Guest Blogger Gabe Couch: Designer at Few

Gabe Couch

I’m Gabe Couch, a designer and partner at Few. I’m also CEO of our internal startup, Tagless Style – an alternative online style service. Our group of friends launched a design and development conference in 2012 called Made by Few and last year Designed by Few which was a large part of launching Few, a mobile and web application development house. We are located in the center of Arkansas (The Natural State) and are working on creating a truly creative culture here. Continue Readering »

Creating a Manifestation List for 2014


The definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”

The definition of manifestation is “an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, esp. a theory or an abstract idea.”

Instead of making resolutions for the new year, I make a manifestation list. I put things on the list that embody not only who I want to be (compassionate, full of energy) but also things what I want to do, like visiting the museums in NYC or taking a personal retreat. The key is to word each item on your list in a way where you are allowing yourself to think and act “as if” the thing you want already exists or has already happened. I like to start the list with something along the lines of “In 2014 I have…” or “In 2014 I…” even “In 2014 I am…”

You want to avoid using word like “want” because according to the law of attraction, (like attracting like) to declare that you “want” something keeps you “wanting” it. If I want to take a retreat in the new year, I might add it to my list as “feel great after a week in upstate New York at the retreat center.” or “attend a relaxing retreat.” Want a new job? Imagine cashing your paycheck with an air of renewed self confidence. Think about what you will pack for your daily lunch. What color sweater you will be wearing on your first day. The more real you can make it in your mind, the more likely it is to happen.

Make sense? Have you ever used creative visualization techniques such as this one?

Happy Belated International Fountain Pen Day!


I can’t believe I missed it! The first Friday in November is International Fountain Pen Day and I am noting my 2014 calendar as we speak. So what did you do to celebrate? Did you buy a new pen? New inks? Flush out your favorite pen and refill it with a daring new color? Please share!

Image courtesy of corporate_p on Instagram which depicts a Kaweco  filled with Private Reserve’s Burgundy Mist on a Rhodia dotPad

Ink Samples: Yes or No?


Since few brick and mortar stores carry a wide variety of fountain pen inks, many people rely on online reviews written by fellow enthusiasts to help determine which colors might be right for them. If you are interested in several different shades of a single color or multiple colors overall, it can get pricey to order everything you want without really knowing if you will like them once you see them in person. One great way to try a lot of inks for a small amount of money would be to order ink samples from a retailer or arrange for a swap from the kind folks on the forums over at The Fountain Pen Network.

Have you found any inks you *love* by first purchasing or swapping samples?

Image courtesy of lancepinto on Instagram

Level 2 Design: dotPad design sketches


Level 2 Design is a full service design company in Chattanooga, TN. Per their website, “Level 2 Design was started in 2007 as a web and graphic design firm. We have evolved into a design and strategy company over the past five years, assisting clients with: web design, print design, branding, app design & strategy, mobile website design & development, and 3D design & animation. We have focused our attention on long term relationships and helping clients craft an experience for their audience.”

Icon and design sketches in a Rhodia dotPad courtesy of level2D on Instgram. Want me to find you on Instagram? Use the hashtag #Rhodia when posting images of your favorite Rhodia products.


Gentian’s Calligraphy, Pelikan Pen and Rouge Opera Ink


It is such a treat to see Gentian Osman’s art and calligraphy and we always appreciate her using our dotPads and Herbin inks in her creations.

You should look at her pictures on Flickr, then check out her blog Drawing with a Squirrel. After that, read this brief artist highlight about her at JetPens and if you want, you can also check out her Pins on Pinterest.

Image courtesy of Gentian Osman –  gentian_o on Instagram

What was your first Rhodia experience?


My first Rhodia experience was a pair of small gridded No. 11’s that I purchased at Dick Blick. I bought them after reading that one of my favorite jewelry designers kept one in his back pocket at all times. Mine lived in my purse. A few years later, I’d explore additional Rhodia/Clairefontaine options once I’d started writing with a fountain pen and discovered that all paper wasn’t so friendly with water based fountain pen inks.

What do you remember about your first Rhodia experience?

The image above is courtesy of Be sure to visit the blog whose author loves books, cats, stationery, pens, fountain pens, inks, sufi tradition, myths, religions, occult and everything!

Designing a workspace on a dotPad


 “Thinking about a workplace transformation” Image courtesy of ac3y on Instagram.

I have a large #38 dotPad that I think I will use to design my new garden beds. Have you used a #38’s or any of our dotPads to lay out a new workspace? Any tips to offer?

Pen Tests Are Part of The Fun


I believe one of the joys of writing with a fountain pen is being able to explore so many different options. From the various nib types to literally hundreds of different ink options in every imaginable color, this allows you to customize your experience which in turn, can make every writing task seem less of a chore and more like like something to look forward to. Rhodia and Clairefontaine papers are consistent performers when paired with these water based inks and can help make your writing experience become even more enjoyable.

Do you have a pen test page like the one above? This is always a fun way to compare which inks are your favorites in which pen. I know some people who choose famous quotations when trying out new inks. Me? I always found myself writing the alphabet or doodling with a new pen/ink.

Image courtesy of heymatthew on Instagram

Pen of The Week: TWSBI Diamond Mini

Our pen of the week is the TWSBI Diamond Mini- a piston filler type fountain pen that comes in EF, F, M, B, stub1.1, stub1.5 nib sizes and retails for around $55. TWSBI is a company whose mission is to inspire and recapture the romanticism of art and literature… starting with the pen.

Check out the following reviews to learn more about the Diamond Mini: Continue Readering »

Vector Doodle Symbols in a dotPad

Petr Vlk is from the Czech Republic and creates hand-made vector doodle symbols which he sells in a kit on his website These symbols can be used for presentations, brainstorming sessions, flow charts, etc.

In the image above, Petr is working on rough ideas for some custom vector doodle symbols. When he granted me permission to use his photo, he told me that the Rhodia dotPad was his daily tool.

Image courtesy of Petr Vlk- follow imiag on Instagram

Sketches and Doodles in a dotPad

Working out some rough ideas for custom vector symbols, Petr uses the Rhodia dotPad as a daily tool.

We’ve seen many people using the dotPad for sketching and doodling – practicing calligraphy and such. I myself have been known to use the dotPad or the occasional mandala doodle.

What do think it is about the dot grid that makes it so popular for drawing and doodling?

Image courtesy of Petr Vlk follow Petr as imagiag on Instagram.

I will find you on Instagram

I know that there are currently over 50 million Instagram users, me included. I know that we are snapping photos of things we love, manipulating the images, (often stacking filters from across multiple apps) tagging the images with a dozen keywords, then lovingly sharing them to the world. Continue Readering »

Where in the World is your Rhodia?

From our friend Kim King of the blog Consider the Lilies:

“Rhodia in Jakarta!  Specifically, just outside the entrance to Taman Mini, an incredible Indonesian cultural center.  More to write to you later about a really cool sounding ink made from concentrated smoke… read about it and saw writing done in it in one of the displays.”

I’ve also added this image to our “On The Road” Photo Page which is in dire need of submissions. Will you send me your photos of where in the world your Rhodia is? Send via e-mail to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com.

Be sure to check out Kim’s blog if you would like to read more about her journeys while in Indonesia – and I can’t wait to hear more about that ink!

Mandala Doodling on a Rhodia dotPad

These days I work in lots of different kinds of art media but I still consider myself a doodler.

It was about 5 1/2 years ago that I first started doodling mandalas- a circular art form typically represented by concentric circular patterns radiating from the center outward. For the first 4 years I drew them almost constantly in sketchbooks, tablets, notebooks, etc., typically with a fountain pen or marker. Sometimes I’d draw up to ten in a single day just by sitting and doodling one after another… this became my meditation.

Do you doodle? Do you do it just to kill time/keep your hands occupied or do actually you make the time to do it?

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David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

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Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.