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.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear 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?"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EVA and Her Thoughts about Her 2010 Fake Journal

For a wrap up on EVA's fake journal experience check out her May 11 blog post. I think you will find her breakdown of the experience helpful when reflecting about your own, or when you come to commit to next year's celebration (because I know you want to!).

EVA's spontaneous decision to participate has actually led to her starting not one but three journals! Each will serve a different purpose.

Work in her fake journal has resulted in new choices for books, paper, and materials. She is also considering how to fit the habit into her daily life.

"Knowing you only need to write 30 entries is easier than writing for a prolonged and indefinite time period," she wrote. 

I would just like to encourage EVA and everyone who might feel the pressure of a regular journal habit looming—once you have the habit it is as natural as breathing. That indefinite time period which stretches ahead of you beckons rather than intimidates. Each passing year, and the journals they produce, solidifies that creative contract. It becomes neither easy nor difficult to keep a journal, it simply is. It's natural and useful. You will come to "notice" it only when you haven't connected with it for a time. I really believe keeping a journal is one of the best things you can do for your creative life, and that's why I teach journaling.

In her wrap up EVA compared art and golf and the use of expensive materials and fancy clubs. I would also encourage EVA and everyone to buy quality art materials when you can afford them. Golf can be art EVA, but the analogy you're making doesn't hold. If you have quality materials, the ease with which your ideas will flow on to the paper will be vastly improved. Instead of fighting cheap paints with weak pigment loads that don't allow one to get the values and contrasts and verve in one's paintings or sketches one is able to begin seeing steady improvements when using quality materials. 

Two good brushes, some quality paper (for the media you elect to use) and quality paints—in watercolors 6 tubes is totally sufficient (a warm and cool of each primary) will allow great strides forward.

And the immediate benefit is that incremental and steady success will push you forward as well.

Inexpensive art materials, inferior paints, crummy brushes, student grade paper—they are all false economies. They waste your most precious resource—your time. You can't get your time back, but you can use your time to move forward in your art—to practice. It's my hope that everyone considers this as they take off on a journaling adventure. A few quality materials provide the means for starting off on the right foot—just as wearing quality shoes will enable you to go on a long and blister-free journey.

Learning new art skills can be frustrating enough—please don't add to the frustration with poor quality materials.  

Overburdening yourself with materials of any sort, quality or not can be a problem. So if getting the journaling habit and learning about art materials seems intimidating I recommend starting with only a pen and a book and sketching and learning about that pen—and getting the habit. Add other materials after the habit is present and you're in the experimental phase. 

If you are a new artist who doesn't feel worthy of quality materials, or if you feel the only way you'll be able to get out of the door with any materials at all is if they are inexpensive, by all means get out and start journaling with those materials. I'd rather you were all journaling. But please realize that improvement in your art will come when you use paints with quality pigments and heavy pigment loads, on paper that was meant to make those materials sing. Move towards that as quickly as your pocketbook allows. Because not allowing yourself hardworking tools is just one way your internal critic uses to derail you. I've seen it in students for over 20 years.

Lee Trevino could golf 9 holes under 85 strokes with a Dr. Pepper Bottle (or something like that) because he already had SKILLS. Any great artist can take crap materials and make them work for him or her. A beginner starting with student grade materials needs to move to the quality materials as soon as possible to see how real paint moves in a graduated wash, or blends with another paint, or works on a paper sized for heavy duty watercolor technique. It's joyous. The experience will feed you while you work to improve your skills.
EVA, thanks for sharing in this event, and for sharing your experience with others. Readers can land on EVA's first fake journal entry by clicking on her name in the 2010 participants list in the right hand column. Go experience her journey now.


Anonymous said...

I cannot but agree with you. I started out a couple of years ago trying watercolor with very cheap brushes. Recently I discovered that I got some very nice quality brushes in my "supplies" stock. What a difference it makes using the "better" once. I also upgrades to tube paint. There as well I feel the difference a lot.

freebird said...

I got the gouache you recommended in one of your posts on Roz Woundup and I am having fun working with them. I can't do with them what you can yet but they are so much fun on colored paper. I know I could use them on white paper too but there it is fun to see what watercolors do and for that palette I use one given by Laure Ferlita in her watercolor trip classes. If you can't afford too many good quality paints and aren't sure which to try then I think it works great to try a palette someone else uses whose artwork you like. That saves time, aggravation and money so you can enjoy using those more expensive paints without guilt or doubts.

journalrat said...

Meinhild, I just tried to leave a message about brushes and it didn't take so I don't know if I'll get a double comment—your comment made me remember my switch to quality brushes. I bought a $60 brush that represented a good portion of my disposable income at the time. It immediately changed how I painted as the wonderful hairs could hold so much paint I could work and work fluidly without stopping every few seconds. It was a delight. I felt an immediate improved connection to paint and paper. I still buy cheap brushes for techniques that are wearing on brushes, but love when I get to use the great brushes!