Finding Joy with a Sharp Pencil

pencilI have recently become obsessed with how sharp my pencil is. Is this something you think about, at all? Most people don’t give it a moment’s thought. I didn’t either, until now.

A few years ago, a friend who was supporting my search for a new vocation sent me this link on a guy who considers himself a ‘Artisanal Pencil Sharpener’… just to prove opportunities, no matter how trivial, were viable ways to earn a living. Who knew that pencil sharpening was an ‘art form’ needing to be left to the professionals??

In reality this guy has made a living with his ‘tongue-in-cheek’ videos, writing a book, and becoming a spokesperson for a pencil manufacturer… proving the point (pun intended) that becoming a perceived expert in your field is the best way to earn an income.

I am certainly NOT interested in sharpening pencils for my livelihood… NOR insane enough to send mine out to a professional, HOWEVER, I have recently been in search of the perfect pencil for my sketching hobby. The right tools make all the difference!


A regular #2 pencil we all took standardized tests with basically is all you need. Inexpensive, widely available, feels comfortable in the hand, comes in a huge variety of colors and designs, and erases easily. The only con is that it quickly becomes dull. I thought I solved this problem by purchasing a mechanical pencil. No, that wasn’t the answer as the ‘lead’ doesn’t work well with the paper… plus the point breaks with pressure. I even broke down and spent hours in an art store trying out all the hard leaded ‘art’ pencils. I didn’t like them.

Continuing my saga, going back to the drawing board (groan) I took a closer look at the basic #2 again and came to the conclusion the pencil wasn’t the problem, keeping it sharp was. So I began a hunt for a decent portable sharpener. You wouldn’t have thought this would be such a difficult task, would you? Let me tell you, once you begin exploring all your options, you become confused and overwhelmed. There are so many to choose from, honest!

In the end, I purchased a 2 step portable sharpener, named (are you ready for this?) The Automatic Long Point by Kum (really!)… and couldn’t be happier! Step 1 shaves down just the wooden barrel. Step 2 sharpens the lead to a fine point. Perfect! Only $6.99, and it fits in my tiny purse! Score!

I have found, it’s the little things that make life so enjoyable.

I hope you all find your joy today!