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?"


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Time to Gear Up for International Fake Journal Month 2011

It's time, if you haven't already begun, to start thinking about this year's fake journal project. You've read my post on International Fake Journal Month, what it is and what a fake journal is.

To broaden your understanding of International Fake Journal Month and the process of keeping a fake Journal I also suggest that you take a moment to read my post "To Prep or Not to Prep…"

In that post I walk you through my process of selecting my 2010 book, my testing of art materials, and how I set parameters for the project's daily activity. This overview will provide a template for your own decisions if you have not worked on a project like this before. There will always be little inconveniences, and sometimes large inconveniences, that pop up. Part of the fun of IFJM is the surprises that you're faced with on the spur of a moment. How you negotiate those surprises will give you new skills to bring back to your regular journal practice.

I harp on this a lot, so this year will be no different. Remember it is important that you consider the time commitment you give to this project. I want you to have a successful 2011 IFJM. I want you to have lots of pages at the end of April, as well as a sense of having reached something inside your journaling process. To do that, to have the best possibility for success I know that you need to keep the daily time commitment small. Thirty minutes is great, sixty minutes is pretty much the end of the world.

Fake journaling is not something that you can do on weekend journaling binges. Fake journaling, just like your regular journaling, is something that is done on a daily basis. Finding time for a fake journal on a daily basis means that you need to look at your life, your current commitments, your family obligations, your work schedule, and then make an honest assessment of how much time each day you can give to this project. Perhaps you'll do a Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule and only produce 12 entries for the month. That's huge. If that fits with your life, go with it. It is better to commit to something that is doable than to overwhelm yourself and bow out before you reach your goal—exhausted and frustrated.

If you haven't selected a journal to house your fake journal yet, I recommend that you read this post: "International Fake Journal Month Is Only 56 Days Away! In that post I walk you through some steps that will help you decide what type of journal you'll be using.

For me, because I make my own journals 99.9 percent of the time, IFJM is my opportunity to try out commercially bound journals. You have to think about things like the type of media you'll be using, and who your character is and the type of art that character will be creating. Does he need smooth paper for writing or rough paper for watercolor washes, etc. Will the art be black and white, full of color, lots of collage (so heavier weight papers for pages will work as better support), etc.

Journal size and page size are also important, both because of the type of media you're using (if you use a fine tipped pen and have an 11 x 15 inch page to fill that's a huge time commitment each day) and portability issues (will you be taking the journal with you or will it be sitting on your desk for the start or end of the day?). If you would like to use a commercially bound journal but don't know many choices, read my "Commercially Bound Journals" page at Roz Wound Up, my regular blog. That page will give you some suggestions and possibilities to which you can begin to apply your character's criteria and tastes.
What am I going to do in 2011? Currently the plan is to use a large 8.25 x 11.75 inch Moleskine, portrait, sketchbook—with those slick, yellowy pages that people always complain about. I'm thinking that I'll use acrylic paints if I can't get gouache and other media to work on the pages. I'm not doing any pre-testing of the pages, I'll just see how it goes as my character dives in. One thing I am convinced of is that this year's character does not pre-cut pages out of her journals to make room for collage on other pages, so I expect that by the end of the month the journal will start to bulge at the fore edge.

The one potential drawback to the Moleskine plan right now is that when I took the wrapping off the journal it had a rather strong chemical smell, and the smell is coming from the paper. This year I have set aside time to work in the larger format and if the pages don't air out in time, I might have to go with a different book.  There's no way I can bend my head over these smelly pages for the working time I've set aside. I have a landscape format watercolor paper Moleskine of the same size that I could use. I am not fond of the landscape format (and I wanted to use those slick pages), but I bought that book 2 years ago and it has aired out.  We'll see.
If you've read this introductory material and have selected your book to work in, take a moment to read "Get Ready, Get Set—Now Throw Out All Your Prep…" This post is a sort of final pep talk for participants last year, and the information still applies.

Whether you are a returning participant or this is your first go at keeping a fake journal, the main thing to remember is that IFJM is really, really fun. You get to leave your internal critic behind and go exploring. You get to explore not only new ideas and new character traits, but also new visual ideas and methods (if that appeals to you).

If you are going to spend 30 to 60 minutes a day for the month of April, you need to spend a little prep time now, reading the above links and becoming aware of the ins and outs of the possibilities of the project. It might be that you discover this project is not for you. It might also happen that you end up starting tomorrow (you can keep a fake journal any time, it's just that April is International Fake Journal Month and it's fun to celebrate then!).

If you do decide that this project if for you, I look forward to hearing from you about how the project is going for you—what are your discoveries and epiphanies? Do you have a sticking point or problem you need feedback on? If you do, chances are someone else does too, so I'll try to answer as many questions as I can relating to the practice of fake journaling.

Tomorrow I'll start posting details on this year's contest–drawing. It's divided into three parts. I'll explain the entry process and announce the prizes in three posts.  And again this year, you'll be able to help spread the word by putting a small linking button on your blog. (I'll have details about that in a couple days.)

My main goal for today was to get you all thinking about picking up a new journal, and letting your character speak.

I hope it's a great 2011 IFJM for you all!

21 comments:

Carol said...

Got the book (a moleskine Japanese fanfold that was created especially for the Urban Sketcher symposium last year) and the persona (an urban Sketcher!) and ready to turn my dinky southern Californian burb into an urban experience! (Still thinking about dry media on these pages however...) I love this time of year.

Green Morning said...

Hello Roz,

I discovered your blog not so long ago, and just in time for April. I'm very excited to start my first year with you. Lots of ideas and inspirations that can't wait to get out on paper.

I will be posting all of my entries on my blog http://fakegreenjournal1.blogspot.com/

Thank you for this great idea,
Mila

Bernice said...

I'm in! Was going to write hopefully but then thought NO, that's like saying I'll try which always means it won't happen. So I'm IN. Have my characters sorted and in the process of altering a book to be their journal. Have linked to my blog
http://newlycreative.blogspot.com

Tallulah said...

Reading Mila's post set me thinking so here we are ~ my fake journal blog:
http://tallulahtripp.blogspot.com

Kim said...

How fun! I love this! I can't wait to start!

journalrat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
journalrat said...

Carol, that sounds like a fun book to work in. Go and check out the Moly_Xchange on flickr to wee what people are doing in those accordion fold books from Moleskine.

I hope you'll look at the post today (March 11, 2011) and think about entering the drawing as well.

Have fun.

journalrat said...

Bernice, GREAT!!! And that's the right attitude too. Please take a look at the post today, March 11, 2011 to see how to enter the contest and get in on the drawing.
Thanks.

journalrat said...

Tallulah, you've got the same photo id as Bernice, so maybe you are one of her other characters? Or there is a computer glitch. Either way, the more the merrier. Please follow the instructions for getting in on the contest in the March 11, 2011 post.

Have fun!

journalrat said...

Kim so glad that you are going to join in. I look forward to hearing how it goes!

journalrat said...

Mila, so great to know you are going to participate.

I hope you will enter the contest/drawing. Please follow the entry instructions listed in today's (Friday's) (sorry Mila I put in the wrong link. Friday's how to publish post is here.
http://officialinternationalfakejournalblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-enter-2011-international-fake.html

In this way I will be sure to have you in the right folder for the drawing.

Bernice said...

I signed up as Bernice and then realised that it would be more fun for my character (Talullah) to have her own blog. And the computer signed Tallulah in - I don't know how!

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

I am going to resurect my blog (begun when I really didn't have time to follow through- but that has changed) and plan to participate for the first time in the International Fake Journal... have begun working on the journal setup and have a DEFINITE persona in mind.
If you got a question from me about posting to Flickr please disregard it...I can't find it and it's moot anyway since I'm going back to blogging.

journalrat said...

Jeanette and Bernice, I hope that you will both take time to follow through by sending me a message signing up in the category you wish to participate in, following the instructions in the contest, if of course you'd like to be included in the drawing. You can of course participate without that. But I can't include you in the drawings unless you follow through as outlined.
Roz

freebird said...

Roz, that moleskine works very well with gouache. The only thing I have found that doesn't work with it is watercolor. Watercolor pencils work fine and the gouache but watercolor beads up on it.

freebird said...

Roz, I am thinking of drawing people. I don't normally draw people and it's bugging me that I don't. So, I thought I would devote this fake journal month to drawing people to maybe get me past this and to maybe even take this up for a habit. Does this fit a fake journal format? Or do I need to take on a fake persona which is even harder for me?

journalrat said...

Freebird,
You do need to take on a fake persona for it to be a fake journal (it could be you in an alternate universe but then I think you'd have other fish to fry besides learning to draw people).

I would suggest that you keep it simple and create a name for your character, and note some details about her, her likes, her hobbies, etc. and something about why she wants to learn to draw people. It can all be very close to you, but you want some distinction so that you get the mental distinction that it isn't you.

Then I would start keeping the fake journal with all that in mind, and just be her when you are working on that. This will be simple to keep up, because she could literally take over for 5 minutes while you eat lunch somewhere, and work in her journal for those 5 minutes. Yet at the same time you'll both get practice drawing people.

You'll also get help with internal critic issues if that is something you are dealing with, when you approach it this way.

I think having a goal like this is the best way to go!!! Roz

freebird said...

Okay Roz, I am in and I may be drawing people or not. It all depends on what Mitzi, the pink standard poodle comes across during the month of April. (I like the tiny poodles better but I don't plan on keeping my nose to the ground all month; at table height sounds a bit better!

journalrat said...

Freebird, great, people or not, a pink poodle will be great fun

Scrapacat said...

I'm in again. I have a separate blog this time, just for art journal entries. Fun stuff! ♥ky

Gina Lento said...

I started a story about the "elegant Lady" who used to be a French Showgirl and hung out with Renoir and ol' Edgar Degas, it was in my Sketchbook Project sketchbook that is on tour now....I never finished the story so now I am going to be her! Perfect!

My name is Colette and I am an elegant lady in society now, but I used to be a French Showgirl in Paris in the late 1880's and it would be soooo scandalous if my society friends knew....and yes, Chloe is playing the of Gigi, my French Chihuahua, LOL

Gina Lento....