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Welcome to arts, ink., where our student artists and writers are given a forum to illuminate the Michigan student experience through art. If you’re a U-M student interested in becoming a weekly contributor, there may be a position available to get paid for your work. We review applications and hire new bloggers twice a year, in September and January. Read more about Blogging Opportunities here!
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If you want a nice snapshot of some of our favorite posts from last year, check out the “Summer 2022 Reading List” tag!

Letters by Lydia: At Home Pen Haul

Welcome back y’all! I hope everyone had a great break and isn’t feeling too overwhelmed about getting back into school.

As I’m sure you’ve all realized by now, the size of my pen collection is a bit absurd, and definitely not the most conducive to college housing.  I had to leave a lot behind when I came to school, so whenever I go home, I get really excited to use them all again.  I have a lot at home right now, and a little more room than I thought I would for pens, so I thought it would be fun to show you guys how I went through them all and picked what to bring back to Ann Arbor.  For the major pen sets, I included their swatches and my opinions on them below.  I know the swatches for some of the smaller pens are really tough to see, but I hope you can at least kind of see the colors and the size of the nib.  I did also bring home the posca set you can see in the box picture, but I forgot to take pictures of those swatches.

After that came all the random, individual pens.  I tested a ton, but here are the ones I brought back.  From left to right:

Pentel Tradio Stylo Sketch Pen: so smooth and precise, very fun to write with

Uni Ball Signo 207: Very smooth and a great pen for writing, plus I have the rest of this set in Ann Arbor anyway

Bcmini Donut Bear Pen: Besides being adorable, this pen is so incredibly smooth and fun to write with

Uni Posca: Posca pens are amazing, don’t know why I left this behind in the first place

Campus ViviDry: these are also super smooth and similar to the uni ball signo

It was really hard for me to be so picky and not bring back everything, but I’m super happy with the ones I chose and can’t wait to do some reviews for you guys!  Enjoy the week 🙂



OTM #19: Compliment

Welcome back from break! Hope you all had a relaxing time and are doing alright getting back into things. I was sluggish this morning on my way to class, throwing together a bulky, stupid outfit and ready to zone out for hours. My roommate offhandedly made a comment that I looked like a celebrity at the airport (I supposedly captured the comfortable yet mysterious and hidden aura, haha) and though I don’t think it was meant to, it boosted my confidence and motivation for the day. I walked down the street with a childlike whimsy, a runway strut in my mind as I listened to my music and basked in the mysterious feeling I evidently carried. I love compliments like that, ones that are oddly specific; they feel so cute and personal, something that drives me creatively and makes me love the world around me a lot more. Compliments are so nice, which is such a silly, obvious thing to say, but I really remembered that today. Feeling grateful. I hope you all compliment someone you care about soon, too, and have a great Tuesday!

A Day In Our Lives #6

Hey guys!

I’m writing this post just as I get back from Thanksgiving break. I have a lot of things to be thankful for! This is a drawing of what a typical Thanksgiving layout would look like at my house. It is still missing a few items! I was fortunate enough to be able to see most of my family over this break. I was even able to see my long-distance best friend for a few hours. Thanksgiving is a really important time for us college kids to connect with our families that we may have not seen in a while. I hope everyone had a restful break. We are getting ready for finals!! Only a few more weeks left in the semester. Luckily, Christmas break is right around the corner!

See you next week !

Evolving Emotions: Surprise- Poetry

A Wonderous Day


Sun’s rays force squinting eyes

Grass curls between tiny toes

Laughter swirling in air swept

by each cool breeze

Bubbling waters in the pond

dug by able hands

for fish and shelled creatures

to lay and unwind


Tingling hands

A shift in the air

Heads turning in unison

to the house just across the yard


Rushing past familiar beauty

towards an enthralling mystery

behind four walls


Once inside

figures crowded round

blocking view


Some gasp or shriek of glee

at a sight to behold


In the center of the circle

comes barking

Pushing past

there it is

the dog you will know

for years to come


It will touch your life

in a way only it could

But for now,

you gaze in its eyes

and marvel over this wonderous surprise