A Biro pen is the UK equivalent of a BIC pen in the states. I used to prefer them in college when taking notes. Partly because I filled the margins of my papers with wee sketches and a BIC pen can offer a range of line density from a light touch to opaque. In fact, it was somebody commenting on those wee sketches that made me ever think of pen and ink as a real medium for me.
Fast forward quite a bit to my MFA... I've invested in dip pens and bottles of India Ink to create a lovely black line. (And it truly is lovely.) But it's slow and the ink can glob. I may still use this method in the future, but it's not an easy media.
Then on Friday, illustrator Chris Mould came to the uni for a lecture and one-on-ones. Chris continues a lovely pen and ink tradition with the influences of Ralph Steadman, Ronald Searle and Albrecht Durer. I was lucky enough to get a one-on-one with him. First thing I asked is what pen does he use? His answer? A freakin' BIRO! That's it! On cartridge paper most of the time! OMG.
Suddenly, it's like I have permission to go back to that most humble of art supplies, to drawing with a pen in nearly the same fashion that I draw with a pencil (which I adore). And VOILA! Two pages and several hours later I am once again in love with the most simple tool - the Biro, which costs all of 35p.