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?"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Location, Location, Location: Where To Set Your Fake Journal

I encourage first time fake journal keepers to make it as simple as possible for themselves—don't worry about changing your handwriting, and if you do, just change your pen; keep your journal in the present time so  you aren't prone to anachronisms; write about something that you already know about.

There is another way that you can keep your fake journal project easier to keep up with—locate your character either in your current city, or in a city that you know very, very well.

Once you establish that location it is simple for you to recount details about locations—all the little details you would write and draw if you were sitting at a café watching the world go by.

Several participants of past IFJM celebrations have written fake travel journals with great success. But it also appealed to them at the time they were writing, to do the extra research on locations so that they would have details to include.

Just as your regular journal seems more substantial and clear when you include details from your location, such as cultural events, weather, street names, descriptions of fashion, and so on, your fake journal can benefit from the same focus.

If you do decide to place your fake journal in some distant location how will you handle sketching buildings and such? Immediately you've placed yourself in the "sketch from photos" activity. Will you be happy not sketching from life for a month in your fake journal? Have you been to that location in the past and do you have your own photos from which to sketch? If you don't have your own photos will you be sketching from copyright free photos?
Something to Consider: Remember when you sketch from photos that someone else took you are actually infringing on their copyright. You might think it's OK because you aren't going to do anything commercial with your sketch, but I encourage you to always assume that you might.  I can't tell you how many non-professional artists have come up to me and asked me about printing and selling cards, or paintings, etc., that they have painted from the photos of others. Time has passed and everyone tells them what a wonderful painting it is and they have decided they should do something with it. To do so legally would require that you track the copyright holder down and get permission and possibly pay a licensing fee.

I always encourage people who are drawing from photos to use their own photos. That way they get to set up the lighting, the composition, the central focal point—all to tell the story they are trying to tell. And just as important, they now can use that painting in whatever way they want.
Let's get creative for a moment. There's another way that you can go to a distant location without using photos of that location that were taken by someone else. Your character might be the type of visual journal artist who only sketches animals, birds, desserts, food items, etc. These are all things that you can draw from life where you actually are, or from your own photos if that's how you would like to proceed.

You can do your location research and read up about the area, and then next to your illustration of your pigeon (who was actually a neighborhood pigeon you just fed and sketched) you can write about the life of the people around you, based on the reading research you did.

Think about location and how you want to handle it before you jump in! A little bit of planning now will make it easier for you throughout the month.


Suzanne said...

Someone who is determined to create a fake journal in another location could also use Google maps street view function. As long as you use the image to create artwork and not use the photo without credit to Google (avoid the user posted photos, blue dots that come up with a name) the image can be safely used with no copyright problems.
It is still a photo to draw from rather than life and there will be a research aspect but the copyright concern can be avoided.

Sarah said...

I've been considering Google's Street View as a reference as well. So many possibilities...

Roz Stendahl said...

Suzanne and Sarah, I'm so used to always drawing from life I don't think about these alternatives and I'm glad you bring them up for others. It's getting so that you don't even have to leave your house if you want to sketch from photos (and I'm perfectly OK with that—both the photos and not leaving the house!)