Workshop → Pen+Pen–Pen

Pen+Pen-Pen Workshop invites participants to work with variable lengths and widths of pens to draw patterns, then rearrange the com- position to generate new visual forms. Participants would work individually through our instructions, then collaborated as a group.

The tools we made:
1. Pen that requires two participants to hold on each side 
2. Elongated pen
3. Chopsticks pen
4. Dual tip pen

This workshop encourages people to question: how can we create sustainable tools built upon the existing art material?

In everyday life, we interact with different types of tools, each serving a specific purpose and making our life a little bit easier. They may not always grab our attention, but their impact on our lives is undeniable. 

Assisting professor Brockett Horne as her TA, I had the opportunity to co-lead the PEN+PEN-PEN workshop in the Sophomore Typography class with Chen Luo. We handmade four types of pen tools that require special ways to draw with them. The first workshop took place in the sophomore typography classroom with students.

By inviting participants to experiment with variable lengths and widths of pens and then collaborate to generate new visual forms, the workshop creates a dynamic and hands-on experience that challenges traditional notions of art-making and tool design. Each tool offers unique challenges, encouraging participants to approach their creative process from fresh perspectives and explore new techniques and possibilities. By working individually or teaming up to use the pens, and then coming together as a group to collaborate and remix their creations, participants not only expand their own artistic horizons but also contribute to a shared pool of ideas and inspiration. This collaborative aspect fosters a sense of community and mutual learning, as participants exchange insights, offer feedback, and build upon each other’s contributions.

We have received a lot of feedback and comments from students about this project. We are very happy to see students really enjoyed this workshop and have created many facinating patterns and visual forms. We used oil sticks for the first workshop, but it kept breaking as some students drawing with the tool. Therefore, we replaced them with acrylic pens for the future workshop. For the second time, me and Chen Luo led the workshop at the Jersey Art Bookfair in New Jersey in Feburary 2024.

This time, the workshop attracted people in various ages, from young kids to adults. It was truly inspiring to witness the transformative power of creativity in action, as individuals from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate art and self-expression. In this inclusive and welcoming space, drawing became more than just a solitary activity—it became a shared experience that brought people together. By embracing the spirit of collaboration and exploration, we were able to create a space where creativity thrived and where everyone felt empowered to unleash their inner artist