Being a pencil realist artist I never thought in a million years that pencils would some day be obsolete. What is this going to mean for my future as a pencil realist artist? I mean we have all used a pencil at sometime or other during our lives.
All of us.
From the time we went to school, worked out math problems, draw or whatever. Artists, carpenters, architects, teachers, composers, writers, waiters/waitresses all use pencils in their everyday lives. So how can the pencil manufacturers even think about stopping production all together? I am shocked!
Pencils No Longer Being Made in 2018
NUREMBERG, GERMANY - With ever changing technology and the rise in popularity of electronic devices such as tablets and iPads, the resulting digital mayhem has caused the sale of pencils to plummet in recent years. This has led to one of the world’s leading manufacturers of pencils to announce it will soon discontinue the age-old writing tool. A spokesperson from the manufacturers says:
"We have found a consistent drop in pencil sales due to the rise in digital devices like tablets and digital stylus pens. We understand this will be detrimental to artists due to the differences of pencil grades that are used, but we feel that the demand is just not there any more. More and more people are using touch screen devices and by 2018, it’s estimated the majority of people will be using them"
- Herman Schmitt
Globally, children will be taught to use tablets in the school system and for home use. The industry says its aim is to have every child across Europe, North America and other countries using a tablet and digital pen by at least 6 months before the last pencil is manufactured.
The pencil was first mass produced in 1662 in Nuremberg, Germany. Originally graphic sticks were wrapped in string. Later graphite was inserted into hollowed-out wooden sticks.
Schmitt says he understands this will be a blow to many trades people, artists and those who are accustomed to using a pencil. He adds, on a positive note, the elimination manufacturing pencils will save an estimated one-million trees a year.
Many developing nations may have difficulty coping with the elimination of this seemingly basic and inexpensive writing and drawing tool. In particular, school children in poor counties may not be able to afford high tech gadgets like tablets to cope with the change. Schmitt says while that may be so, the economies of scale in the business world simply don’t allow for the continued manufacture of outdated technology. He suggests governments should step in to subsidize technology upgrades in developing nations.