Cheat for quill pens....making your own....
Visit a goose farm or a park with swans. See if you can pick up a large white feather or two. DO NOT, obviously, attempt to extract one off a live bird
Get some really cheap Biros (the ones with a clear plastic case, and extract the ink reserve and little metal nib bit from the plastic sheath. Check that the damn thing actually writes...
Carefully clip off a tiny bit (as small as possible) of the end of a feather quill, and insert the pen piece up there so that the metal nib piece sits flush with the end of the quill.
You now have a (biro) quill pen, with an actual quill. These pack surprisingly flat, but are best in tents or more formal settings. For a writing implement to carry around the site, a twig pen might be better.
Re Artisan: You get a couple of your cheaper items free and ready made when you start play (here's one I made earlier). So starting with a couple of pretty good pieces to trade, and a couple of empty slots to fill in when you see what's needed, is a reasonable idea.
Note that your personal resource will be important if you're an artisan. You may want to decide what you want to make, then pick a resource to generate you materials for it (ie, will you need a lot of Ambergelt to make stuff? Maybe a Forest generating Ambergelt would be a good idea..).