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Pigma® ink, invented by Sakura over 25 years ago, continues to be the most reliable permanent ink on the market today.

Choose a story to learm how Pigma Micron pens are used in museums on a daily basis and why they are museum employees tool of choice.




Lindsay Palaima has worked in Museums professionally since 2008. From internships to full-time positions, she has used Micron pens and favors them for their versatility. She has used them on ethnographic material (in particular, wooden santos from the Frank Collection, at the New Mexico Palace of the Governors), on taxidermy and osteological collections (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish in various positions at the California Academy of Sciences), and on metal (Nike missile components while contracting with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area). Since the ink is archival and writes on nearly everything, their use was a mainstay in marking Exhibit Props while she was the Museum Registrar at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, Oklahoma. Every museum catalog tag she has written has been with Micron pens.

Most recently, Lindsay was charged with moving and preparing over 600 skulls for the California Academy of Science’s special exhibit Skulls: Every Skull Tells A Story. In the process of tracking and safeguarding the specimens, she would ensure catalog numbers were written on all the specimens. Micron pens require no preparation when marking on bone, so the process was as simple as writing the number.

Lindsay also freelances and manages inventory and catalog personal collections of ephemera, keepsakes and photos. Most recently, she has digitized and archived three 1950/60s scrapbooks. She wrote every catalog and inventory number with the Pigma Micron 01 pen.

“Pigma Micron is the ideal pen to use for archival purposes.

When archival and museum professionals reach to mark an invaluable object in their possession, we want to be sure that the ink does not smear or bleed. Pigma ink is waterproof, chemical-proof, fade-resistant and nontoxic, thereby making them ideal for my museum tool kit. The pigment-based ink is chemically stable and will not harm the object, document or specimen. Microns are the go-to marking instrument for all the collections in my care.”


Sean Vidal Edgerton

“Using keen observational skills to accurately render a natural subject represents one of the basics of scientific illustration. All sizes of Pigma Microns, especially .005, allows me communicate the appropriate message and render light on form naturally, via stipples or the most delicate of lines. The archival ink and diversity of values never fail to translate the scientific concept to a broader audience.”

Sean Vidal Edgerton is a trained Science Illustrator with roots throughout California and abroad. With ‘tree’ his first word and ‘bird’ the second, growing up in the midst of Los Angeles he always seemed to gravitate towards the outdoors and the wonders of the natural world. His work represents his innate passion to blend the worlds of art and science as well as create art in the service of science, education, and conservation. Sean’s work focuses on the beauty of natural history, biodiversity, and organisms poorly understood and in dire need of our conservation efforts. Charles Darwin’s famous words “…endless forms most beautiful...” continuously plant seeds of inspiration.

After studying Plant Sciences and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz he completed a graduate program in Science Illustration at CSU Monterey Bay. Since then he’s trekked the rainforests of Madagascar as Wildlife Illustrator, roamed the halls of the Smithsonian as Entomological Illustrator, and currently works as Botanical Illustrator at the California Academy of Sciences. Aside from freelance Science Illustration he is also pursing a M.Sc. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology with an emphasis on infectious diseases. Outside of work and classes he roams far and wide with his dog Laika, from their home on Haight & Ashbury smack dab in the middle of San Francisco, California.


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When taxonomists need to convey the morphological features of their study taxon, Microns are the clear choice for illustration work. Whether creating smooth lines, stippling, or filling in the finest details, the range of widths and unbroken ink flow makes Pigma Microns a favorite tool of many in scientific illustration.


Emily Hartop has been working in the Entomology department at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) since 2014. She works on an urban biodiversity project called BioSCAN ( for the Museum’s Urban Nature Research Center ( Emily is a world expert on a genus of flies called Megaselia in the fly family Phoridae and has been featured by many major news outlets (The New Yorker, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, BBC, etc.) for her role in describing 43 species of flies new to science from Los Angeles, based principally, though not exclusively, on their genitalia. Emily illustrates most of the genitalia for her work herself, but has also tutored several others in this fine art.


Although Emily uses a mixture of hand drawings, digital illustrations, and photographs in her work, she finds the best drawings are always drawn by hand with Pigma Microns. The stippling that can be done with a 005 or 01 Micron is incredible in conveying shading and textures; she is constantly working to hone her technique. Emily’s philosophy on scientific illustration is to create the simplest, most beautiful drawings possible that convey 100% of the information needed clearly. “Sometimes, when you look at something in the biological world it’s not as clear or as pretty as you need it to be to explain it or understand it. As an illustrator, it’s your job to capture the essential information, to distill and interpret what you are seeing and put it on paper. When someone looks at your illustration and then at an actual specimen, your drawing makes reality easier to understand. It’s incredibly rewarding when I see people learning species of flies using my drawings, knowing that these tools are furthering taxonomy and the study of these amazing flies.


Recently, Emily led an event at the NHM called “Fine Wine & Flies” where donors to the Urban Nature Research Center ( were able to enjoy an evening of California wines and cheeses while participating in a workshop on fly genitalia illustration. Sakura donated Micron pens for the event, and participants learn to sketch, outline, stipple and crosshatch. In total, 40 different versions of a new fly species’ genitalia were drawn that evening!

To contribute to Emily’s work at the Natural History Museum, please visit the Urban Nature Research Center’s funding page: