Last week, I got a new brayer in the mail. For the past 6 months or so, I've only had the large brayer. The large brayer has done a lot for me; it made Night Light and all of my monoprints up until now. When I ran out of ink and needed to buy more, I saw the tiny brayer as I was shopping on Utrecht's website. I was thrilled when it arrived!
I bought the tiny brayer because I thought it would make me better at what I was already doing. I typically roll the ink-loaded brayer onto a piece of plexiglass and press the paper into the ink with a baren (see the above photo). But with the new supplies, I wasn't getting good results. The ink looked thin and dotty, not rich and beautifully textured. I thought my purchase was a bust. The next day, I decided to give it another try and ended up rolling the ink directly on the paper. Something I had never thought of before! The tiny brayer, instead of fitting neatly into my process, started a whole new process.
I'm a big believer in creativity through limitation. You'd think that the more tools, paint, brushes, software, equipment, whatever you have, the better off your work will be. The disappointing truth is that less is typically more. And you may not truly understand what the tool can do until it's the only tool you have. Even with a simple tool, there's so much possibility.