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?"


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Selecting a Journal for 2012 IFJM and Some Pre-IFJM Contest Musing

Left: Some Stonehenge Journals with altered covers stand behind "fresh" wirebound journals. I'll be using the 6 x 12 inch blue journal at the back for my 2012 fake journal. Read below for details. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Because I make my own journals for my daily use I like to select commercially bound journals for use during International Fake Journal Month. This helps me distance myself from the "character" who is keeping the journal.

This year I started testing a couple types of paper and a couple commercially bound journals, but I wasn't finding anything that I liked. On a whim I took a 7 x 7 inch Stonehenge journal off my shelf and started playing with inks on the last page. I knew that my character would be taking walks so I wanted something portable. I thought that there might be a lot of architecture in the journal because I'd like to sketch more scenes and buildings. Suddenly I realized my character would be at the same place everyday and I would need a larger book than the 7 x 7 inch book. The "end" of the month flashed in my brain. I started to back off of the idea.

My reluctance came from the rather somber nature of the concept. For me IFJM was always about looking into the dark side of things, exploring my somber side. But when I went public on the internet with IFJM in 2009 I found that my projects, while still a bit on the dark side (there always seems to be some death or injury), were in many ways upbeat (at least in certain aspects).

Well the last 18 months I have found a tendency in my regular journal work to become more and more personal. I show less of it to others. I select portions I take to classes for student viewing more carefully. I'm moving into a more private mode, which is a typical cycle for me.

I realized that the IFJM idea I had "settled" upon was not something I could share publicly. I also decided it wasn't an idea I wanted to work on at the present time. I believe that character has a lot to teach me, but not now.

So instead this year I'm going to take a bit more playful approach. Currently I am thinking that there will be a recurring motif about a certain someone in my fake journal: his name is Frank. You'll meet him soon enough if I go that way. I'll include illustrations and a bit of text each day. As usual I'll begin in medias res.

In order to work in this journal I will be creating a backstory from which to work, but I won't be supplying any backstory when I post the images. I am considering holding a contest for readers to suggest a backstory and then printing both of them after IFJM. I'm still thinking about the contests.

You get the idea, there is a lot up in the air about IFJM this year. That's another reason I wanted to be a little bit more playful this year.

I'm focusing this year on making changes to the public face of IFJM so that it runs with less administration time for me. If I'm successful at my attempts it means that next year I can go back to my more somber and challenging ideas because I'll have more time to explore them.

Immediate Changes To the Organization of IFJM
This year, instead of asking everyone to send jpgs for me to post here, or to have people send me links to "x-number" of posts on their own blogs so that they can be eligible for a prize drawing, I will be asking that everyone post his or her own images on a blog or website for which a link can be provided.

As soon as a participant has posted 5 pages and sent me a link I'll go and check out their posts at that time. The link will then be placed in the link list of 2012 participants in the right column of this blog. The introductory material on the blog will direct readers to that list. Whatever shape the contest takes this year, the winner will come from that list.

This will immediately free up more time for me to make and scan my own work. And I won't have to keep track of links and addresses and such.

Watch for additional changes as they are finalized.


In the meantime, I hope you are selecting paper that you will enjoy working on for a month, ditto media!

Take a moment to read past posts about preparing for IFJM by scanning the category cloud.

It is most important to spend a little bit of time thinking about who your character is. He or she will be writing your journal in the first person, a little bit each day (ideally) or a little bit several times a week, during April 2012. You want to be sure that he or she is someone with whom you can live and grow.

To test your idea you might want to write a brief background of your character. This isn't part of your journal because it isn't written in the first person. It's just a little examination of who your character is, what she or he might want. What goals does your character have? What occupation? What quirks? How will you be able to pull off writing and sketching from the perspective of that person? Will you have to do some research? Will you be interviewing someone who has that job? Do you have the time, each day in April, to make progress in your project, in a meaningful and significant way? Which is more important to you—experimenting with a visual style or with the text? How does the project further your current art goals? How can you tweak the project so that it better supports your current art goals or personal goals?

Keep in mind that it is perfectly suitable to keep an IFJM journal with no text at all, and no explanation. Only YOU need to know what is going on and what will be a consistent action (and art action) on the part of your character. You do not need to explain anything to anyone! (I do recommend that at the end of the month you write a background note and paste it into the back of your fake journal so that 10 years from now you can remind yourself what the perspective of your character was—even who she or he was.)

So now it's time to do some serious thought for your project. Don't sweat it, just sit down and think about it, start taking some notes, let it grow. If you find an idea that appeals to you let it sit in your brain for a couple days and ask yourself "when during MY day would I be able to write from this character's perspective?" The answers may surprise you. If after two or three days you find the idea begins to lose its shine, go back to the drawing board for a new concept.

While I know that I'll be working in the thin, blue-covered book shown above, I'm not sure yet that my final idea has fully gelled. I have a couple weeks to let it percolate.

I hope you'll all consider joining me this year with your own fake journal. I look forward to seeing them.

14 comments:

Miss T said...

Frank! I can't wait!

journalrat said...

Well it's still just a thought. I have too much to get my head around these days and everything seems to be falling through the cracks. Can Frank save IFJM for me? EEEEEK.

Miss T said...

Frank seems to be a very heroic sort of guy. I think he can save the month!

Judi said...

Hi Roz, Had so much fun with my Fake Journal last year! Does this year's change in IFJM's organization mean that there will be a link on this site to our entire Fake Journal Blog (if we dedicate an entire blog to it) by the end of the month rather than the previous year's link to only the first post we make? Thanks in advance....

Judi said...

By the way....I already have your 2012 image and link on my blog. Actually remembered how to do it from last year. :-)

journalrat said...

Judi, each year everyone who sent me links was put in a link list, scroll down the right column to see the appropriate lists from the different years. If you were missed you can get added to that if you send me the first link.

Since most people have been putting their posts in an existing blog I have to go with a link to the first post so that people landing there can be oriented (and I'm assuming find their way from there), but some people, like Anne Bray if I'm remembering correctly, do a dedicated blog and then the link goes to the blog directly, at least in theory (there could be human error on my part). Hope that answers your question. It isn't really a change, except that I'll be doing this earlier after people send me a notification they have five postings up. The big change is that there won't be all the notification of every posting going on and on. A cutting down of "digital" paper work on the part of both parties.

journalrat said...

Judi, thanks for promotion the 2012 IFJM on your blog already!

I hope you have fun participating this year.

Judi said...

Thanks, Roz. I had dedicated an entire blog to my IFJ last year, but the link on your site only contained the first post (and not the rest of the blog). I don't think a lot of people know how to get to our entire IFJM blog after day one when it's posted that way. Or maybe I'm not giving them enough credit! This year I'll try to link to my ongoing blog as I plan to dedicate the whole blog to this year's IFJ again. Can't wait!!

journalrat said...

Judi, there's sort of two thoughts on this. If people can't get to the first one they might get frustrated and just give up (I know I do). So I basically give people credit for knowing how to navigate around a dedicated blog if I get them to the first post.

Green Morning said...

Yay! I can't wait for April! So close!

anne m bray said...

Yes, SpyGirl will attend!
From a lowly drawing under a bush in 2010, a creative explosion in 2011, and my passport to a fashion bloggers conference this March, SpyGirl has taken on a life of her own. The blog has become very "real" and it'll be fun to deliberately "go fake" again. Looking forward to April!

Susan Walker Art said...

Going to join you again this year. I can't wait to get started. Well I've started, but you know what I mean...See everyone soon!

Maggie said...

Hi Roz

I'm in for the 2012 IFJM this year and I'm excited about it. My character has been practically shouting in my head. I really can't wait; I've already started designing her blog so that it's ready when she starts journaling.

Maggie

journalrat said...

Susan, Maggie, and Ann, so great to hear you are all in for this year. I'm sorry if your comments didn't get posted right away, I'm playing catch up!