There is another way that you can keep your fake journal project easier to keep up with—locate your character either in your current city, or in a city that you know very, very well.
Once you establish that location it is simple for you to recount details about locations—all the little details you would write and draw if you were sitting at a café watching the world go by.
Several participants of past IFJM celebrations have written fake travel journals with great success. But it also appealed to them at the time they were writing, to do the extra research on locations so that they would have details to include.
Just as your regular journal seems more substantial and clear when you include details from your location, such as cultural events, weather, street names, descriptions of fashion, and so on, your fake journal can benefit from the same focus.
If you do decide to place your fake journal in some distant location how will you handle sketching buildings and such? Immediately you've placed yourself in the "sketch from photos" activity. Will you be happy not sketching from life for a month in your fake journal? Have you been to that location in the past and do you have your own photos from which to sketch? If you don't have your own photos will you be sketching from copyright free photos?
Something to Consider: Remember when you sketch from photos that someone else took you are actually infringing on their copyright. You might think it's OK because you aren't going to do anything commercial with your sketch, but I encourage you to always assume that you might. I can't tell you how many non-professional artists have come up to me and asked me about printing and selling cards, or paintings, etc., that they have painted from the photos of others. Time has passed and everyone tells them what a wonderful painting it is and they have decided they should do something with it. To do so legally would require that you track the copyright holder down and get permission and possibly pay a licensing fee.Let's get creative for a moment. There's another way that you can go to a distant location without using photos of that location that were taken by someone else. Your character might be the type of visual journal artist who only sketches animals, birds, desserts, food items, etc. These are all things that you can draw from life where you actually are, or from your own photos if that's how you would like to proceed.
I always encourage people who are drawing from photos to use their own photos. That way they get to set up the lighting, the composition, the central focal point—all to tell the story they are trying to tell. And just as important, they now can use that painting in whatever way they want.
You can do your location research and read up about the area, and then next to your illustration of your pigeon (who was actually a neighborhood pigeon you just fed and sketched) you can write about the life of the people around you, based on the reading research you did.
Think about location and how you want to handle it before you jump in! A little bit of planning now will make it easier for you throughout the month.