Since software programs have come to dominate offices and studios, the pencil has become a symbol for creative freedom. In other words, the work you do on the computer is what you do for work, to pay the rent, whereas the stuff you do with your pencil is the stuff you do for fun. Apart from stimulating the world's most important creative minds, the pencil has become the modern creative's ultimate fetish.
This book presents a unique collection of close-up pictures of pencils from some of our foremost artists, designers, writers, architects, and musicians. What makes these pictures compelling is the fact that they somehow reflect the creative personalities of their owners: Philippe Starck's is a stylish black and red, Paul Smith's is a classic jewel-like thing worth £3,000 (a present from Jonathan Ive), William Boyd's is nicely aged and rusty, while Anish Kapoor's is sculpted into a mini ArcelorMittal Orbital tower. The pictures are complemented by materials such as sketches, quotes and brief interviews, giving a further insight into the workings of these great creative minds.