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?"


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obituaries: This Really Does Wrap Up 2011 for Roz

You can read the obituary of Hydra Seetre here.

You can read the obituary of Esther Rayde here.

Everything is put away. It's time to get back to the real journal "full time." It's also time to go for a bike ride and dream up new characters.

Wrap Up for Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

To see a video flip-through of my 2011 fake journal please the post on Thursday, May 19, 2011.

Each year I set goals for myself during IFJM. The goals relate to media that I've decided to use and the approach I'm going to use. Part of the equation is also the character I elect to explore. The character chooses the journal that I'll work in. I may have selected several to choose from, and had a "plan" of action I thought I would take, but the character steps in and takes over at that point. It seems at times that I essentially sit back and let the learning take place after that—but it isn't that passive.

Each year brings special challenges that cause the project to go in unforeseen directions. Sometimes those challenges are caused by the character, sometimes by the circumstances in which the character moves. Sometimes the challenges are external to the project and relate to my real life, work, and family.

This year I had an ambitious plan to take off most of the month of April and actually do little else but be my character. Since I knew, going into it that she was a writer and illustrator and had lots of projects going on, I also knew I would have plenty to keep me busy.

Then the imp in me took over and I decided that my character should have an internet presence for her public faces. Setting that up was simple. Feeding it, when I have trouble managing and maintaining my own internet presence was ridiculous. It sent the project over the top, but in a way which pleased me very much. (Though the nervous tic I developed below my left eye didn't please me—and I'm happy to report it finally seems to have retreated.)

The reality of my life in April, however, did not allow me to fully devote myself to this project: to the grand, large scheme. And I saw it, even before April 1, dwindle to only an hour a day of activity (in the journal, with some miscellaneous cross referencing on the blogs).

One thing about the project didn't change from the beginning, however. My character, Tyra D. Sheere doesn't explain things. She isn't a teacher. She doesn't care if people know she found this type of media difficult to use for this application or whether she prefers one brand of gouache over another and why.

I wrote "No Explanations" on a slip of paper and pasted it to the wall above my desk. Every year in IFJM I look for one aspect of my actual experience to free myself from, or to cast light on. "No Explanations" was that aspect.

As a teacher my life is about explanations—methodically setting out steps to things and communicating the ways in which materials, media, and techniques can be made to work. As a graphic designer much of my job is "teaching" the client so he'll accept the work as just what he needs.

It was gloriously freeing to have no explanations in my fake journal. Tyra was not concerned with writing out steps for anything—either so that she could do it again or so that she could teach it to someone else by making class notes out of it, whatever. (She did grumble a bit about her editors at times, though mostly on her blogs. Still it wasn't explanations.)

Part of this "no explanations" stance dovetailed nicely with the current realities of my life. I've been examining issues of my mode of expression, both in writing and in painting. But I have also been examining what it means to have contact with your brain, your memory, your skills. I have also been watching the aging process in people I love, and in myself. I have been assessing what it means to productivity and creativity, as well as things as essential as movement. I don't have answers or clear thoughts on any of this exploration yet, but I do know that I am moving back into a private mode in my journals (this happens in waves) which I am really enjoying. These private modes always in the past have come before periods of great creative productivity and I look forward to that.  “No explanations” was a great starting point for this exploration.

Let's just say, that this year's IFJM surpassed all my expectations for raising life issues that need to be addressed by me!

There is another aspect of the fake journal that remained constant from the planning phase. Tyra does not carry her journal around. I carry my journal everywhere and have the body wear and tear to show for it. This has lead to smaller journals. I love working in all sizes of journals, but I also realize that the size at which we work impacts on the art we end up with, so I do like to mix it up. Because Tyra doesn't carry her journal and her journal is large, she can put lots of bits and pieces she creates during the day in her journal.

This actually meshed perfectly with my current need to be always working on my sketching skills, to push myself. It drove the way I taught last fall's multi-session journal practice class (ending in June of this year) which deals with sketching and collage. It fuels how I am currently working in one such journal now (which is 9 x 12 inches) while I have a 6 x 8 inch journal that I carry everywhere with me in my pack.

My journal practice has always been flexible, and it is once again stretching to accommodate current needs so different from my needs 10 years ago, 4 years ago, or even a year ago. My 2011 fake journal helped to reinforce in my mind all the types of approaches I could take.

Next, because I also think of IFJM as a time to play, I started with a character who would be making stuff, specifically stuff that I also enjoy—books. This allowed me to effortlessly fold over my love of making fake book covers into the process of IFJM. 

In some ways this year's fake journal is the most personal of any I've shared. Her observational mode is most like mine. And she certainly shares my background experience (from Australia), my third culture kid sensibilities, my sense of humor, and an abundance of my interests. It seemed when she came to me that this was appropriate, since I'd planned to spend all my time with her. In hindsight the universe probably saved me from spending all my time with her.

In playing at being Tyra I forced myself to use a different palette of colors than I normally use. This provided a bit more stretch, even in the discomfort it raised. I think it is good to shake up things about our approach to art every once in awhile, whether or not we decide to be someone else to do it. I'll be exploring these different colors (more oranges, more reds) in the future, as well as trying additional departures—now I'm anxious to make time for them right away.

That's one of the great benefits of IFJM for me—it makes me crazy to get started on other new projects or new approaches. It's why I started posting about it in 2009, using the internet to draw a wider audience to IFJM. I wanted to share all the fun I was having. Sometimes the fun doesn't seem like fun at the time (2001 was a pretty dark year in IFJM for me) but when the work is done the fun always seems to rise like cream to the top. I can live with that.

Several people have asked me why Tyra had to die. The answer always seems obvious to me. She didn't have to do anything. She made choices. She went to Borneo. She played tug of war with the orangutan. As one of my real friends might say about the encounter with the orangutan, "Girlfriend, that wasn't too bright." And that action (and my friend's voice in my head) reminds me of the precariousness of everything, and the need for joy in everything, and if not joy, then gratitude. And if not gratitude then forgiveness. Because frankly we all have way too much to do to behave otherwise. And it is important that we pay attention at all times. Not in an obsessive and paranoid fashion, but in an engaged way.

Originally, as April wound down, I thought I might actually deal with Tyra next year in IFJM as well. But immediately the idea was answered with silence. She wasn't there. And when I asked my mind why, the answer came up.

Ultimately too, there is that love of narrative thread I can't escape, the Dickensian impulse which likes to wrap things up. Blend that with my own dark sense of humor and the logical conclusion is a chocolate fountain.

I have a lot more thinking and working to do because of IFJM. I'm looking forward to it. I want to thank all of your for participating, for promoting, for checking in. I love seeing what other people come up with when they give fake journaling a try. I love seeing the changes they encounter and make in their lives.

I want to thank all my friends who helped me with the creation of Tyra this year, especially Tom, who took pictures of me so that we could do Project Journal Infiltration within IFJM. (I adored all the ways participants worked out to include me in their journals—brilliance! I'm grateful and awed.) And to Dick for supporting the full throttle approach. All you need to know is that Tyra is a lot more lippy than even I am, and a lot of it spilled over into my real life.

It is my hope that each year participants gain a new insight into who they are, how they work, what they could do to take their work in a new direction, what that direction might be. I hope if you participated you found some of that. I hope that you join me next year for another go at it.

Life's so short, why live only one?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Video Flip Through Roz Stendahl's 2011 Fake Journal



If the above embedded video doesn't work please view my 2011 fake journal video at YouTube.

The video flip-through is about 8 minutes long. If you've seen enough of the journal by reading my posts and seeing the scans on this blog, and viewing the physical journal doesn't matter to you, I encourage you to still check out the final few minutes (end of the flip through and the credits) to learn a little more about my character.

I'd promised my written wrap up today as well, however, I'm between meetings and will have to post that at another time. Please check back to learn what this fake journal month meant to me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wrap Up Thoughts for 2011: Artist Debra Ripp Shares Her Thoughts


Above: One of the page "spreads" in Debra Ripp's card journal, kept for 2011 International Fake Journal Month. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Debra Ripp.
Twin Cities artist Debra Ripp created "Fisherman" for her April 2011 fake journal. I was intrigued with her use of cards to create a stack of journal cards. She had the following to say about her experiences.

When I started this project I was ready to use an old crossword dictionary, except, then I came across a pack of my former image postcards.  The size and intimacy were  a pleasure to work with, they were easy to paint over and also revealed a surface character of their own.  The most appealing aspect of this project is the idea of being someone else and I went as opposite as I could. I imagined myself as a 9-5 desk jockey turned nature nut when he decides to go fishing to escape work. For me it wasn’t about everyday recording but more a reflection of the changes in orientation and what is carried from one (office) environment to someplace (fishing lake) completely NOT his orientation. Hopefully, I am going to develop the idea much further, but I would like to express my wonder at how much this project stretched my focus and perspective toward my own work. 


Above: Another card in Debra Ripp's 2011 fake journal. The paint on the fish is stroked away in a lovely textural fashion. Click on the image and view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Debra Ripp.

I found the manner in which Debra embraced opposites so completely (including changing her gender) a delight. In fact she gives us a nice template for future fake journal plans—list what you are and go with the exact opposite! Take that internal critic!

Above: A third card in Debra Ripp's 2011 fake journal. Here she has included some collage elements on top of her painted surface. Clcik on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Debra Ripp.

The image cards Debra recycled were postcards of her own artwork. She didn't prepare the coated cardstock surface in anyway before she added her paint. The resultant peeling and textural strokes add a wonderful dimension which she loved working with. Since I've seen the cards in person I can add that the effect is also one of depth and adds interest. I was shooting in poor light on a reflective table so it isn't always clear in the photos.

I'm excited that Debra used IFJM 2011 to reflect and play with these ideas and media. I look forward to more adventures from "Fisherman." Thank you Debra, for sharing your art and experience with us.

Wrap Up Thoughts for 2011: Artist Mimi Holmes Shares Her Thoughts

Above: A page spread from Mimi Holmes' 2011 fake journal. Here her character, Emma Jane, a sixth grader, is drawing trash using pens. I did not get a photograph of the earliest pages where Emma Jane worked only in pencil. At the top of the page you'll see Emma Jane's notes. Below her drawings in red ink you will see comments by Emma Jane's teacher, Mrs. Andersen, along with a grade: a check plus or check minus. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Mimi Holmes.

I was privileged to see Minneapolis artist Mimi Holmes' 2011 fake Journal on Saturday. The lighting wasn't great, but I took a couple photos to share with you. Before we get to Mimi's comments about the project I wanted to share a little background about her fake journal with you.
If you would like to see some of Mimi Holmes' fiber art and paintings please go to  MNArtists.org and enter her name in the site's search engine. Images will then come up in a list for you to view.
Above: Another pen and ink page spread from Mimi Holmes' 2011 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Mimi Holmes.

Mimi used a large (10 x 15 inches?) scrapbook-style book (with a stab spine). She purchased it at a sale for $1.49! The price tag was still attached. Mimi's character, Emma Jane Randall was a sixth-grade girl taking part in a school drawing project. She picked up junk everyday and drew it. Later she started to take photos of it (because of a fictional teacher's request for photos). The journal is filled with her "sixth grade" handwriting which Mimi mimicked perfectly; the sketches; the teacher's comments (in a different hand); the photos; and some final reports required by the class.

Above: Another spread from Mimi Holmes' 2011 fake journal. Here Emma Jane had transitioned to drawing on the trash she picked up. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Mimi Holmes.

Here's what Mimi wrote about her experience in April:

I think I learned how to make the best of it as I progressed.   I certainly didn't know how it would turn out when I began it.
Mrs. Andersen  being so critical inspired me to have the extra credit options...  and the shows at MCM and Textile Center fit beautifully.
I knew starting out what the first three weeks parameters of materials would be: pencils, markers, liquid ink.  Didn't figure out the fourth week ( drawing on collected trash) until rather late in the game as I was hoping to do the chicken writing on found trash, but I couldn't figure out how to make that work given what had already progressed in the journal.

I'm not sure if I am disappointed or not about starting a blog and posting pages on it.  I enjoyed going to the blogs of others, but didn't leave any comments.  I worried I would not have time to post on my blog daily.  I photographed daily at first ( the whole page); then it became easier to do several pages at a time, and to photograph several days objects at a time as well.  Then resizing images on the computer!  Probably spent as much time on that as drawing.

I liked seeing it build up and amount to something over the month.  That's the key to all artmaking, I think: do  at least a small amount every day and over time it really adds up!

The color type emphasis at the end of Mimi's comments is mine. I couldn't agree more. I also think it is important to let art projects evolve. It's great to have parameters (and I suggest that here in posts on preparation) but it is important, once you get immersed in a project to let the life of the project evolve. Mimi's fake journal clearly did that, as she moved through the month and allowed her character to respond to the "task" at hand in creative ways.

Above: In this image you can see a page spread where Emma Jane was drawing on trash, along with the photos (above the journal) her teacher asked her to supply. To the top right of this image you can see some of the actual trash items that Mimi used for this project. Click on the image to view an enlargement. Artwork ©2011 Mimi Holmes.

Mimi's summation also addresses something that I think everyone needs to be aware of. It's more important to keep making the art than posting it. Sometimes it seems to me that the best way to deal with IFJM would be a simple video flip through at the end of the month, when it's all over. Each artist has to decide what works best. For some, the daily posting spurs them on. For Mimi, I know in part the posting was difficult because she had such a large book and it was difficult to scan or photograph. I dealt with a larger than normal book myself this year and was not happy with the time it added to the "business" of posting.

Thank you Mimi for participating this year and for sharing your fake journal. I love all the aspects of it and the wonderful insights Emma Jane has along the way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wrap Up Thoughts for 2011: Participants Share Their Experiences

At the end of International Fake Journal Month I always encourage participants to take a moment and write down how the experience went for them—what they might have learned, what they realized they won't be doing again, and so on. I call this debriefing. 

The following participants responded to my request and have written about their 2011 IFJM experience. Please click on a name in the list below and read their comments.

Also, Miss T. who doesn't blog, wrote her summation for posting here and I've included a link to that post in the list. For the same reasons I have since added Mimi Holmes and Debra Ripps to the list, with links to their wraps ups which were posted on this blog.

Thursday I'll post my video flip through and write up.

Now go read what people have to say about their 2011 IFJM experience:

Melinda Bilecki

Anne Bray
 
Michelle Himes

Mimi Holmes

Evie Nev

Debra Ripp

Lissa Rachelle Robillard

Jeanette Sclar

Miss T

Joan Tavolott

Note: If you participated and would like your "debriefing" including in this list please send me a link. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Final Page Spread from Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
This is the final page spread of my fake journal, completed on 4.30.2011, the final day of IFJM. For ease of viewing the image I have put a vertical version below the text (a virtual tilting of the journal so you can view it right side up). 

This is the end of the journal, completely filled to the endsheet. I will be posting a video flip through of the journal (in fact may already have done that). I will also be posting a few debriefing comments about my experience with my fake journal this year—what I learned, what I tried to do, what I couldn't get done, that sort of thing. I hope you'll check back.

The text on the recto page, which is actually the endsheet in this Moleskine watercolor book, hence the change in paper color, reads:

11 p.m. Today was my last day with Gert so I wanted to make sure I got one more sketch in. A rainy, rainy day…I went over to Roz's to return Gert because I'll be leaving soon. Roz had me stay and make books with her. I made two. She helped me and made five more—which she then gave to me for my trip! Lovely 8 x 8 inch square books with Winsor & Newton 90 lb. Hot Press Watercolor paper. I can't wait to work in them.

(Roz thought my reclining Gerts were hilarious—not an angle she's approached.)

Left: If you click on this image you can view Gert rightside up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twenty-Ninth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-ninth page spread in my 2011 fake journal. The text reads as follows:

This print is  too red—too violet… I didn't have any lights set up…
"Clicker trained" 12 x 16 inches.

April 29. 2011
9:18 p.m. the end of a long + productive day. Oscar came for another sitting and we had great fun… got lots of sketches and notes—but ultimately I went with a sketch from months ago. After Jennie and Oscar left I refined + transferred the sketch and was going to take step by step photos for my talk in Sydney (if it happens!) and I totally forgot and just kept painting. Phyth Teal and Quin Red, and titanium white, bingo bango bongo.

I'll look at it again tomorrow

But I wanted to stop before I got too fussy. Bill didn't want any more detail.

It's the last outstanding commission so I'll leave in a couple weeks with a clear work table!!

I was so giddy over finishing Oscar in no time at all, that I went outside and sat in the yard. I pretended to take notes on a small pad but actually I sketched our neighbor—he doesn't like anyone in the neighborhood, and this would piss him off…but this sketch I actually liked.

Now my mind is wondering about the neighbor. Wondering about the backstory; the coming and goings.

All day long during breaks—Prince William and Kate—Royal Wedding. I wanted to hear about Alabama. What I saw of the wedding was "pretty" and expected. What I saw of Alabama brought back memories of Goshen Indiana.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Twenty-Eighth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-eighth page spread in my 2011 fake journal. The text reads as follows:

August 28, 2011 11:45 p.m.
At 7 p.m. Gunther stopped by and made spätzel (sp?) for us and then modeled.

A completely difficult and useless-seeming day! Errands all day. Getting ready for the trip. Always great to have an excuse to go to REI and pick out a new back-pack for a trip. And to stop and get some pens and other art supplies—but no one had what I wanted. Back and Forth…

When I got home I had a ton of phone messages. The upcoming trip seems to have caused all hell to break out.

But I reminded Carol that my part in "The Everlasting Sea" is long over and "The Silent Stone" is through—she has my check of the revised pages. So I'm ready to celebrate the end of the series—especially since Pierce didn't die!

• Email Laurie to see if she can set up a school visit/talk when I'm in Melbourne. I also want to have time with Sue and Mrs. C.
• immunizations?
• driving?
• Sydney talk details—Pat.
• Where can I see orangutans in Borneo? Cost? Duration of Stop?
• School uniform photos to send to Pat for the cover artist.
• pick up iPad and load with the talk images
• find mini projector I can bring to attache to iPad. There must be one.
• New sketchbooks.

It's killer going all day with no chance to sketch. I stayed up after Gunther left and Bell went to bed and sketched Law and Order…

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Twenty-Seventh Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-seventh page spread in my 2011 fake journal. I've included a vertical view of the verso page at the end of this post. The text on the recto page reads as follows:

April 27, 2011 New pen—the crispest ever! I can't even write with it!
6:50 p.m.

He came into the room while I was seated, journal in my lap, page open to Sean Connery, smoothing the tape down, over and over, lost in thought. I must have looked unhappy.

B: Are you sad mostly about Connery not being Grim?

T: No, not mostly. Not even perhaps. I'm realistic about that. Today I've been thinking about Jim and how he treated Anne. Cheating her with the business. And we can't say anything.

B: No we can't say anything.

T: If only she'd talked to you or me first.

B: I knew she'd over paid. We could see things were changing.

T: He lived his life on her back.

B: Yep.
long pause

T (smiling): I'm going to write a murder mystery about it. Stealing someone's life that way.

B (chuckling): I thought you would. You have a tell. Whenever you're about to kill someone.

T: I do?

B: Yes, you stroke the page with your fingers—just like that [pointing], as if you're smoothing it down, pressing out wrinkles—left index, right index.

T (absently watching her fingers): Hmmm you're right I do.

Laughter

I don't think I would have noticed. How do you notice something that is so ingrained it's unconsciously performed? And then later I realized I've always had this tell. It started when I was three. I would stroke my stuffed kitty which had real fur (rabbit I suppose?). I would stroke its head one finger at a time. And think, and plot, and ponder—until everything was smoothed out.

Left: Click on the image to view an enlargement of the verso page of this spread, turned so that you can view it in the correct orientation.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Twenty-Sixth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-sixth page spread in my 2011 fake journal.

Verso Page
•wider stance
•deeper chest
•drop in in between space
•longer leg bone
•Rear toe slightly visible on each foot from this angle.

Recto Page
The feet fold up like napkins when he picks up his foot.
Drawing paper
Pen doesn't work well on eith[er] of these papers. 60% Indigo 40% Red Earth. Sketchers from Monday…which was gorgeous and sunny. And now I'm inside and it's raining buckets and it's only 40 degrees F!!

Wider
Nostalgie

This works
head and neck in ret[reat]
Nostalgie
wider body

Friday, May 6, 2011

Twenty-Fifth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
As many people have worked out, or read in the explanatory page, the keeper of this journal is Tyra D. Sheere who writes mysteries under the name of Hydra Seetre and children's books under the name of Esther Rayde. (You can friend both of them on Facebook, and follow their blogs too.) On this the twenty-fifth page spread in my 2011 fake journal she is sketching up some suggestions for an upcoming murder mystery cover on the verso page. On the recto page she is writing about the arrival of another of her children's books.

Verso Page (the callouts aren't reproduced here, they are simply directions for additions to "filling" out the atmosphere of the cover, such as "Chemistry stuff on table top—glossy black surface." The rough column of text starting below the thumbnail at the right reads as follows):

or an even greater close up with braid and rope somehow the focus.

The line art should be crisp and sharp—even a manga-esque line and shape to the figure.

I'll think about [it] for awhile and send something off as a suggestion to Pat.

I'm still wondering if we should mention on the cover that Grim has a walk-on only in this book.

Other than that: I'm relieved and glad it's all finally off and whatever they do is going to be just fine.

Recto Page:
10:45 p.m.
This proof arrived in today's mail. I love the way the new sketch ended up looking on the cover. I'm not sure I like the curly type on my name—it doesn't show up well on the spine but Carol said that on the actual size proof it's totally readable.

Now that this has wound down I'm excited to get back to the mysteries. But mostly I'm just looking forward to a couple weeks off with nothing to do but sketch and think up new ideas.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Miss T's 2011 Fake Journal: Observations by Alizarin Redwood

Introduction:
Miss T wanted to participate in the 2011 celebration, but doesn't have a blog so she sent me images to post. I'm just now getting them processed. Miss T actually also happened to win the Project Journal Infiltration portion of this year's prize drawings. You'll see those sketches here as well. Not all of her journal appears below so you can't exactly follow along, but you'll get a sense of it.

Background:
Miss T wrote the following explanation of her journal with her first image.
The writer of my journal is an alien researcher (a plant-based life form, who lives in fear that she might encounter a vegan) who's here on earth studying humans.  She uses the name Alizarin Redwood here.
If you attempt to read the text, note that she writes from the bottom of the page up, rather than top down.  (As a plant, she thinks of things in terms of growing from the ground up.)  She is gradually improving her English skills as she proceeds through the month, so the text starts out very rough and smooths out a bit mid-month.)

The typed footnotes were made by the editor/translator, Dr. Lafayette J. Pigeon, who has translated any non-English text and also provided explanations of some of the events and locations referred to by the writer.
To read Miss T's debriefing, feedback from me, and view an album of her fake journal pages please click to view the full post.

Twenty-Fourth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-fourth page spread in my 2011 fake journal, from April 24. The blue excerpt is from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The Sean Connery rubberstamp is a custom stamp from my drawing.

Text on Verso Page:
Sunday April 24, 2011 5 p.m.
I've been struggling with this all day but I think this idea is going to be shelved again.
For 20 years Dodger Down Under was a positive idea. Something to play with and think about. Then for years I let it go, so I was surprized [sic] when I latched back onto it this weekend so fiercely after watching a modern Jack the ripper movie. Dodger became a damaged character (Sikes + Nancy) and it seemed an interesting possibility for repatriation but the years don't work out. The book came out in 1838 and Ripper was busy in 1888…so even if Jack Dawkins were only 10 at the time that makes him 60 and it's unlikely. Or maybe it's just uninteresting to me now—or maybe I can't lose sight of my positive spin. Or maybe it is closer to fan fiction than an homage.

I can think about it when I go back to Sydney in May.

[Vertical]
6:45 p.m. More plans deferred…Regrets? Can't really have them. But I've been thinking about this since Friday when I got the call…

Text on the Recto Page:
and now it's all I can think about and I don't feel like painting on this page I prepped this a.m.

Peregrine Jones is definitely going to the big screen now. But it won't be with Sir Sean Connery as Grim Jones. With the hope of sequels from the 13 volumes of adventures he's considered too old. The joy is that the movie of Murder at the Back of Beyond will be made at all. So I'm focusing on that. I'm so tired of writers saying they don't have someone in mind. It isn't that simple. Grim is not anything like Connery but I always felt Connery could play him.

So I'm going to focus instead on the upcoming trip and meetings, see some of the old sights…Hope Grim translates well to an audience fed on 3D and super heroes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Twenty-Third Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Above, the twenty-third page spread in my 2011 fake journal. You can read the handwritten text when you view the enlargement.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Winners in the 2011 IFJM Contests Announced

There were three contests for this year's IFJM:
1. Participation by publishing your images.
2. Promotion of IFJM (posting and keeping the promotional button up on your blog until May 3).
3. Project Journal Infiltration WITHIN IFJM (drawing me [or "sighting" me in words or photos as some participants chose to do this year] in your fake journal). 

After eligibility was determined (i.e., I checked that people had done the required minimum of pages, or were still showing the button, etc. depending on the contest entered) slips were made and placed into three baskets. A friend came over this afternoon to conduct the drawing.


The winners are:
1. In the Participation category: Sarah Robinson.

2. In the Promotion category: Joan Tavolott.

3. In the Project Journal Infiltration Within IFJM category: Miss T (who doesn't have a website, but she has sent pages to me to publish, which is an option, and I'm behind in getting that stuff up—so I'll do that as soon as I can).

I'm relieved the contests were drawings, because frankly there were so many inventive and fun approaches this year I don't know how I could have chosen between one journal and the next for a favorite.

I hope to get all the remaining buttons (for promoters and foreign participants), along with the prizes, out in the mail in the next two days. I need my work table back!

Again, I want to thank ALL OF YOU for participating in this year's celebration of IFJM. I love seeing what you do, and I love hearing afterward what epiphanies and discoveries have come forward.

I hope you will all join with me again next year to "Dig Deep." Look for the pre-April activities to start on this blog around March 1, 2012.

In the meantime, please know that you'll be able to see the rest of my 2011 fake journal here over the next few days. I finished my fake journal this year on April 30 by using the last page and the endsheet.
While I didn't start a new fake journal for May, you can still visit Tyra D. Sheere's two nom de plume websites (Esther Rayde and Hydra Seetre) through May 2011. She is still going to be active.

In addition there will be a flip through of my entire fake journal, after all the pages have posted. I like to post the spreads individually so that people can read them, but I like the video flip through because it gives a sense of pace or activity that the character went through. If you make a video flip through of your 2011 fake journal please let me know where it's posted so I can view it.

I want you to know that I am grateful that you chose to spend your creative time and energy in April on this project. I hope your journaling adventures for the rest of the year are beyond your expectations.

Twenty-Second Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

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Above is the twenty-second page spread from my 2011 fake journal. It has more of the Franzen article Tyra is saving. (The article was actually put down in the journal on the same day, 4.21.11; but there was a second visit to the pet store with a new brush pen.)

The paragraph on a blue background is the end of the article and, again, if you are interested in Franzen, Wallace, Robinson Crusoe, "the novel" and any number of other things I recommend you get a copy of the New Yorker and read it. If Tyra hadn't saved it and put it in her journal I would have put it in mine.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Twenty-First Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

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Above, the twenty-first page spread in my 2011 fake journal, April 21, 2011. The article Tyra is saving is Jonathan Franzen's "Farther Away" from the New Yorker, 4.18.11 issue. These pages deal with David Foster Wallace. The handwritten portions should be readable when you click on the image to view an enlargement. I recommend that you check out the article in the New Yorker if you are interested in Franzen, Wallace, Robinson Crusoe, or "the novel."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Debriefing, It's Important after Any Mission

OK, so you got through IFJM. Maybe you completed 30 entries (one a day) or more (several a day) or one a week, or one every other day—it doesn't matter. Now that you are through the experience it's time to look into how that experience went for you. And today is the day to do it, while that experience is fresh in your mind. Please take a moment to sit down with your 2011 fake journal and do the following:

1. Write a brief sentence or two about what your goals were for you, for your character. This might turn into a paragraph, but keep it short, with the barest of facts, e.g., My character was a children's book illustrator/writer and mystery writer who keeps a fake journal which she rarely carries around with her and which she doesn't explain in. I would like to work in the journal several hours a day and fill two if possible, all with her works in progress.

2. Write a brief sentence or two about what happened to your goals, e.g., Life happened, family requirements ate up my free time requiring me to severely limit time spent on this project. I was happy with finding time each day to work on it.

3. Next write something about any epiphanies you had during the month. To do this you might find it helpful to open your journal and look at it page by page, reminding yourself of the journal's progress. Note down whatever comes up, including how a certain entry made you feel, how easy or difficult it was to capture what you intended, how easy or difficult it was to get into character, etc. (I'll be posting a summary of my experience at another time. I don't want this post to get too long!)

4. Write some sort of summation about the project, including what you could have done differently, how you could have sidestepped some impediments, how you might arrange things differently for next year (if you have decided you want to participate in 2012).

5. Set this debriefing aside to read in 2012. You might write a note on your calendar on March 1, 2012 to reread this debriefing. It will help remind you of the experience and your answer to item 4 will help you set up for success in 2012. Or if your debriefing wasn't written in your real journal or as a note attached in the back of your fake journal, you might want to do it on loose paper and fold it up and put it in an envelope with a note to open it on March 1. Whatever works for you—just keep it handy for next year.

6. Congratulate yourself on completing the project, at whatever level you were able to do so. CONGRATULATIONS! You exercised your creativity in a way that pushed your boundaries. Regardless of how far you pushed those boundaries you took that step towards bringing creative play into your life. That's huge. Be sure to pat yourself on your back. It doesn't matter if you posted your journal and only 5 people came to see it or 500 people, or 5000, or if you didn't post it and kept it private. What matters is that you pushed yourself. Congratulations!

7. Take a moment to look forward in your real life. Based on your experience in your fake journal what do you want to bring into your real life. Did you work on sketching faces every day or painting with watercolors? What remains to be learned if you focused on one technique or one subject matter? Is it time to push harder and take a class? Is it time to push for another month, this time in your real journal, on the same subject? Maybe what has come out of the experience is the need for a space of your own (that can be as simple as a side table in a corner—the goal is for a space to work for now). Maybe what emerged is a realization that there is no time for YOU in your life and that needs to change. Or maybe the opposite emerged and you realized that there is too much YOU in your life and it's time for you to branch out into the world in all the ways you've been holding back. Write down a list of new goals for yourself, your REAL SELF, for the coming year (through April 2012). Put this list of goals in your journal, or on your wall (if it's private, because these are private goals for right now). Start exploring ways that you can work on and achieve these goals. Make a to-do list of steps, check it over tomorrow after more research, and again next week after even more research, and then start with step one and you're on your way.

8. Finally today, as appropriate, while setting good boundaries for yourself (i.e., not exposing issues or items that are too personal for public consumption), write a public debriefing which explains how the process went for you and post it on your blog. Send me a link by May 5 and I gather all the links in a post here. I think it is really helpful to have this sort of background information for future participants as well as past participants. Future participants will get a sense of what they are in for if they join in next year. Past participants may see in your experience a way to better structure their time and energies to improve their experience.

Today I would like to thank you all for participating in and supporting IFJM. It started by word of mouth and in a good year maybe 8 people participated in some capacity. Since it went public on the internet in 2009 it has grown into over 50 people who completed the project this year.

There will always be reasons that people have to drop out (internal critic, work, family crisis, health, etc.), there will always be reasons for people not to participate ("What are they crazy?" "My internal critic thinks it's stupid."). It is exciting to me that every year people take the plunge. I want to thank you for giving it a go; for believing that you might possibly learn something about your journaling practice, your creativity, art medium, art techniques, whatever. I want to thank you for making time in your life for creative play and investigation. I believe there are benefits you have gained this month that will appear throughout your journaling life in helpful ways. I appreciate the time you took to try and achieve that.

So, in this next week you'll see my debriefing, a video flip-through of my 2011 fake journal, the rest of my page spreads, and of course our contest winners. Mark you calendars for March 1, 2012 when you can once again get in the fake journaling mode. Plans for next year are already underway here.

Now I'm off to catch up on some fake journal reading at your links.

Twentieth Page Spread in Roz's 2011 Fake Journal

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Above, the twentieth page spread in my 2011 fake journal. As you learned on Esther Rayde's blog Roz has lent Gert to Esther. On this page spread the artist captures two views of Gert reclining.