With A Pencil In My Pocket - 500 Pencils Project


With A Pencil In My Pocket

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Note: This project is not currently open to new participants. We hope to revive the project in a different form in the coming months!

With A Pencil In My Pocket was a collaborative project with the pencil producer Felissimo. One hundred fifty participants received one brilliantly colored pencil each month. Upon receiving each pencil, participants sought out a real, material manifestation – a place, person, thing, creature, activity, etc. – that somehow embodied the essence of the color and/or color name. Aren’t the creative color names in the image above wonderful?

Each participant documented his or her experience by writing a very short story with his or her inspirational colored pencil of the month. Over eighteen months, thousands of pencils were sent out into the world and motivated countless colorful experiences distributed near and far. We scanned hundreds of submitted stories and posted many of them on the project blog, along with occasional video updates from Lea.

Below are a few examples of the wonderful stories submitted by 500 pencils project participants. Some are connected to particularly challenging color names, others simply caught my eye for one reason or another. Plenty more submissions are available on the project blog.





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Lea Redmond is always looking for the poem hiding inside things: a salt shaker, a clothes tag, a hand gesture, a cloud. She is infinitely intrigued by the way experiences can slip from the ordinary to the extraordinary and she endeavors to design things that hold this possibility. Leafcutter Designs, her creative studio in Berkeley, CA, makes the world more playful and peaceful one little experience at a time.


  1. Pauline

    May 15, 2014 at 6:55 am

    What a fun idea! I would love to take part in this in the future.

  2. Tami Eager

    March 7, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    OMGosh! Could you please let me know how to get involved in this the next go-around! This sounds like so much fun!

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