Community Member Spotlight: Less Harper

In this installment of "Community Member Spotlight", we get to know Less Harper. Less is not only a good friend of mine, but one third of the RSVP podcast I am a part of. She is not only a dear friend, but an awesome community member all of you should know about!

What got you into pencils?  

I got started in pencils due to art classes. I distinctly remember sitting around with a friend in my undergraduate years discussing pencils and which pencils were the best. Back then it was all about the Staedtler Lumograph. General’s Kimberly were available but they were cheaper, often they had gritty bits and the Lumograph looked great and never had any grit. Back then the Lumographs were made of cedar.

For writing I used almost exclusively the Eberhard Faber EcoWriter. I started using those back in high school, I immediately noticed that they felt different than other pencils I’d been using. Sadly, EF were transitioning into Paperhate around the time I was in my undergrad years and the EcoWriter started to not be as great. Eventually it was discontinued in favor of the EarthWrite.

How do you use pencils in your everyday life?  

Sadly, I’m unable to use pencils at work for anything other than my to do lists and personal notes. So I don’t use them at work. I do use them for long form writing tasks at home. Almost all of my novel writing and journaling is done in pencil. I also draw with them, though lately I’m mostly writing.

What is your dream pencil?  

I’d love a cedar version of the Nataraj Metallic, Beauty, Pop any of the Super Black core pencils

Top five pencils?  

#1 Ito-ya Helvetica

#2 Apsara Beauty (The top 2 are pretty much tied.) or any of the Hindustan HBs

#3 Nataraj Metallic or any Super black Hindustan pencil

#4 Story Supply Company Pencil

#5 Mitsubishi 9000 2B

What do you do (for a job)?

I’m a master’s level mental health counselor aka therapist. My work environment is old school and writing loaded. Assessment tools are done with pen and paper, daily session notes are also on paper. Very little of my work is able to be done with a computer, mostly because my workplace lacks enough computers for clinicians. It’s a stark contrast from my previous work environments where they used mini networked computers and all my daily notes were kept paperless. Even my position before that was going paperless. My work environment at school was also nearly paperless, very few of my professors accepted work on paper, they wanted to track notes and changes in Word.

It’s very odd to take a step back in time for work with regards to paper. As much as it really does help me to do reviews for my blog it’s hard to reconcile the shear amount of paper that we produce with my desire to use less paper. I prefer to use paper for things I plan on arching or keeping for posterity- journals, drafts of novels and what not, but at work it’s a lot of trash paper. I hate that.