Welcome to International Fake Journal Month 2013!

What is IFJM?
Please read the page "What Is IFJM" for details.
Learn the difference between Faux, Fake, and Fake Historical Journals.

Contests for 2013
See the right-hand sidebar for links to details on the 2013 Contests OR click here.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2013 participants who are posting their fake journals this year appears near the top of the right side bar of this blog. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010, 2011, and 2012 lower in the same column. Please pay them a visit and check out their fake journals.

View a Couple of Roz's Past Fake Journals
Roz's 2009 fake journal takes place in an alternate Twin Cites, where disease has killed the human and bird populations. (It ends up being an upbeat tale of friendship.) Watch a video flip through of Roz's 2009 fake journal here.

Read an explanation of Roz's insanely complex 2011 fake journal.

Tips on Keeping a Fake Journal
Click on "tips" in the category cloud.

Remember, "Life's so short, why live only one?"


Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Finished My IFJM Journal for 2009


Above: my fake journal kept to celebrate International Fake Journal Month 2009, finished today, the book contains exactly 30 page spreads, one done each day in April. This photo shows how the Alvin Field book pages warped and responded to the dip pen and watercolor attack! Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, it's over. For me anyway. Other folks have about 4 more hours until the end of IFJM. If you are new to this blog and wondering what the heck IFJM is go to the right-hand column where it says, "What is International Fake Journal Month?" and click on the link in that paragraph. Read other early posts for more details and suggestions on how to keep a fake journal (or any journal for that matter). See my posted page spreads.

I will continue posting the remaining page spreads over the next few days as we count down to the end of the contest. (The judges need some time to look over the entries, deadline for which is tomorrow at noon.)

I would like to take a moment to comment on how it was to work in this Alvin Field Book—I loved it!!!!

It's sturdy, tough, and resilient. It isn't made for acrylic ink and watercolor, but it took them just the same. I loved that the pages buckled and curled and that they make a delightful crinkly noise when you turn them.

There were a couple draw backs. Because the paper is water resistant painting in watercolor on them isn't the same as other papers. You can however, if you're mindful of your drying times, still glaze colors on if that's your thing.

Another drawback was that the acrylic ink didn't always dry before I got to the watercolor application. So there is some bleeding of the ink. That doesn't bother me.

Still another drawback, the early pages, which have been pushed together in my hand when I've been drawing in the later pages, have started to have areas of spots and smudging, where the ink and sometimes the watercolor, rub onto the previous page. I think this gives those pages a great patina, so I'm fine with it. But there really is no way around this because the pages warp so much that holding them closed and still means they are going to rub against each other in ways that stiffer pages wouldn't. (Everyday, before I started the next spread, I would scan the previous page spread so I do have a record of the pages in the condition they were when completed, perhaps this helps me be OK with the patina?)

This is something to keep in mind should you decide to work in this type of book with these materials.

I have to say I loved it so much that I am going to miss it. I'm going to go into withdrawal tomorrow when I'm not walking around the yard or the river flats looking for a bird to sketch, spilling acrylic ink all over myself (my clothing did not fare well with this year's choice of art materials!!!).

I want to thank all of you who participated, even if your participation was to simply read along and enjoy other adventures vicariously. Maybe next year you'll get pulled in! I hope so. There is a lot to be gained.

What's left: well in a about a week we'll have a contest winner. I'll announce that here. Over the next few days I'll post the remaining pages in my journal. Then I imagine the blog will go pretty quiet until March of 2010 when it will be time to design new buttons, select a new book, find a new author, and start the process all over again.

If you end up keeping your fake journal over the next few months, or you happen upon this blog and start a fake journal before April 2010, let me know. I would love to hear about it.

Thank you all for taking this journey with me.
Now, for me, it's back to my real journal.


Who Is Budgie Marsh?


Above: fake journal work from Janet Hedley examines the life of Budgie Marsh. ©2009 Janet Headley.

Janet Hedley wrote to say that this was her first journal e
ver! Way to go Janet, jumping into a fake journal to start things off! She had the following comments about her pages:
I loaded up my Lamy pen with Lexington Grey Noodler's Ink and using a journal that I bound myself and was afraid of using—didn't want to mess it up—I just dove in. I found I really like pen and ink on 90# Fabriano Hot Press paper. I tried things I have trouble with like perspective. I used materials that I was unfamiliar with, but purchased at the recommendations of those on the Everyday Matters list. Those would be the pen, a Niji waterbrush, Albrecht Dürer watersoluble colored pencils, and Neocolor II crayons. I found I enjoyed using all of them, but need to get more control with the Niji.

My real name is Janet Hedley, but I took on the fake name of Budgie Marsh. I have had so much fun doing this and have delighted my friends and family with the adventures of Budgie. The best thing for me was breaking out of that idea that everything I did or attempted had to be perfect. After all, I didn't care how Budgie performed. I found out that, when I looked at her work dispassionately, I wasn't critical of her work as I am of my own. This whole exercise was very freeing for me and Budgie plans to continue even after April is over. She's probably going to adventure all over the world. Why not?

I just have to say that I love the name Budgie. I used to have a budgie (budgerigar) when we lived in Australia. I love that someone has that for a name. I was looking forward to seeing the adventures of Budgie Marsh when Janet originally wrote to tell me of her fake journal. I'm thrilled that Janet has been able to take risks (vanishing point indeed!) and enjoy the freedom. Janet wrote that she is hoping that by this time next year there will be more Budgie adventures and even a blog! I hope so. I'm glad it has been a good leaping-in point for Janet!

Below: Two additional selections from Budgie Marsh's journal, artwork ©2009 Janet Hedley.



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Peek in Diana Oakley's 2009 Fake Journal


Above: A page spread from Diana Oakley's 2009 Fake journal, which includes expressive art with written entries. ©2009 Diane Oakley. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Diana Oakley sent in the above excerpt from her 2009 Fake Journal. You can visit her website to see more of her pages and read more about her process. Read about the interesting approach she has taken in her fake journal, in her own words:
I decided to keep a journal of the flip-side of my world: dreams, daydreams, and everything running through my head. I'm writing it down as if it is real. Makes for some really eclectic reading. The drawings are random too and follow no theme.

I'm using pencil and watercolor pencil - dipping the actual pencils in water and drawing with them. It's going well. I have to make sure I write my dreams down right away or I forget them. I was translating some of the journal last night on the page I set up for it and was surprised at how many of the dreams I had already forgotten.
Diana has given herself a great opportunity for freedom with the use of random drawings following no theme. I love that she is using her actual dreams. She will get the added benefit of having them recorded at the end of the month.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The April 19th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal


Above: the April 19 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


Fake journals, just like regular visual journals, can provide the opportunity to experiment with materials. I've used Schmincke pan watercolors for decades, but never as my primary, day in, day out, palette. My color choices with this palette are similar to my main watercolor palette (which consists primarily of Daniel Smith watercolors and some M. Graham watercolors), but there are some differences, nuances. There are some colors that are hold overs from before my last major palette overhaul in 2003. (After that overhaul I created smaller palettes to carry with me, but those smaller palettes were based on my selections for the 2003 palette.)
Click here if you would like to see a PDF of my palette selection process. When you arrive at "Leisure Reading" click on "Adding and Deleting Pigments…" under the "Educational Content?" heading.)
One of the benefits of using the Schmincke pan watercolor palette for this year's fake journal is that day after day I've had to confront my color choices and rethink them. The process can be most readily seen when looking at the turkey sketches that appear throughout the fake journal (April 1, 4, 10, 12, already posted; and 21, 26, and ??—there are 3 more days—of drawings not posted yet). These drawings provide a record, interesting to me of my search for the correct mix of blue for the turkey heads. It is also a record of a lot of looking in different types of light, from different distances, and my wavering on whether, after all local color was the right choice. Perhaps next year the idea of local color is something my fake journal author can address?

The image in today's post from April 19 is actually the sister post to the image in yesterday's post (April 18). On two separate days I deal with the idea of shadows on white feathers using different selections of color.

See how much fun this can be? And you didn't believe me!

Gulls and Canada Geese also have repeat appearances in this year's fake journal and they too show me a record of what I'm playing with. Since the author of the journal is someone who is painting and sketching birds the WHOLE day, only warm up or cool down sketches appear in her personal journal and she is happily unfettered by the need to get things down exactly. She will write notes to herself about spacing and sizing and color, but the impression I get is of someone who is much more fussy in her "real" artwork, the work of her daily life. (Perhaps I needed also to keep her "work journal" as well as her personal journal!)

At any rate, those are some quick thoughts on my Schmincke pan watercolors and their use in this year's fake journal. I think testing something out over several consecutive days is always the most efficient way to establish pros and cons, good points, bad points, artistic felicities. What more pleasant way to accomplish this than in a fake journal? So much more accommodating and inviting than a workbook of charts. (Though I have to say, one of my colored pencil students once informed me that she loved making charts and indeed her workbook backed up her statement—the most lovely, artful charts you could ever imagine which still yielded all the "required" and desired information.)

Colors on my Schmincke Pan Watercolor Palette
Note, this palette is the only one I have that still contains a cadmium paint—I don't use cadmium colors much at all. I also don't normally work with this many colors; but all these colors fit nicely as half pans in a small 3-3/4 x 5 inch Schmincke box which I adapted to hold 4 rows of pans instead of 3. When I travel I like to have more colors along with me because I don't know what I'll find. It gives me different options. I have to say I prefer using my smaller palettes with fewer colors, but then they are so small I can have them always with me (about 1 x 1.5 inches). In general I prefer to use colors that are made with single pigments.

Titanium White, Lemon Yellow, Aureolin Modern Yellow, Translucent Yellow, Indian Yellow, Titanium Gold Ochre, Yellow Ochre, Translucent Orange, Burnt Sienna, English Venetian Red, Vermillion, Cadmium Red light, Permanent Carmine, Deep Red, Purple Magenta, Madder Brown, Manganese Violet, Dark Indigo Blue, Delft Blue, French Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Helio Blue Reddish, Helio Cerulean, Helio Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise, Phthalo Green, Zinc White
To see a chart of this palette click here.

Here is the text from the page spread featured above:

Verso to recto:
09.04.19 7:20 p.m. [side label]

I'm still not calm. It's 9:30 p.m. now. I was sketching the neighborhood chicken after dinner. Two head studies done. A quick body sketch because of the way she was holding her foot was just finished. Up comes Michelle, at my side, about 10 feet away. She shoots the chicken, literally to pieces, feathers floating up and away. The bulk of the body limp when moments ago she'd been looking at me with coy eyes. The noise had been so sudden, so loud. And then silence. I guess when I threw down my sketchbook the wash around the body sketch smeared all over my hand because the teal blue and the black ink was [sic] all over Michelle's collar where I grabbed her. Later Chuck told me he couldn't hear what I said to Michelle—and he was right there—his hand on her gun hand. Lou walked her back into the compound and Chuck took me for a walk. He didn't try to talk 'til we came back.

Now that it's over all I remember is what I was thinking while I was sketching the hen—"I haven't had chicken since I was a child. I miss it."

When Chuck and I got back from our walk there were a couple feathers clinging to the underside of the hedge, and some maroon black spots in the dirt.

Chuck and I filled out breach of protocol reports and an endange[r]ment complaint. She's being evaluated.

[label] curious, tilting her head.

International Fake Journal Month is Winding Down



Above: the April 18 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


There are 4 more days (if you count today, and today isn't over yet) left in IFJM. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (OK, maybe I won't say it again, as time is really short now), there is still time to keep a fake journal.

Take a lovely sheet of watercolor paper and tear it down into halves or quarters. Take one piece of that, fold it in half and you have 4 pages on which you can sketch and paint. On the 30th when you finish the fourth page you can cut and fold a colorful cover out of cardstock and sew or staple them together down the center.

Simple isn't it?

Also, you still have time to enter the IFJM contest.

Several people have written to me to tell me they are keeping a fake journal, but they haven't told me if they are posting it, and if they are posting it on their blog or other internet site they haven't said if they want to enter the contest.

If you are posting your fake journal somewhere else and would like to enter the contest without posting here you can certainly enter simply by sending me a URL to your post. Just sent an email to me at rozjournalrat@gmail.com with the subject line: IFJM Submission. Your URL for your image should be in the body of the text.

The contest deadline is May 1, noon (CST).


Here is the text for the April 18th entry in my fake journal:
Verso to recto with main text entry, followed at the end with transcription of labels:
09.04.18 7:30 p.m.
Sunny with cloudy periods, 70 degrees F and breezy.

Now I've really done it just by sitting here on the fence. I was hoping turkeys would strut by—out of the bushes comes this domestic chicken. I suppose it's some sort of Bantam…I don't know anything about chickens—and then there was Lou just getting back with Morgan form theri asig[n]ment (Minnehaha Falls) and he started tsk-tsking as if the chicken's appearance were my fault. Michelle suddenly appeared telling everyone to get inside. If I hadn't been blocking her line of fire she would have shot it. Chuck stepped in to remind her of protocol. She stomped off to find Roger and I kept sketching. Bell and Ted finally joined me—but from a more distant vantage oint—sketching and taking photos.

She's way too tame and well fed to not be an escaped domestic. An illegal. I guess that does scare me, because we don't know to whom she belongs. Who's out there breaking the law?

Michelle just showed up with Roger in tow. He said let it be. For now. No feeding it—as if that would happen with this lot! A reprieve for now. (8 p.m.)

[labels; left to right]
lovely rivulets of shadow cascading down her neck.

Yellow orchre [sic] and orange tinges in the white feathers.

bend here under cover of feathers.

great thick pale yellow white legs ending in thick "ankles" and fat toes.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The April 17th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal


Above: the April 17 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I'm fascinated with the feet of Canada Geese, and I've allowed my fascination to spill over and become one for my fake journal's author. Sharing some likes and dislikes is a simple way for me to let my real life feed into the fake journal, making the latter easier to keep up.

It's down to the wire now. I have 5 blank page spreads left in my fake journal—one for each remaining day in April. Later this afternoon I'll take a few minutes to do today's page spread. I've been keeping my time involvement down in the 30 to 50 minute range. The most time is spent on the text because my life is always filled with birds. Friday I was surprised by a Pileated Woodpecker on my bike ride—that event made its way into my fake journal, but more on that when the page comes up chronologically. It is always good to be open to any sketching possibilities. Visual journaling keeps you alert to your surroundings for "raw material."

Also, on this day I had a headache that was quite severe and this got folded into the fake journal. Sometimes the fake journal is a good place to escape from such realities, but on other occasions if it means giving up working on a project or working on the project at the best level you can, I think scaling back your expectations and doing "parts" is preferable than taking a pass. Afterwards it also feels better to push through the physical impediment.

While there are only 5 days remaining in International Fake Journal Month, it still is not too late to keep one. A five-day journal can be a wonderful experience. Consider stepping in to try it out, to prepare and plan for next year perhaps?

The text of this page spread reads:
Verso:
sharp angle where these join
near leg
far
thinner profile to far toe
There's a flatness to the foot as it flops onto the ground taking major contour shapes from it.
Close alignment at base—pigeon-toed.

O9.04.17 4:30 p.m. East River Flats on Bike again.
April snows in Colorado today 12 inches! Here it is 70 degrees F. with sun and a bit of a gusty wind.
Recto:
This afternoon we were given a half day off to explore on our bikes…get used to them. Fleck is greatly subdued, and staying eactly where Chuck wants him. Fleck's natural fears, put aside by the enjoyment of being out yesterday are now back in force. I helped him fill out some of his charts. Then he took photos while I sketched. I've had a headache all day so I focused on parts. It's all interesting. I'm hoping we get our assignments in the next couple days. I'm getting a bit claustrophobic at the compound.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Look into Trudi Sissons' Fake Journal



Above: A page from the 2009 fake journal of Trudi Sissons (©2009 Trudi Sissons). Click on the image for an enlargement. Read below for additional information.


Trudi Sissons wrote a couple days ago to tell me she had just stumbled upon this blog and immediately sat down to participate. I love to hear that!

Here's what Trudi had to say about her process:
I have had an 'alter ego' for a few years now. Her name is 2 and she is the artist in me wanting a simple life with two dresses - thus the name of my blog - Two Dresses Studio. Two summers ago, I completed two workshops (no pun intended) with Nick Bantock on Salt Spring Island. He taught me to let go of my 'inner critic' and I have done a paragraph or so about the death of the IC (as in "iK') But, I realized he'd been born again when I read through some of your posts, so I thought I must have a little talk with IC.

I wasn't prepared to take on a bird, but I loved your 2009 IFJM journal, so I started with watercolor (H20 Twinklers) and mapped out a feather. My IC was alive and well, and initially even bigger than I ever recall. But slowly, Two got the best of him and eventually, the brush moved outside the lines and complementary colors went the way of the dinosaur. Well, even the feather morphed and up popped Mother Earth. You never know when you let yourself go!!!
Trudi has posted another page to her fake journal at the web link I've provided above. You can also see her photography and collage work, plenty of fun things to look at and be inspired by.

But perhaps the best inspiration from Trudi today is the way she just jumped in and didn't let the internal critic hamper her!

All of us get a little cocky sometimes. We think that we have things under control because we have been productive creatively for long periods. Then we see something, a glimpse perhaps, if not a full-blown situation, which shows us the internal critic is alive and kicking. Don't be discouraged by that quick glimpse, just use it as a check point to do diagnostics and get tuned up again. Silence the internal critic at the first whimpering or needling noise. It's faster and easier than waiting. All the time you gain is time you can put back into your art and life.

Oh, Trudi did one other thing that I have been recommending, she kept her time expenditure under an hour. Don't set out to spend hours and hours on a new project such as this. A missed session will put you overwhelmingly behind.

Remember, 15 minutes, even 10 minutes a day. That's all it takes.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The April 16th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal


Above: the April 16 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Well, in the page spread above my journal's author gets to deal with geese, one of my own personal favorites. While there are some geese back from their wintering grounds, I'm sad that the fake journal will end before the glorious time of GOSLINGS. This is one of my REAL favorite times of the year, when down-covered drumsticks march across the river flats in rowdy groups, protected by doting parents, aunts, and uncles.

Remember, if you count today you have 7 days left of IFJM and that is plenty of time to create a slim but interesting fake journal. Think about it.

Here then is the text for this page spread.

Verso page:
09.04.16 5:15 p.m. East River Flats, checking out reports that some Canada Geese had returned.

This one just stood and stared at me for the longest time.

There is an impossibility about the neck.

striations in the gray breast feathers.

Recto page:
9:30 p.m.—We got bicycles today so we can start going out to our assigned research "plots" (when they get assigned). Chuck suggested we pedal down to the river flats before dinner, to start to acclimatize—adjust. I haven't been on a bike for 20 years but it all came back—ending with the scary slide down hill to the flats entrance. Fleck yahoo-ed the whole way and kept riding up the next hill past the entrance. Now I've seen Chuck pissed off and it isn't pretty. We have to all be together.

The good news is there were a few Canada Geese at the flats. WIth luck there will be a flock to study. We might even get the assignment. I love these dinosaur birds!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anne Bray is Working away in Her Fake Journal


Above: a page spread from her 2009 altered book fake journal. ©2009 Anne M. Bray. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Anne M. Bray has written to say she is still working away in her fake Leonard Cohen journal.
"I" [meaning her journal's author] am using mostly colored pencils now, they work very well on the book's cheap paper (which is just like newsprint). This one is the 12th spread wherein I draw a map. Maps and charting my drive have become more important, now that I'm traveling in areas unknown.
I haven't been able to journal every day, but am doing a lot more visual journaling than ever before. It's also a great way to read Leonard's poems.

There's still time for you to have a bit of fake journal fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The April 15th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal


Above: the tax day spread in my 2009 fake journal. I used Ziller acrylic ink and dip pen, with only a smidge of Schmincke Pan Watercolors.

A good friend wrote to me today and asked said, "Why fake journals, it doesn't compute for me?"

It was a serendipitus note because today was the day I was scheduled to put up the fifteenth page spread in my journal: April 15, 2009—Tax Day. (Even in the alternate Minneapolis that my journal author lives in there is of course death and taxes.)

I had tried to explain to my friend, "What's the point? Why? Why anything in art: because you're drawn to it, because you have to, because it's fun, because, just 'cause." And I went on to explain some of the other points I mentioned when I started this blog.

But one thing I omitted and didn't realize until I posted the April 15 page spread. I hate April because of taxes. I hate the paperwork, I hate everything about it. I'm the type of person who likes to finish things well in advance of deadlines yet
I have learned to live with a man who likes to do taxes at the very last moment. In the past if you were to turn on the news April 15 you would typically see Dick right there at the post office at 10 p.m. in the video of people posting their envelopes. Happily, just as I have adjusted, he's adjusted a bit too and now he's typically done before dinner time.

Because of the stress of April (if you don't work for yourself with a business that has many many jobs through the course of the year, sale of artwork and books, and teaching, you cannot believe the paperwork and I keep current all year long) I have always had special projects in April so that I can move from work right into a very intense and demanding, yet fun and engaging project. One that can be interrupted often to answer questions as required, or provide additional copies of some receipt or other. (Interruptibility is key, but deeply engaging at the same time.)

One year I wrapped various body parts in sculpting wire and attached them to boards to make a series of self-portraits in 3-D. Other years I would do a daily series of paintings. But since 2001 it seemed simplest to just shift my fake journaling to April.

Some people might find that adding another task to your day makes this month even more stressful, but I find that the additional task helps me focus all my work better.

So there are many reasons I like to keep fake journals upon occasion, but April offered an additional appeal. And of course I love any excuse to have buttons and t-shirts.

There are nine days left for people containing their fake journals in April. I'm off to do today's entry. If you haven't started yet and want to give it one last sprint there's still time. Why? Just 'cause.

For people reading the text on my pages, the spread above reads:

Verso to Recto:
09.04.15
Another day close at the compound. Roger has been making assignments. Nothing yet for me, Chuck, and Fleck.

Funny how some things never change. Tax Day. The mood is subdued. I took advantage, before coming here, of the corps' accounting network. I'm filed. Several folks here were up late last night doing paperwork. And Chuck was one of them! In an unguarded moment he let slip that he has two sons (5 and 8) and a wife in Seattle. Why she doesn't file I don't know. The courier comes at 8 p.m.

Michelle said she'd baby sit me while I sketched so he'd have more time. Frankly she frightens me with her gung ho attitude. I sketched this bunny feeding—inside the compound. A good choice because it was obvious right [a]way she was impatient to be inside.

light hitting the side of the bunny making an edge of brilliantly light fur. This bunny has a split ear too but no myxomata!!?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Question of Historial Fake Journals


Above: this is the page spread from April 14 in my 2009 IFJM journal. I used Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


A number of folks have been writing to me and telling me that they are keeping historical fake journals. Their authors are living in past times (no one has written to tell me they are writing a future fake journal, but I'm sure one of you is doing that!).

International Fake Journal Month was originally conceived to celebrate and facilitate the creation of fake journals in the month of April, in the present year. This construct was hit upon, simply because it was what I was always doing in my own fake journals at the time.

I see the historical fake journal as a subcategory of fake journals and want to encourage anyone who has a predilection for writing about the past (or future) to keep on writing and drawing.

The point of the project has always been to get people to journal more and with greater ease.
By writing a fake journal in a contemporary setting the originator of that journal only has to focus on his journal author's character and artistic style and it simplifies the process. Adding historical distance, for some folks can be a detail nightmare, requiring research and planning, and extra thought to avoid anachronisms and other such pitfalls in historical work.

But for some people there is great charm and fun in doing the research involved in doing an historical fake journal. Things that would bog down other folks, actually free up the mind or engage the mind of the historical fake journal originator.

There is another advantage that might lure some folks into the historical arena—the shifting of TIME as well as place (or dimensions) gives an added level of distance from the author of the journal. This translates into greater freedom for the historically minded. This actually allows them to create a better barrier against the internal critic that might stop any journaling effort.

So if you decide to keep a fake journal, whether you fall into the contemporaneous or historical camp is simply a matter of how best your journaling impulse will be served. Either way, have fun speaking in the first person voice of your journal's author.

Text on April 14 page spread:
Left to right across the top of the spread:
09.04.14 4:30 p.m.
Must have been 59 degrees F today. Sunny with a slight breeze. I was dying to be outside but after last night's fiasco that was not allowed. Only got to sit on the fence and sketch what came by—so what a delight it should be another confirmed sighting of Robins! Two A breeding pair with luck. They bopped around too fast. I can't get their proportions.

Bottom Verso:
closer
can't see the feet clearly because they are the same gray color of the asphalt.
Roger said that lock down last night was because there were non-registered "transients" in the area. Lou, Hopper, and Chuck went out first thing this morning. Some dead pigeons and 4 dead turkeys—remains in a fire pit on Ontario—no other damage or activity. They cleared it all up. I'm still pissed they didn't eat the damn birds!

Bottom Recto:
Shorter
angled out flat
longer just off the page
Fleck too[k] a ton of photos of the 2 robins hopping about. 2 witnesses (on the 7th) are great—but headquarters loves photography for sightings of this nature.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The April 13th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal



Above: this is the page spread from April 13 in my 2009 fake journal. I'm using Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


On this day I stopped to see friends who feed ducks and was able to sketch, thus making my real life meld into my fake journal project seamlessly. (On other days I've had to plan to go somewhere to sketch, or dig out reference sketches to work from.) This page is a very clear example of how the text had absolutely nothing to do with what was around ME at the time, except of course the ducks.

Have fun playing with this.

For people reading along the text on these pages is as follows:

Verso:
09.04.13 7:30 p.m. Mallards in the vacant lot adjacent to the compound.
Bulge

Oddly thin and narrow here

black or darkish triangle at tip of bill

Breast has plum tone but is much darker brown

couldn't wait for the was to dry. Chuck insisting I come in now.

dark orange red legs and feet

grass hiding the feet which are moving too quickly

The colors are impossibly graduated. The grays across the back look like a grayscale chart, smoothly blending.

blue accent on wing
Recto:
It's 8:30 now and I still don't know what the fuss was. Chuck got us all in lock down and he's outside with Hopper and Lou.

There is a navy blue and emerald look to the neck as it shifts colors

Breast mush darker

with magenta and emerald green

with transp. yellow and magenta

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Exploring Orange and Other Thoughts for Fake Journals


Above: the April 12 page spread in my IFJM journal shows some turkey studies. (Ziller acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke Pan Watercolors.) I was working with one of my favorite Schmincke colors: Translucent Orange. Click on the image for an enlargement.


I have been working with Schmincke pan watercolors throughout this fake journal and that has given me time to reconnect with one of my favorite Schmincke colors: Translucent Orange. Just after painting this page I happened to talk to my friend Diane about using this color and she went off to experiment with it on her own. You can read about her experiments on her blog.

One of the opportunities created when you keep a fake journal is the freedom to use new materials, new media, new colors, new papers, new whatever, that you might not venture into in your regular journal. Sure you might take time to experiment in your regular journal, but the fake journal can actually offer an opportunity for intense scrutiny and focus on just a few tools and art materials. (Conversely if you always use the same materials in your regular journal a fake journal can give you permission to let go.)

If you're still on the fence about keeping a fake journal this April realize that there is still plenty of time to turn a fake journal experience into a focused artistic study. Select a slim blank journal of your making or a commercial journal, or take a few pieces of watercolor paper and fold them into a pamphlet book as I mentioned the other day. For the remaining days of April spend just 15 minutes a day as an artist who is experimenting with one type medium, doing color studies, doing line work, whatever.

In those daily 15 minutes put that person's hat on and really run that chosen art material through its paces making charts or making swatches of color or line hatching or whatever. You can throw in a few bits of commentary from your author about why he/she is focusing on the paints, or commentary about his/her life.

This approach will appeal to all those folks whose internal critics are still telling them there's no value in this type of play (or in any play at all). When you finish April you'll not only have a fake journal you'll have a useful reference journal of your 10-day exploration of a new medium or tool.

Have a go.

For people reading the text in my fake journal it reads:

Verso, labels at the base:
There's an olive cast to the brown of their feathers. Trans. Orange and Helio Blue can work into this.

Pinky peachiness to legs
Slightly greater distance between feet.
Recto:
09.04.12 5 p.m. Sitting on the compound fence
All hell broke out last night at dinner. People shouting about being exposed to unknown "pathogens" (Which I didn't think was the correct way to phrase it—but I stayed out of it completely!) So did Chuck. Alec and Angie were the most insistent and even though I was silent they kept looking over at me like it was my idea to go to the zoo. I've been lowkey all day today—scarce. Chuck and I did target practice. And I got some more turkey observation time in just now before dinner. Everyone else is using their free time to register written complaints—except Chuck of course who's here with me.
Labels:
Propotions on this sketch work as corected below. Large eye in relation to head. Body angle and carriage like this

Move down. This leg needs to be longer—on same level line from and [sic] toe of rear foot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The April 11th Page Spread in Roz's 2009 Fake Journal



Above: the page spread I did on April 11 in my 2009 fake journal was based on a sketch I did earlier that morning at the Como Zoo during Sketchcrawl. Click on the image for an enlargement. The sketch was made using Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke Pan Watercolors.


After a long day at SketchCrawl on April 11 I still needed to complete my page spread in my IFJM journal. See the sketch I based this page spread on in my post about "Mining Your Sketchbooks for Inspriation (Again)."

This is an example of how you can let something in your real life spill over into, be useful in, or be reinterpreted in, your fake journal.

For people reading the text of the journal it's as follows:

Reading from verso to recto:
09.04.11 55 degrees F, sunny, a slight breeze making it chilly in the shade but I want to think Spring is here.

A reward for another week of orientation meetings: we were loaded into the station's large van and taken to the research labs at old Como Zoo. They have the last remaining black-footed penguins and are trying to get the small population to breed so that they can do more experiments. The outlook is grim. This penguin seems to have some sort of autoimmune response and is experiencing a super molt (sp?) and loss of pigmentation. The director hinted that the remaining birds might have to be destroyed before they can be useful.

There is also destruction of the beak. A sort of cracking which leads to painful/difficult eating, which causes listlessness, lack of interest in eating and death, so far of 4 birds…

This one still has his pink eye skin and head colors but feathers, where they are coming in are a liver-colored brown outside of any recorded normal variant.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tenth Page Spread in Roz's Fake Journal


Above: the April 10 page spread from my 2009 fake journal. Again I used Ziller Acrylic ink, dip pen, and Schmincke Pan Watercolors. Click on the image to view and enlargement.

I tend to use the page in my regular visual journal in a number of different ways, sometimes leaving a lot of white space, sometimes filling every inch with color and writing. Other folks tend to have a particular and uniform way of approaching their journal pages: a single image bounded by a box, set in the middle of a page with a bit of writing below that, for instance.

With a fake journal it's the perfect opportunity to bust out of a pattern and try something new. If you tend to stay on one page in your regular journal take the opportunity to explore other page use options in your fake journal. Work across the gutter like I did in the page spread above. Use the whole page like I did on April 3 and 8. Focus on one drawing, or make a composite of many drawings. Let your visual artist explore all the possibilities you don't try in your usual journal, whatever they might be. Maybe for that author/artist there is something to be said in finding a pattern? Through circumstance (her supplies are lost at the beginning of the month) my journal's author is using the same supplies (Ziller acrylic ink, a dip pen, and Schmincke pan watercolors) throughout the month. While these are all materials I use regularly it is very rare indeed that I stick with the same materials day after day. A book filled with drawings executed with the same tools is quite satisfying in a totally different way.

For people reading the text it is as follows: Verso page:
Today another day of orientation, explanation of tasks. Since there are no new people on the teams—everyone has been in the field at another location, it was a straight forward and rather boring day. Roger suggested that we all stay close to the compound today so I spent more time with the turkeys, watching them through the chain link fence, Chuck nearby (maintaining what I believe he believes is a discrete distance—or useful vantage point? [closing parens omitted]

09.04.10
4:30 p.m. Another brilliantly sunny spring day. 50 degrees F. Flowing and not flowing I still have not got the hang of this new nib.
Recto page:
So how is this not like a vulture?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 16, We've Passed the Halfway Mark


Above: the April 9 page spread from my fake journal, which I've been posting chronologically so you can read along. Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and washes with Schmincke Pan Watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

We've passed the half-way point in International Fake Journal Month. Fifteen more days to go. If you haven't started a fake journal there is still time to do so. Don't be overwhelmed with the project. Break it down into something simple that you can cope with easily. Perhaps you are needing a bit of a break after filing your taxes? Well set aside next weekend to go on a fake trip. Every 2 hours or so over the weekend take 15 minutes to make a quick sketch in a small journal. Say something about where your journal author is and what he's up to. All the regular guidelines for normal journals apply: don't worry if it isn't profound, don't worry about perfect, just keep moving forward.

In 2001 I needed to make a sample journal for a family class (adults and kids) I was teaching. We were going to use black text pages and gel pens. It was a simple pamphlet stitch book which you can see at the link provided. I ended up with a book filled with delightful, simple sketches of things that were happening or items that were around me, including a second Daily Dot for the day in GEL PEN!

Perhaps, if you want to use black text pages (I recommend Arches Cover black, Rives BFK black, or Somerset which also has a black) you could stick in photos you digitally altered on the computer and write fake captions about the day's happenings (hey, that sounds like a lot of fun, maybe I'll do that next year). Or put in newspaper clippings, things that are important to the journal keeper (not you!).

If you use white or cream pages maybe you keep it simple by only using pen, or pencil, or only using 3 colored pencils (a red, blue, and yellow) throughout.

The most convincing fakes are the simplest.

If you have been keeping a fake journal all month, fantastic, congratulations we're half-way through. If you're just starting, great! Happy plunge. There's plenty of time left.

Also, if you haven't already visited my regular blog today, go and see the cool IFJM pin my friend Linda made for me this year! I talk about supporting friends.

For people reading along the text on April 9th's spread reads:

Verso:
09.04.09 4 p.m. Back to the Target Parking lot at Minnehaha. Fleck came and collected samples.

It's official. I'm considered an albatross. It came out a[t] lunch. Alec let it drop. Explains how distant everyone has remained. People wonder about Gordie's death rather than ask. And I'm not the first artist to lose a partner. I'm surprised—the scientists are more superstitious than the artists. The safety officiers [sic] seem only slightly uncomfortable around me…perhaps because they deal in what they can control.

When Alec brought it up Chuck simply smiled and kept eating—shrugged it off.

He lets me get my work done, makes sure I have personal time. I can't ask for more than that.

[label] longer legs
Recto:
I borrowed a different nib from Ted. The other was clogging too much…this one isn't as responsive but I'll see what I can do with it on this paper for awhile.

[labels]
Stretching forward cawing—
really stretching the neck out.

These are too long.

Yes!!

Feet hidden by tail if made right length

white bars and dots on tail

use for bird above!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eighth Page Spread in Roz's Fake Journal



Above: the 04.08.09 entry for my fake journal. Still working with Ziller acrylic ink, a dip pen, and Schmincke Pan Watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


Here's a particularly ripply and crunchy page with every spec of it painted over. I couldn't resist letting great puddles of color slide down the water resistant pages. I'm going to do more journals in these Alvin field books!

For folks reading along the text from verso to recto page reads as a whole:
09.04.08 4:30 p.m.
It's 8:30 p.m. now. I sketched this male cardinal when Chuck took me out on my constitutional. So he has at least one redeeming characteristic—he'll wait patiently while I sketch even when we're off the clock.

This guy was puffed up and singing mightily to attract attention when we left. When we returned 45 mins. later he was up close and personal with a lovely beige brown female. He looked—if possible, even more full of himself.

At dinner Fleck informed me that Cardinals mate for Life. (So was this a first date today or a reunion?) Females, however, will let multiple males mate with them. DNA tests from eggs or chicks in one nest have shown multiple fathers. Clearly someone doesn't understand the whole "mate for life" concept.

I need access to a specimen for measuring before I can do any completed sketches of this bird. They aren't something I studied. I need to separate the feathers from the skeletal stucture.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Seventh Page Spread in Roz's Fake Journal


Above: the April 7 entry in my 2009 fake journal. I'm still using Ziller Acrylic ink with a dip pen and applying washes of color with Schmincke pan watercolors. This scan was made the day the page was painted and it no longer looks like this. Paint from a later page spread has spread onto the page through the gutter, adding a rorschach test of changed colors. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

On this page spread there is a poem quoted in its entirety. We don't know if this is something the author just read or something she had in her mind because of the events of the day. Inclusions like this are another way to add elements to your fake journal that tell us something about its author.

Depending on your author's access to media you might include newspaper and magazine clippings, or comments about internet or television news. What info does your author have access to?

The text on the page spread reads as follows:

Verso Page:
NOT THE BIRD
but the shadow of the bird
flying
poem by Ken Mikolowski
[note the poem is quoted with attention to c/lc and line breaks]

American Robin thought to be extinct (Detroit—November 16, 2008)
And I saw one today! bobbing all over the vacant field outside the compund fence. Even Chuck allowed that this was quite an event. Glad to be in Minneapolis now.
Recto Page:
09.04.07 5:30 p.m.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sixth Page Spread in Roz's Fake Journal


Above: the entry for day 6 of my 2009 fake journal shows pigeons. Ziller Acrylic ink and dip pen, with Schmincke pan watercolors. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Read below for a transcript of the text.

I'm posting my pages in order so people following along won't be more confused than necessary.
When you read the text on this page you'll see that the person writing the journal has work relationships and a hierarchy at work.

While it makes sense in the situation in this journal, for her to have a note about this, because she is in a new place and just meeting these folks for the first time, remember that this is a useful way for your author to bring in information about his work situation.

You will have to be a bit more subtle about it if your author has been in a situation a long time, i.e., an organizational chart isn't something we just write down everyday in our journals. But we do make comments about our colleagues and through those comments you can get in the information you feel is important.


Why incorporate these types of details? Well first of all it makes the process more satisfying. Journaling of any kind is always best when details, observed and written, abound. Keeping a fake journal is actually training for keeping a more useful real journal!

Next, incorporating these types of details helps get onto the page the thoughts that are swimming in your head about this character, so that years from now you won't sit there and wonder what was up with that author.


Even if you intend to have no one else ever see any portion of your fake journal take a few minutes today to find subtle ways to work in more details about that author's life, people in that life, his attitudes, etc.


We don't tend to note down things that are stable and unchanging, so your push to include such details might propel your author to a turning point in his life.
Working through that turning point for him might tell you, when the dust settles and the book closes, a little bit more about your own attitudes, goals, thoughts, life. So give it a try.

Text on the page spread is as follows:

Verso page top to bottom (note: I can't do tables in this window):
09.040.06 5:30 p.m.
Rober made final assignment of teams today at orientation wrap up:
[listed as artist, safety officer, science officer with team number]
1 Ted Miller, Burton (Hopper) Crane, Angie Reed; 2 Morgan Wright, Lou Letz, Alec Grant; 4 Bill Barra, Michelle Kennedy, Nelson Witney; Chuck and I stay together and get Fleck (Fletcher nelso) for science. We're 3

Ink keeps bleeding and muddying up the irridescent colors.

Recto page top to bottom:
Ted said I could keep the supplies I've been borrowing as long as necessary. He's got enought paper for final projects. He always travels with his materials, for just this reason.

I don't know what to make of Fleck, he's 20-something and full of a false bravado…evident in the way he stays close to whatever safety officer happens to be on hand. Chuck seems to like him, they already have code words and shared jokes.

I took a break before dinner to sketch some of the pigeons in the old park on Erie. They cluster together…watchful. Their cooing reassures me. Their red-orange eyes have a yellow core, mesmerizing…or would be if they didn't seem so vacuous.

eyes bulge out

Chuck: "They're flying rats." I don't see it that way—messengers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Keeping Your Momentum Going


Above: A photo of my fake journal at the end of day 11 (yesterday). You can see how the pages are rippling beneath the watercolor use, but unlike other lightweight papers this water resistant paper is really sturdy. The book won't even close unless you put something on top of it. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


We're on day 12 of International Fake Journal Month. Time to talk about momentum.

Yesterday was International SketchCrawl day and to celebrate I met with a bunch of "sketchy" folks at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. You can see a photo of the group and as people get things scanned, some sketches from the day, at Twin Cities Sketchers. (Later today you'll also be able to see some of my thoughts on SketchCrawl at Roz Wound Up.)

I bring up this event here to make an encouraging point. It was a long and busy day of sketching—I participated in the full day, arriving at Como at 9:50 and leaving just minutes before 4 p.m. so I could get to Cafe Latte for cake! Despite the refreshments at Cafe Latte I returned home at 6:45 p.m. a bit dehydrated and very, very tired. (I've been recovering from an ankle and foot injury—walking and standing all day was a bit strenuous.)

I had one more task to do, however, before I could rest: I still had not done a day 11 entry in my fake journal.

I believe in being kind to yourself. Sometimes you just have to say "enough." But there is also a point where you have to push yourself even if you think you are really tired, even if you know you aren't going to get the best page ever. Sometimes it is just important that you work through the task, accept the results and move on, because all of those steps make you more prepared for the next task, better prepared. (And this is true of things beyond journal pages.)

That was the way it was yesterday. I had a page spread quota to meet and I was going to meet it. Instead of diving right in I drank 3 glasses of water and put my feet up for 30 minutes. Then I drank some more water and launched into the page spread.

I actually turned to my real journal for help in accomplishing this task. I needed a reference for a penguin and I had just spent time at the zoo sketching them. I based my fake journal sketch on my penguin work earlier in the day (I'll write about this later when I am showing page 11 in order).

I ended up with a drawing I was really pleased with, and more time to really absorb what I had seen at the zoo, when I was sketching the penguins.

So, I want to encourage you, even if you are exhausted from other events during your day, even if your family has been pulling you in all directions, even if you think you are too tired to draw one more drawing, just go for it. You'll be pleasantly surprised. And your internal critic will be very pissed off.

Something to think about, when that internal critic starts harping on you about your fake journal (or any project for that matter that plays out over time)—how can you talk back?

If you look at the photo of my fake journal at the start of this post you can see that the pages are starting, at day 11, to add up. Take heart in that. Point it out to your critic if you have to.

When I am involved in a long-term daily project, whether it is a year-long project (like my Correspondence Labs project when I wrote a letter a day), an on-going project like my Daily Dots (which after the first year I had no idea how long it was going to last), or a month-long project like A bird a day painting project or the IFJM journal, I break things down into to component parts—weeks, months, even hours if it is a weekend project. Then I look at what I have already accomplished and tell myself, hey, I'm 1/8th of the way finished, or I'm 1/3rd of the way finished, or whatever.

Last night I looked at the fake journal sitting on the scanner where I had left it, sprung open, unable to keep itself closed. My first thought was how yummy the pages were with all the crinkles. My second thought was, that's 10 days down, I'm already 1/3rd of the way through. If I do my 11th spread today I'm over that hump.

I didn't need to talk to myself any more about it. Sure, I can think of a couple scenarios where I would have given myself a pass, but I'd really have to struggle to think one up.

Here's the deal, and I want you to think about this if you are working in your fake journal (or any journal for that matter, or any project) and thinking about stopping, and letting it go:

It is always easier to just do a thing than to spend any time talking yourself out of it.

In other words, in the amount of time you might spend talking yourself out of doing your project you actually could have finished it.

Which would you like to look back on at the end of the day? All of the time you wasted talking yourself out of something, or all of the stuff you finished?

Don't worry about the quality of that stuff. There are good days and bad days. There will be days when you look at your work table and want to cry because it all looks like crap. But don't cry on those days. (In fact don't cry period.) Just keep on going because all those pieces are merely the cost of keeping current, the price you pay for doing a little bit better tomorrow. The entry fee which is non-refundable, but does pay back with interest even if you don't notice it a first.

If you put in your time there will also be days when you look at your work table and want to cry because something there is more beautiful than your last piece, better than anything you have ever done. (Don't cry then either, just keep working!)


Today, even if you are tired, even if you are busy enjoying the wonderful spring weather, take 10 minutes and work in your fake journal (or your regular journal). Make an investment.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Fake Journals: Jana Bouc Sent in a Sample!

Above: journal page artwork ©Jana Bouc. Read more about her fake journal adventure below. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Jana Bouc has written to share her fake journal with me and enter the contest. She has a great idea on how to build her fake journal. I think it is always a great idea when you can make the fake journal have a game or playful aspect to it and she has found an interesting exploration tool, linking music and self-discovery that will help to keep her fake journal author motivated all month. (I love that all the songs have the same title.) Here are Jana's comments:
I’m filling a journal this month as a woman who doesn’t know who she is and is trying to find out. (Maybe she’ll learn how she lost her memory too.) I started by Googling “Who Am I” and clicked the first link, a YouTube video by Casting Crowns which inspired the rose and waves besides my pondering self.

Since Google led me to a song, I followed that lead to iTunes and found more than 100 songs named “Who Am I.” I shall play detective, listening to each song, reading the lyrics looking for clues to who “I” am. I'm looking forward to Snoop Dogg's "Who Am I" day. As I write and draw what I learn I’ll fill the journal and by the end of the month may have discovered my true identity.

I'm also pasting the lyrics to the songs in the journal and have exported the list of songs and artists from iTunes to an Excel spreadsheet to better track which I've used.

If the text is unreadable it says:

"Who am I? I am a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow, a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind."


Friday, April 10, 2009

Fifth Page Spread from Roz's IFJM Journal


Above: Day five in the month and it's an image of a dead Downy Woodpecker. (Ziller acrylic ink with dip pen, Schmincke pan watercolors, in the Alvin Fieldbook.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As the caption says, this is my journal entry from day 5. I've been doing a page spread a day and as of today (April 10) have nine completed, with plans to sketch later today. If I keep the one-spread-a-day pace I will completely fill the book, which would be fun.

I will post a photo of the completed journal at the end of the month because you really need to see this thing, it is warped and bulging beyond belief and makes the most wonderful crinkly noise when I flip the pages. (OK, I'm easily amused.)

For people who are reading along the text reads as follows:

Top of the page spread, across both pages:
09.04.05 4:30 p.m. Brilliantly sunny but he breeze makes me feel the chill. I'm still wearing my fingerless gloves when I'm outside.

A day of rest for Chuck means practice at the shooting range. He was pretty snide when he reminded me safety officers always trump artists. What do I resent most—the time spent on target practice developing skills I don't want and don't need if I have Chuck? The exposure to loud noises? The exposure to Chuck's dried fruit farts—he lives on dried fruit! All of the above?

I do like the 38 he picked out for me. It's light enough. I'm accurate with it. "It's hand-eye coordination," he said, "I'd expect it. It's what you do all day long." But my hand was still shaking when I drew this woodpecker…but I had to get some drawing in today. Used my loupe.

Hope it stands up to freezing.
Additional side notes Verso page:
JD-MPLS-090405A
requested held in freezer
until released.

Dead Downy Woodpecker found on sidewalk at 635 Erie. (Male symbol.)
Yellow ochre bits with gray black flipside. Need my gouache to work on this properly…Downy white feathers lining lower lid and part of the upper lid. Eye socket all skin.
Additional side notes Recto page:
Need to lay in a gray base and then layer feather pattern in. Wisps of white some very dark shadow areas.

grayish.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

An IFJM Contest



Left: T-shirts and a button will be awarded in the IFJM Contest. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Today I'm celebrating 6 months of daily posting on my blog Roz Wound Up.

It seems the perfect time to have a contest related to International Fake Journal Month. And that's exactly what I'm doing.

Please go to my post on Rozworks today, to check out the procedure for entering. It's not complicated, but there are some very specific guidelines you need to follow.

Whether or not you take time to enter the contest I hope that you are enjoying your fake journal experience. Take a moment to keep me posted on how it went at the end of the month.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Look into Anne Bray's Fake Journal



Above: A page spread from Anne Bray's 2009 Fake Journal, ©2009 Anne M. Bray. Read below for details. Click on the image to view an enlargement.


Anne Bray sent in the above page spread from her 2009 fake journal. (Note that when you visit her blog, some of the page spreads will have adult content. Her entries have been inspired by the poems.)

She explained she is

repurposing Leonard Cohen's "Stranger Music" while "I" [the author of the fake journal] follow his spring 2009 tour—"I" may even continue this into the summer when he goes to Europe. This was my 2nd page spread, I am still working out media—I found the gel stick pen is a little too harsh and bleedy for writing on the back side of pages, though it looks good.
I’m having a blast going on a fantasy road trip. So far, the tour is on roads I’ve traveled many times—when they get to Canada, it’s to places I’ve never been, which will be even more fun. Journaling a parallel life has given me permission to draw from my memory or imagination (saguaro scene)—something I never do "normally." I’m also allowing myself to do "whatever"—doodles, patterns, illustrations of Leonard’s poems, experiment with media—all very liberating.
It's great to hear that the experience has been a positive one for Anne. I loved seeing the first page spread she put up on her blog. I love the simple and free sketches that she is doing in the pages of this book of Cohen's poems. Anne will finish the month not only with a fake journal but an altered book journal. Double fun!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some More Thoughts on Fake Journals



Above: the fourth page spread in my IFJM journal. Ziller Acrylic ink with dip pen; Schmincke pan watercolors. Alvin Field book with water resistant pages. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Something to consider as you go along in your fake journal—what are things that you can include which are "normal," and give a sense of life as usual even in unusual circumstances? For instance the person keeping the journal presented here is a voracious reader, frustrated by the lack of reading material. This isn't stated in the journal yet and perhaps won't be. But one of the things this person does is note down quotations from material that she is currently reading (e.g., a quotation from the New Yorker on April 2).

What do you do normally in your journals? What types of things do you note down? Weather, books, news items? Are these things of interest to the author of your fake journal? If so consider including some of them from time to time. If these items don't interest your author, what items do? No one keeps a journal without pet interests (even if that pet interest is a pathological self-interest). Consider what those interests are for your author and let them appear in your fake journal. This creates "normalcy" and creates a new reality.

You'll also notice in my pages that I'm not concerned about misspelled words or crossings out. Of course this doesn't bother me in my real journal either, so maybe that's not saying much. My point is, don't let worries about spelling and such slow you down.

At the start of this post you'll find the next spread in my fake journal. I didn't plan on posting all my pages from this year's fake journal, but I'm having so much fun with the paper in the Alvin Field book—then I thought, if I don't post them in order people won't get the sense of what's going on…So today at least I'm posting another in order. I would like to create a little "movie" with the pages turning at the end of the month. Maybe I can work that out. I'm buried beneath too many other projects and the idea of new software bothers me right now. Regardless of what happens at the end of the month, here at least is another installment, with a close-up crop at the end of this post.

The text of the page spread:
Across top of the spread: Roger, who looks totally worn down and used up (I read in his bio in the handouts that he's been in the corps 6 years), told me this morning there's still no word on my missing supplies. I gave him a list to send in for replacements. He laughed and said, "It's scratch as to which will show up first, the lost of the new." I just count mentally to ten and remember to breathe. I came out here to take my break with the turkeys. This guarantees peace and quiet because everyone else avoids them…even the other team artists. Maybe it's just the gruelling [sic] boredom of orientation but no one here seems very friendly
—not at all like Chicago—but since I'm sitting here alone with the birds maybe I need to ask if Chicago was all Gordie's doing?!; Second lunch bell—better jump. There's always fresh bread. The luck of drawing a Paris-trained cook!

Verso labels top to bottom: some kind of skin horn sort of wattle? look up… is this an immature tom?; splotchy skin and fine "hairs"; sun shining threw [sic] throat where stretched; *look in the old records for info on this flock and turkey related facts; 09.04.04 11: 55 a.m.; Outside the compound 2 of 6 turkeys feeding now.

Recto labels top to bottom: more stiff feathers and brown…less blue face skin; 12.05 p; not standing as still much more cautious very dishevelled—everything here is dishevelled. Is the fluffing of the neck fear? warning?

Right: Cropped close up of the turkey on the verso page. The watercolor use is clear. Also the bending of the paper which causes shadows when I scan. Click on the image to see an enlargement.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Some Points to Consider


Above: the third page spread from my 2009 fake journal. Ziller ink with a dip pen and Schmincke pan watercolors.

Several people have written in to me about IFJM and it is exciting to see the enthusiasm people are showing. Some people are posting on their blogs and Flickr sites. If you are participating and are posting your pieces somewhere please write in so that I can post a list. People ask me every day where they can see posted pages. You're sure to get encouragement to continue for the rest of the month.

In other matters there seems to be a bit of confusion for some people as to what a fake journal is. Just like a regular journal fake journals need to be written in the first person. The author of the journal is talking about what he or she is doing in the present moment: I couldn't see why Ted wanted me to take the umbrella; Rosemary may think spam is a picnic food but I sure don't.

If you are writing in the third person e.g., your journal keeper's name is Mary and you write, "Mary never understood why rain got her down," then you aren't keeping a fake journal, you're actually writing a bit of fiction. And that's fabulous too, in fact you may want to continue doing that instead of keeping a fake journal. But please be aware of the difference.

The difference is important, because journals are written in the first person (of course there may be exceptions to this because some people do walk around talking about themselves in the third person, but that's a rather strident affectation and unless you want to play with that all month and bore yourself silly, I recommend you not try that). Because journals are written in the first person, when you keep a fake journal you are giving yourself permission to be someone else and that's where part of the fun and freedom comes in. There is nothing between you and that other character because you are that character.

I hope this helps clear things up a bit for some folks who have been wondering and struggling.

Anne Bray on her blog Glutton's Progress has posted some pages from her fake journal. It's a wonderful example of writing in the first person and using an existing book (so it's an altered book fake journal). Check out her posts for April 5.

And I hope everyone who is keeping a fake journal is having a grand time of it.

Note: if you are trying to read my page spread text and can't make out all the words here's what's on the page.

Verso, top—Lots of yellows, ochres, and sienna under the gray; this ear split at top.
Verso, middle—nose not visible
Verso, bottom—a very disshelvelled (sp?) bunny; 09.04.03; 4:15 p.m.; feet not visible but white areas in that area.

Recto, top—another long day of orientation, while outside it was sunny and high 40's and brilliantly beautiful. On break—mid afternoon—I saw this bunny. He's got myxomata on his head…not visible until he turned towards me when I was through sketching him. We were told to expect this. The population is so large and with little raptor population left they have been expecting a die-off. They are also totally without fear of humans. It's not uncommon to see 10 around the compound. More meetings—
sunbleached area, this side of body