Above: My April 13 entry in my 2014 IFJM Journal. 30 x 22 inch mystery printmaking paper, with acrylic inks used with a brush. Rubberstamped date. That's Beverly my giant plastic toad, who made his/her drawing debut in my fake journal this year. (My character shares my love for large toys.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Yep, it's the 15th. So if you're in the U.S. you've paid your taxes by today. It's also the halfway point in International Fake Journal Month. If you've been making an entry each day then by the end of today you'll have 15 entries. That's fantastic. Now it's just a matter of putting in the same amount of time for the rest of the month and you're home free—no more "hiddens," you know what to expect.
Sure it's not that easy when you start a project or you try to form a new habit. Now might be exactly the time that you take a deep breath to relax only to find life throws you a curve ball and leaves you with less "free" time for the rest of the month.
You need to remember two things.
1. Don't take it personally.
2. You were able to find time for 15 days you can find time for another 15 days. It's worth it, your project is worth it. So just wake up each morning willing to put in the time.
And these things are true even if your project is nothing like what you'd hoped it would be.
To date my project has taken some interesting twists and turns. I started the project knowing I wanted to sketch a lot of people and that most of them would be from life, local friends. But I also asked for readers to send me selfies. Thank you, thank you to all the readers who did that because I never knew when I started this project that I would come down with a cold that turned to bronchitis and be two weeks into this project without seeing a living soul but Dick and two friends who whizzed through so quickly there was no time to sketch.
Having the selfies has allowed me to keep sketching and keep up with the project. My character still sketches the faces for the same reason, but now I can actually still do it.
Another curve ball my health has thrown me is that the black Pentel Brush Pens I've been using for the project are the squeezable, fugitive dye-based ink type with a nice fine (and sometimes extra thick) brush tip. Well on the 12th I realized that squeezing the pens was undoing all the therapy I'd been doing with my right hand, elbow, and shoulder. Drat.
That means I've ratcheted way back on use of those pens for now. I have been using the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, which simply flows (you don't squeeze it) but the paper soaks up the ink so quickly that I don't like the line I get with it and have to go over lines sometimes. A bit annoying, but still, I'm getting the project done aren't I? So I'm happy.
And I've always got a regular brush and acrylic inks as a way to sketch (as in the image shown today) so it's all good.
In other words, even though things aren't what I've hoped for I've been able to adapt and keep going.
If you're reading this now and are participating this month that's what I hope you're doing—finding ways to adapt and keep going. That's the essence of creativity.
Take a moment to think about your character and how your character would react to these influences. And also take a moment to pat yourself on the back for making it this far.
Ask yourself what it is that you would still like to get out of the project and see if you can't arrange things to make that happen! You've put in so much effort up to this point now is the time to pull out all the stops.
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