft/Matic drafting pencil has earned a place in my daily carry set and has ensured my subscription to ArtSnacks will remain active for at least a few more months. They have proven time and time again that they truly care about what they send to their subscribers and how their name is used.
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*ArtSnacks has raised the price of their monthly subscription to $24 shipped, however I believe you still get more than your money’s worth at that price. Bulk subscriptions can be purchased to reduce the price per box.