What’s up with the yearly slogans for International Fake Journal Month you might ask? (People ask all the time and there have been several questions in the past week.)
Projects have to be fun for me and part of the way I make IFJM fun is to have a new slogan each year. In the past I would make them into buttons, now they are simply images, small “posters” to mark the year.
There is of course the main and on-going slogan for IFJM:
“Life’s so short, why live only one?”
That will always be there. It clearly states the point of the project.
But each year a new slogan is offered because of my love of commemorating events in this fashion. It helps me keep the years separate, “Oh, yeah, 2014 was the year of no explanations, how did that go for me?” That type of thing.
The slogans grow out of my own reflection on the process of fake journaling, an assessment of my current life, the selected image I want the slogan to work with, and the bubbling thoughts I have about the upcoming fake journal I’m going to be making.
It is not important or necessary that participants utilize the year’s slogan in any way, or even pay attention to it. Some participants do think about the slogan and find ways to apply it to their character. For instance in 2014 several people embraced “no explanations.” In this way slogans can help point and push participants to a deeper look at what they are trying to do, or give them focus if they get off track.
For others the slogans and yearly image remain merely decorative. And that’s fine.
For me, as I just wrote, the slogans grow out of my own creative process as I rev up for IFJM. In so many ways they set the psychological approach that I’ll take throughout the month. (I deliberately leave the slogans vague so that participants can interpret them freely and find meaning in them if they choose to do so.)
In February this year, just recovering from flu and bronchitis, I realized I’d better get busy thinking about my journal selection, character, media, etc. for this year’s celebration. What happened was I sat down and started thinking about which image I wanted to use for the “button” and then brainstormed slogans that held meanings for me. They just poured out onto a two-page spread in my journal. Some were too self-revelatory for a public project, others didn’t seem to go with the image, or when placed with the selected image created an implied tone I didn’t care for.
Once I made the slogan selection I completed the artwork you see on the top of the right-hand column (some past “buttons” can be seen at the very bottom of this column if you scroll all the way down). I used a painting made previously (that feels right to me for this type of project rather than creating a new image, this repurposing creates another level of distance and non-reality) and layered it with the text of the slogan, experimenting with various fonts and combinations. The style and bracketing are am important part of the interpretive content for me. “Truths” is obviously a loaded word when working with IJFM and all the attendant fakery, but I try in all my fake journals to keep close to some aspect of myself. In this way I am able to mine deeper and bring back useful insights to my regular journaling process.
“[considered]” for me is a little bit playful. So too is the image of the young boy which I made from a photo picked up at an estate sale. He is no relation to me, yet dear because of the time spent painting with him. That’s one level of “[considered]” for me.
Another level of “[considered]” is that I am explicitly asking participants to remember to focus on what is true in what they are creating. Even in the fake there is always, and must always be something that is absolutely true. In a way it’s a comment on “Art” if you like, but more specifically for me (and I love to be specific) it is a comment on “Life.”
It is my hope that participants will enact their own level of analysis to consider either during or after, what truths they are finding in their work this month.
Once the words of the slogan and these thoughts were in my brain I couldn’t get them out. I posted the “button” to the blog and went back to my work, but the slogan stayed with me. You will see later how it directly impacts my 2015 fake journal, but that is a story for another day.
If you are participating this year remember only that the slogan is there as a place marker in the line of celebrations. If you want to delve into what it might mean for you, do so. Ask yourself how it might relate to what your character is up to and what his or her journey is about. If it doesn’t resonate with you, don’t waste time “trying to make it fit.”
Just keep it in your mind for a moment.
Many participants find that AFTER the month is over, something they thought they weren’t even paying attention to actually influenced their entire month. The creative mind is interesting that way. We put in seemingly random things and it spits out “[considered]” Truths.