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.

2019 IFJM Celebration
IFJM has been suspended indefinitely. Please read the pinned post about this below.

Participants who Post Their Journals
A list of 2018 participants who are posting their fake journals this year will appear near the top of the right side bar of this blog around April 6. Lists of participants who posted their pages in 2010 through 2017 appear 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?"

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Button Situation and a Quick Update

Well here it is the end of May and this year's celebration is still not wrapped up. I wanted to let you all know what was going on. The first button company failed, so I had to try another. I expect to receive buttons today—but since they haven't sent me updates as they promised I'm wondering if that will really happen. EEEK. I'm feeling a little jinxed and a little worried. 

Don't you worry, however, if they don't work out I will try another vendor—in fact if you have a button vendor that you have used and like write in and tell me so I have a back up! There will be buttons. And when they arrive, of course the book prizes will go out too. Thanks to everyone—you're all being very, very patient. (I know I'm not.)

The only other news to report is that I have not been able to write about my 2010 fake journal experience yet. It has been difficult to pull my thoughts together while elements in my life pull me in other directions and we scramble to get ready for house guests. (It doesn't look good folks! Keep your fingers crossed on that for me will you?)

But I do have some things to say about my fake journal for this year, about how it actually changed my life in certain ways. So maybe check back after June 6 or so for that. The house guests will be gone, some other deadlines demolished, and I will be able to put my thoughts together. 

I hope in the meantime all your own journaling efforts have been going along well, whether fake or real.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fake Notes for a Fake Journal

Left: The note that is attached to the front of my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This note, written in fountain pen says: Lois, Please type attached note and copy file. Copy and sketchbooks to to Dr. Hammond at St. Claire's. PD

The note that is to be typed by this fictional Lois is attached to the first page of the fake journal with a dog bone paper clip. (Why shouldn't PD have interesting paper clips? If you have to ask maybe you shouldn't be creating fake journals?)

I wanted the handwriting on the two handwritten notes to be totally non-recognizable as my writing, so I had Dick write them with his fountain pen of course. (It struck me that PD would use a fountain pen too.)

Left: The note attached to the first page of my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This note, written in fountain pen on a sheet of gridded paper can be read if you click on the image. Again, I enlisted the aid of Dick to complete the last bit of fakery for my 2010 fake journal.

The note explains the background of the author of the fake journal—as much as it can be known given her particular circumstances. 

Pressing deadlines keep me from doing my final write up as I'd hoped. This year's fake journal was an incredibly difficult experience for me intellectually—as it brought up a number of issues I really didn't want to think about at this point in my life. It was incredibly easy to execute from an illustrative point of view however.

Now that you at least have these notes you can put the rest of the journal in context. I'll be back next week to discuss what happened. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Thirtieth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the final sketch page in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

This is the last page in my 2010 fake journal executed by the "author." All that's left are some "notes" that go with the journal by another "fake" author. (I tell you, once I get started on fakery—well it's a slippery slope.)

I'll post those tomorrow, and with luck have some time to write about all this. Today the "Got Junk" folks are coming and I'm so excited I can hardly sit still. I keep pacing! 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Twenty-ninth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-ninth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Here is one more installment. We're close to the end. I'll be wrapping it up during the beginning of this week and then trying to put some more thoughts together. (ARGH—it has been so chaotic here.) Thanks for your patience as I weave my way through a maze of interruptions! Go see How to Train Your Dragon—in 3D—today. I wrote about it on my regular blog (use the link). Have a great day.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Twenty-eighth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-eighth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Moving closer and closer to the end of my fake journal. No time this weekend to wrap it all up, but it's coming. The oddest thing about posting these images now is that they seem like they were done a lifetime ago. My mind has moved completely back to my regular journal. I do miss my time spent drawing faces—sadly events keep cropping up to keep me away from life drawing group, which is where the best opportunity for a "still" person is to be found. I have to mark off those evenings as taken! Time to take stock of my commitments.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Twenty-seventh Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: The twenty-seventh entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

A whirlwind of days, I wonder how I managed my regular journal and my fake journal in April which now seems so long ago! Today I've been posting wrap-ups about the MCBA Visual Journal Collective's sketch out at the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival. You can check it out on Roz Wound Up and that will lead you to the additional post on Urban Sketchers—Twin Cities, where you can see additional work by me along with Karen Engelbretson and Suzanne Hughes. (It was a cold and sleeting day so participation was low!) 

I hope you've been finding fun and challenging visual journaling opportunities in May!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Twenty-sixth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-sixth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

A series of small family "emergencies" has eaten up my time for today. All I can do right now is push forward with the individual page scans. No thoughts on journaling except to say—make some time to do it today, it can save your brain when everything seems chaotic!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Twenty-fifth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-fifth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I'm having trouble with Blogger today so I'm just trying to see if I can get another entry posted and continue to play catch up. More wrap up stuff later. I hope you are all transitioning back to regular journaling smoothly!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EVA and Her Thoughts about Her 2010 Fake Journal

For a wrap up on EVA's fake journal experience check out her May 11 blog post. I think you will find her breakdown of the experience helpful when reflecting about your own, or when you come to commit to next year's celebration (because I know you want to!).

EVA's spontaneous decision to participate has actually led to her starting not one but three journals! Each will serve a different purpose.

Work in her fake journal has resulted in new choices for books, paper, and materials. She is also considering how to fit the habit into her daily life.

"Knowing you only need to write 30 entries is easier than writing for a prolonged and indefinite time period," she wrote. 

I would just like to encourage EVA and everyone who might feel the pressure of a regular journal habit looming—once you have the habit it is as natural as breathing. That indefinite time period which stretches ahead of you beckons rather than intimidates. Each passing year, and the journals they produce, solidifies that creative contract. It becomes neither easy nor difficult to keep a journal, it simply is. It's natural and useful. You will come to "notice" it only when you haven't connected with it for a time. I really believe keeping a journal is one of the best things you can do for your creative life, and that's why I teach journaling.

In her wrap up EVA compared art and golf and the use of expensive materials and fancy clubs. I would also encourage EVA and everyone to buy quality art materials when you can afford them. Golf can be art EVA, but the analogy you're making doesn't hold. If you have quality materials, the ease with which your ideas will flow on to the paper will be vastly improved. Instead of fighting cheap paints with weak pigment loads that don't allow one to get the values and contrasts and verve in one's paintings or sketches one is able to begin seeing steady improvements when using quality materials. 

Two good brushes, some quality paper (for the media you elect to use) and quality paints—in watercolors 6 tubes is totally sufficient (a warm and cool of each primary) will allow great strides forward.

And the immediate benefit is that incremental and steady success will push you forward as well.

Inexpensive art materials, inferior paints, crummy brushes, student grade paper—they are all false economies. They waste your most precious resource—your time. You can't get your time back, but you can use your time to move forward in your art—to practice. It's my hope that everyone considers this as they take off on a journaling adventure. A few quality materials provide the means for starting off on the right foot—just as wearing quality shoes will enable you to go on a long and blister-free journey.

Learning new art skills can be frustrating enough—please don't add to the frustration with poor quality materials.  

Overburdening yourself with materials of any sort, quality or not can be a problem. So if getting the journaling habit and learning about art materials seems intimidating I recommend starting with only a pen and a book and sketching and learning about that pen—and getting the habit. Add other materials after the habit is present and you're in the experimental phase. 

If you are a new artist who doesn't feel worthy of quality materials, or if you feel the only way you'll be able to get out of the door with any materials at all is if they are inexpensive, by all means get out and start journaling with those materials. I'd rather you were all journaling. But please realize that improvement in your art will come when you use paints with quality pigments and heavy pigment loads, on paper that was meant to make those materials sing. Move towards that as quickly as your pocketbook allows. Because not allowing yourself hardworking tools is just one way your internal critic uses to derail you. I've seen it in students for over 20 years.

Lee Trevino could golf 9 holes under 85 strokes with a Dr. Pepper Bottle (or something like that) because he already had SKILLS. Any great artist can take crap materials and make them work for him or her. A beginner starting with student grade materials needs to move to the quality materials as soon as possible to see how real paint moves in a graduated wash, or blends with another paint, or works on a paper sized for heavy duty watercolor technique. It's joyous. The experience will feed you while you work to improve your skills.
EVA, thanks for sharing in this event, and for sharing your experience with others. Readers can land on EVA's first fake journal entry by clicking on her name in the 2010 participants list in the right hand column. Go experience her journey now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Melinda Bilecki's Thoughts on Her Fake Journal for 2010

Above: The final image from Melinda Bilecki's 2010 fake journal. ©2010 Melinda Bilecki.

Melinda Bilecki's thoughts on International Fake Journal Month 2010 came in the form of a helpful list of points:
It was truly a wonderful experience for me.  Here is some of what I learned:
1. A little planning can be a good thing.  Normally, I just dive in when I decide to sketch something.  In doing my IFJM journal, though, I spent a little time each day deciding what the image was going to be, where I'd place it on the page, and how the text would read.  I think this helped me end up with a nicer looking page in the end. And it actually didn't cause me to lose spontaneity as much I thought it might. I just did a quick doodle on a scratch sheet with the text and basic image placement before I started in my journal. If anything, it made the journaling more enjoyable because I felt more certain going in that I'd like what I ended up with.
2. Using color is fun! I've really enjoyed the ink and watercolor wash sketches I've been doing. Color is a new thing for me, and working with it day in and day out taught me a lot. I've learned how watercolor handles in all kinds of situations—with wet paper, dry paper, lots of water, very little water, with a waterbrush, with a regular paint brush, and on and on. This has given me a whole new dimension for getting my world down on paper that I wasn't accessing before. This isn't to say I'll be using color all the time going forward, but it's definitely something I'll incorporate regularly thanks to this experience.
3. Pacing myself is hard. One of the most difficult parts of the whole IFJM process was taking my time with it. Sometimes I was overwhelmed with the desire to finish it, to rush ahead, play the story out, and wrap everything up.  Patience is not my strong suit. So…I've had to relax and live with my fake self day after day.  It's been good for me, I think. I've had to realize that the project was about the process as much as about the end result—a pretty important lesson.
4. I am all for a daily practice of sketch journaling. It provides a nice organizing principle for the day. I look forward to it until I've done it, and I enjoy having done it afterwards. It helps me think visually.  It even helps me feel grounded in some important way I can't quite put my finger on. I'll be thinking more about this going forward, but the bottom line is that this is a practice I plan to continue.
The bottom line is that I would highly recommend participating in International Fake Journal Month to anyone!

I asked Melinda, after receiving her note, whether or not she thought she would continue doing thumbnail sketches on scrap paper before working in her regular journal. She replied. 
I don't think I'll always do the thumbnail, but I think it will be one tool among many that I'll use when the situation seems to call for it. I hardly ever planned a page ahead of time before IFJM, but now that I feel comfortable with that process, I find I've been doing it more and more.
I also asked Melinda if she had ever tried daily journaling before, and if so, what stopped it. She responded:
Regarding daily journaling, no, I hadn't tried it before. I draw almost every day, and I do have a sketch journal. In the past, though, I only worked in the sketch journal when it seemed like there was something especially interesting to record. IFJM has made me reconsider that approach by helping me see that there is more to be gained from keeping a regular sketch journal than just a record. The process itself is very rewarding!  That's probably the most important thing I learned this April! 

You will find Melinda Bilecki's 2010 fake journal on her blog under the category IFJM (this link takes you to that category). Scroll down to get to the first entry. The category list starts with the most recent post and that is about how she is moving on to another daily project—a great way to keep momentum going after finishing International Fake Journal Month is to move on to another daily project.

Thank you Melinda for sharing your thoughts on your first-time participation in IFJM. I do think it is helpful for people who are considering whether or not to participate in 2011, to hear the thoughts of other participants. People come to fake journaling from all sorts of different backgrounds. Some already keep daily visual or written journals, others have never journaled before. Wrap-ups by participants give people a better grasp on the wide variety of experiences and results and the impact of those results. Good luck Melinda with your daily practice in May! 

Whether you decide to share your wrap up thoughts here or on your own blog, or not at all, please do take a moment to think about your participation in this year's celebration. What did you learn about your practice, your habits, your internal critic, your life's schedule? How does creativity fit into your life's schedule? Do you feel the need for change?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spy Girl: Thoughts on Fake Journaling from Anne M. Bray

Left: An image from Spy Girl's 2010 fake journal. Image ©2010 Anne M. Bray. 

Anne M. Bray is a two-time fake journal keeper. You can find the 2010 fake journal of Anne M. Bray here. (Sorry for the clunky name repetition but I want my links to be "complete.")

I asked Anne if she would write about her experiences with fake journaling now that her second year was finished. I think that people new to fake journaling can benefit from reading about her experiences with fake journaling in part because her 2009 and 2010 journals differ from each other in media and in approach.

I recommend you read Anne's experiences with fake journaling in her own words. Her journey will be an inspiration for people who aren't "hard core" journal keepers. Fake journaling has actually spawned additional blogs for her! I would suggest that those are journals and that Anne is actually becoming a "hard core" journal keeper after all! (You need to check out her delightful blog Cupcake Safari. The delicate colored pencil drawings of cupcakes are delicious.)

I love two things about Anne's 2010 fake journal. First she let the idea flow from a found object—a sketch she found under an oleander bush outside her house. This ties in beautifully with her involvement in "Found It (Urban Artifacts), a Facebook group. But it also speaks to me of the way in which creative minds look around and find something (either an idea or a physical object) and allow it to expand and give life to a whole other creative project.

The other thing I enjoyed learning about Anne's 2010 experience was that she let the fake journal serve for two creative projects she wanted to participate in. ArtHouse sponsored a March/April project for work in a small black moleskine themed "this is where I live." Anne's Spy Girl journal documents what she wore during April. 

Sometimes we have a lot of desire to participate in several projects at the same time. Finding a way to satisfy that urge without busting our schedules is a good skill to work on. It can also help you focus on what is truly important to you about each of the projects that you take on.

OK, there's a third thing I loved about Anne's 2010 fake journal: the inclusion of found items in her "confidential" envelopes on each page. In so many ways this simple approach allowed her to combine so many of her interests. When projects are structured that way we have a higher possibility of completion and an even deeper satisfaction in the final product or outcome.

Take a moment now to read what Anne has to say about her experiences with fake journaling. Then think about how her discoveries and approaches might be useful for you next year when you are getting ready to jump in to your 2011 fake journal! 

Thank you again Anne for your active participation in this year's celebration!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Twenty-fourth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-fourth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I'm still playing catch up with my posts, and juggling deadlines, so today there is just one more entry for you to check out. This ended up being one of my favorites in the project. My character was very interested in the profile line and earlobe of this person. Eyes, ears, and profile tended to be a constant source of interest, but this earlobe was fascinating to her. And by extension, me. The lobe came out of the ear almost like a large flap. Now that I've seen one like this I'm seeing more of them around and it's very exciting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Twenty-third Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: the twenty-third entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As part of the wrap of of International Fake Journal Month 2010 I would love to hear from participants about their experiences. Some of you have taken time to write a note to me on Facebook or this blog. Others have written a post about their experiences and posted on their blog. I've also contacted people who participated last year directly about this. 

If you have written about your experiences on your blog would you please take a moment and send me a link to that post? I would love to create a post with links to those "wrap-ups."

I think it is important that people coming to fake journaling and the celebration of International Fake Journal Month, find comments from other journal keepers who have recently started doing this. I would like them to hear other voices—even if your experience was difficult.

I write about my experience with fake journaling, regular journaling, and my observations of students and their experiences, but it's only one part of the picture. I think with a more complete picture more people might be convinced to give it a go. Newcomers might be overwhelmed by the links and the volume of pages to go through in participants' journals, but having a "wrap-up" page of links will help them see some of the benefits or problems and then put the pages in a context for them. So let me know if you've blogged about your "wrap-up" experience.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Did I Miss Color?; the Myth of Time; and The Twenty-first and Twenty-second Entries in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: The twenty-first entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As some of you will see I've had to change my highlight and caption text color. A small thing, irritating to me, but not irritating enough for me to bother to switch over to using html codes all the time for something that occurs so frequently. But for those of you who did notice, now you know why.

I'm also trying to get used to the new way the images are handled. And in an effort to catch you all up to the end of my fake journal I have two images today.

Also, a participant wrote in the other day and asked me if I missed using color. I wrote a short answer back to her in the comment section (so much is going on I can't remember if it was on this blog or my main blog) and basically said no.

Well later I finished my work at the computer and got up to walk away. I bent to return something to a shelf and my eyes fell on a print from my 2009 fake journal (alternate Minneapolis, post-some sort of health disaster, all about birds). It was a page spread where many Canada geese move across a vibrant lavender background. The sloppy, drippiness of the washes on the water resistant paper barely contained by the glossy black ink lines, reminded me of how much fun I had last year with my fake journal and Schmincke watercolors over dip pen lines. For a moment I didn't miss color so much as I missed the subject matter and that small book with pages which crinkled (and still do) when turned. 

Left: the twenty-second entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

So in a way I think I answered too quickly, because I do miss that colorful experience. But in another way I know my answer was correct. I didn't miss color this year because color wasn't on the character's radar—and I had daily recourse to my regular journal if I wanted color. At the same time I was working on some acrylic paintings. Perhaps choosing a character who worked only with black pencil created a window for more color in other projects?

I have found that International Fake Journal Month has always opened up such windows. Intense focus on one project can have the salutary effect of encouraging the mind to apply similar focus to other projects running simultaneously. 

The myth of waiting until we have "the luxury of all the time we need" can seduce us into not using the time we have. Everyone has a point of overwhelm, but you won't find that point by doing one task at a time. I believe one of the benefits of IFJM is the way it can help people manage creative multitasking—help them find out the nuances of how they use their time, and then work to utilize their strengths or create strengths.

By taking your attention in one direction (for me this year: black pencil sketches) you open up the possibilities of simultaneous explorations in other directions. Or you simply get the use of a certain medium out of your system. That's good too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winners in the 2010 Contests and the Twentieth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: my twentieth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Congratulations to Kyra Sanders who won the draw for the Promotion Contest (for all those who put the Link-Button on their blogs).

Congratulations to Gina Mitsdarfer who won the draw for the Participation—Posted on Your Own Blog. (There was a subcategory for blogless folks who wanted to post on this blog but no one entered that portion of the contest.)

Both of these winners will be receiving one of the contest prize books. I have their postal addresses so as soon as the buttons are made I will be sending those out. (Gina and Kyra, you can expect a heads up post next week.)

Everyone else, whether you participated in the promotional aspect of International Fake Journal Month or participated by keeping a fake journal (or both), if you sent me your address with your entry (as requested) you will be receiving a commemorative button. (I hope to mail them next week.)

If you sent in an entry but didn't send your postal address you will have recently received an email from me asking for one. If you want a button, please reply. If I don't hear back I'll just assume you're not a button person (I know not everyone is and that's OK.)

Either way, I want to thank you all for your energetic participation in this year's festivities!

This week and next I'll continue to post the remaining pages of my fake journal and have some thoughts on my fake journal—as well as some explanations for all of you who have so patiently been reading along. I hope you'll check back for those posts. 

But even more important, start thinking about your 2011 Fake Journal!

Nineteenth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: my nineteenth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

I'm just playing around with the new composing window in blogger. I don't know how long they've had it, but I just noticed it while changing some other settings. The good thing about it is that it lets you load images differently. You used to have to load in reverse order as new images always appeared at the top of the post and that was very annoying for multi-image posts. But there are some other things I've haven't quite worked out yet so who knows how this will look. (Not sure I've got the right caption color for one.)

If something very strange appears when you visit please drop me a line to alert me!

In the meantime I'm going to keep posting these images, and will have more to say about them later in the week when I get through the contest business.

I hope you are having a good first few days post-International-Fake-Journal-Month. Is your new journal glad to have you back full time? Did it never even notice you were gone? Is it enthusiastic about your new approaches? (OK, I do tend to anthropomorphize everything.)

Note: one thing I've noticed in switching is that I can't get the same color for my caption color and special text. I'll have to use a different one until I find a way to get back to it and so far I haven't. Also setting the font got messed up going back and forth.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fake, Fake, Fake—Layers of Fake: A Flip Through of Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Above is a short video flip through of my 2010 fake journal. Sadly the quality of the videos my tiny camera makes isn't such that you can read the post-it note on the cover or the handwritten note inside the cover—but those are all part of the fake journal. They were written by ANOTHER fake character, not the one keeping the journal. They'll appear in scanned form at the end of my individual posts of the pages.

For now you can see the wonderful distorted shape the APICA notebook took on during the month of April. And you can see all the pages from April 1 through April 30 in a quick flip through that will give you an overview of the project.

If the embedded video doesn't work please view the video of Roz's 2010 fake journal here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Eighteenth Entry in Roz's 2010 Fake Journal

Left: my eighteenth entry in my 2010 fake journal. Click on the image to view an enlargement.

Sorry no little video ready yet. I didn't have time to set up the camera this morning—I went on a great, but windy bike ride. But I'll get to it soon.

In the meantime—here's the next image from my fake journal, if you have been "reading" along.

Remember—no rest for the weary today—turn to your regular journal full focus.