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 22, 2015

A Small Peek into Another 2015 Fake Journal

Image ©2015 Iona

Through crossed wires I didn't get Iona's links up. It's been a while since the group links post went up, so rather than risk people missing it I've posted it here with two of her images.

You can see all of her 2015 fake journal on her blog here.

Her character worked both in black and white and in color. For the color work she used only 3 primary colors of gouache. She enjoyed the limits, but found that working in color also broke the flow of her work over the course of the month. She has plans to do a future project all in black and white.

Image ©2015 Iona

Friday, May 15, 2015

Claudia Dominguez Gives Us a Peek into Her Approach to Her 2015 Fake Journal

Image ©2015 Claudia Dominguez, from her 2015 fake journal.

As a first-time participant in the project Claudia Dominguez elected to post about her progress on the Facebook group. Because of that her images were not posted elsewhere and she gave me permission to post the images included here. Click on any image to see an enlargement.

From these images you'll see that she created strong, colorful illustrations all month. Her wrap-up is heartfelt and personal. What I saw all month was someone beating her inner critic, and I think her work shows that. I'm glad that Claudia is keeping Josefina close by for her fearlessness! I'm glad Claudia is believing in herself. I'm glad that she switched formats and started to use large sheets towards the end. This is a great reminder how we all need to adapt as our projects go forward and change and expand.

Image ©2015 Claudia Dominguez, from her 2015 fake journal.

Here is what Claudia wrote about the project:

GOALS: I needed courage. am a visual artist but I have always been rattled by fear. I have had pretty bad experiences in art school. (in that many of my teachers agree that I should not pursue art) and the critiques of graduate degrees and such have frozen me in my pursuit of art and my love for it. I have been working on a really personal and intense graphic novel and I have been having trouble following through with it. I was so afraid of not being able to deliver. I needed courage and to believe in myself now more than ever. 

I created the CHARACTER OF JOSEFINA to help me out. She is a super duper illustrator that knows that everything she touches is gold. She is not afraid to make art and believes in her gifts. 

She surprised me from the very beginning. 

Image ©2015 Claudia Dominguez, from her 2015 fake journal.


1. That I do have it in me! Josefina can finish pieces and she can do it well. With little research and in short bursts of time. if she can do it , I can do it too!

2. My inner critic is EVERYWHERE and I really unveiled it with this exercise. Instead of procrastinating on projects I can now see fear for what it is and address it head on, or in gentler ways. (I haven’t won the battle but it is a huge success for me to see fear for what it is as opposed to let it control my actions) 

3. I am usually very prolific and this time around. I slowed down to feel myself, the place around me and to express that back. I realized how I had been running around in circles afraid to really look at what I was doing. 
Image ©2015 Claudia Dominguez, from her 2015 fake journal.

4. Josefina was not pleased with a plain sketchbook. I realized I need to make them special, make them my own. It sends a clear message to my brain, when I take the time to make a book, that what I do matters. ( I signed up to Roz’ bookbinding class! ) 

5. In the middle of the month Josefina had a rant about what she wanted and jumped out of the sketchbook into larger (11 by 14 ) pieces of paper. That required more time but these compositions were also more satisfying. she had no problem solving problems on the fly. The lesson here is that when I believe in myself I come up with odd and marvelous characters like Private Mermaid! or the Superhero of Tea!

Image ©2015 Claudia Dominguez, from her 2015 fake journal.
6. EXIT strategy: Not to exit! ha! I am keeping Josefina until her fearlessness spills onto my other projects irrevocably. I will turn in a drawing made by Josefina every Wednesday and Sunday. My family is far away so I travel a lot so if I am away or in any kind of time crunch I cut out small squares so that I can sit and remember the feeling of courage for at least 10 minutes. I will keep Josefina until next April! or until I am confident I don’t need her any more. 

That is all I have for now. Thank you for making this event.  I will certainly participate next year. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cathy Sutton on Her 2015 Fake Journal

Image ©2015 Cathy Sutton; from "Mabel's Adventures in Estheenian."

This was Cathy Sutton's first year participating. Her character Mabel's journal can be seen in its entirety at this link. She departed from the guidelines of the project towards the end, but in doing so she reached another personal goal. Creativity will do that for us.

Here's what Cathy wrote about Mabel's Adventures in Estheenian:

First off I totally enjoyed this project.
I learned some very helpful things while writing about Mable and the Estheenians , and some surprising things about myself. 
Rather than babbling on about it, I'm going to list those things in point form.
My bet is many others learned the same lessons and also had some gob-smacking realizations. 
* the most surprising thing I learned was during the last week, I realized that I was overwhelmingly affected by Mable. When I was writing and drawing her confusion to how she felt when the realization came that she probably wouldn't see her Estheenian family again, I had a lump in my throat the size of a cantaloupe. I didn't cry- but I could have. 
*i found it a great experience to look at life through the eyes of a precocious 7 yr old. I thought about a lot of 7 year olds I remembered and how they thought. They cut straight to the chase. They look at a situation and make a straight forward decision. Too young for biases and prejudices. As Kerash said,"pure."
* there was so much more to say, but one entry isn't enough to say it all. I wanted to talk about language—surely Mabel picked up some Estheenian, and surely the kids (Taj and Feen) picked up some English like yes, no, hi, Mum.
No time. 
*i loved solving the problems I created—like washing and cleaning, no water, light emitting showers that clean everything.of course they won't work, but it's hard to question a society the creates nutritional pills, but also has a food simulator. (I was going to have Taj make bushels of m+m,s.) there were so many I ran into, that I had to invent something to overcome my problem. (Jet cart for instance, or the possibility of Fayjec, Feen, and Taj meeting her family. My god that would have caused days of problems. So thinking ahead was a big issue. 
SOME OF THE PROBLEMS I had with the project: 
* my art was not so hot. Some of the pictures were tiny and my pens and eyesight let me down. Lol. 
* the printing with my non dominant hand was a time consuming problem. 
*it took way way longer each day than I thought it would. 
*stretching started in the 2nd (I think) week of April. I was buried in art trying to juggle it all (whine) as well as my jewelry business. 
* I got behind and panicked. 
* I caught up and felt guilty because at the end I was doing a couple a day. At the beginning, I only wrote at the end of the day when real journaling would occur—after you've gone through the day. 
I've never written anything before and coming up with story, then illustrating it was a treat. I will do it again, but give myself a break and not register for a class at the same time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Anne Bray—2015 IFJM Journal—Enid's Return

Image ©2015 Anne M. Bray. Enid's Journal.
Anne Bray has been participating since I started the fake journaling blog in 2009. She always brings something fun and clever to the party. This year she brought back her character from last year, Enid.

Anne wrote the following project write up:
I had so much fun this time. The A-Z Challenge gave a good framework for the daily posts. Narrowing it down to A-Z scarves made it simpler, in an odd way. 
I really like being Enid. I like her spunk. (Will she become a regular on SpyGirl? Maybe just maybe). The catalog card idea worked well. That part I was able to prep in advance so that all I needed to concentrate on were Enid's thoughts and designs. (I did my journaling and posts in the morning before my 6am pre-commute routine). I now want to make catalog cards for my entire wardrobe. Every garment has a story to tell. 
The A-Z thing brought to mind my internship at M. Knoedler Gallery in NYC, when I was a junior in high school. They had just bought a second brownstone next door to their 70th Street location and had moved their library of auction catalogues and artist monographs. One of my duties was alphabetizing it all! (I did not "liberate" any tomes). Enid acted as a portal into my young awkward teenage self. 
Using the same character for a second year made the fake journaling process all the easier. I was able to slip into Enid's skin like a comfortable tee.  Keeping to the black ink was frustrating and liberating at the same time. I could focus on the silhouette of my designs and not get distracted by color and pattern.

I'm already day-dreaming about how to approach next year. And I think Enid won't be side-lined until April 1, 2016. Her antics can be followed using this URL.
You can read more about the A-Z Challenge here.
Spygirl blog can be found here.
And you can also visit Anne M. Bray at her website.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

International Fake Journal Month 2015 Closes with a Look Back

Image ©2015 Ellen Ward, from her 2015
fake journal. 
At the end of each IFJM I ask participants to look back at what they have created during the month and do a bit of a project assessment. Some look at their goals and what were met and what stretched them, others look at how they mentally dealt with flopping in and out of character, others examine how time management got the better of them or how they fit it all in. The wrap-ups help us all by letting us have a peak at their process. It enables us to look for similar traps when we set up our own long-term projects, and allows us to savor their successes even as we plan new projects.

The following artists have all posted their fake journals publicly and listed their wraps ups in the same location. I encourage you to go and check them out and see what they have created, the characters who have come to live, and the discoveries the artists are sharing.

I hope you'll leave messages for the artists to let them know what you think.

And I also hope that next year you'll consider joining in on April 1, 2016 to begin creating your own fake journal!

In the following days there will be posts from other participants who didn't post their journals publicly but who nevertheless have completed a wrap-up. These will be shared here, with a couple images from their journals. Please check back to read those wrap-ups as well.

Participants with publicly posted wrap ups:

Ellen Ward (one of her journal entries starts this post) has returned to International Fake Journal this past April to create a color-filled journal "wandering through Breugel's Hunters in the Snow." You'll enjoy this exploration of another world.

Jan Blencowe joined the project for the first time in 2015. She made a journal full of media and color exploration. Her wrap up includes a list of her goals and a point-by-point examination of those goals. She also writes about her regular artistic process and how that process shifted during IFJM and what she hopes for going forward. She also has a video flip through of her journal at this post.

Lisa-Marie Greenly provides an explanation of her process and approach at this link in Facebook. She spent the month moving about the Cities seeing with new eyes and capturing what she saw there and the interesting folks (I can't say more without a spoiler alert). She spent April with another focus as well:
My go-to medium for the last year has been drawing with my handheld device [Galaxy Note2 w/S-Note program & stylus].  It fits my needs of being with me at all times, fits in my pocket, and has the added benefit of being a camera as well as being hooked to the internet for easy posting of images.  I am trying to explore the device to a stage where I feel fluent with creating on it .  Galaxy Note2 Phone= sketchpad, pens, pencil, highlighters, camera, and laptop.. The only thing to add is I have to remember to bring a charger cord with me at all times.  Having my drawing pad run out of juice makes it useless for actually making a phone call [remember... It’s also a phone.. Sometimes I forget].   
It's fun to see some digital work in this project!

Dianne B. Carey is another returning artist. She blended collage and sketching into daily pieces that departed from her usual aesthetic (again I don't want to have to do spoiler alerts). She thinks that the specific format and goals helped her complete more work in this year's journal. I found it interesting to see how she avoided the items she usually incorporated in her work in order to get into the character's mindset. And she embraced the "I have to fit some art time into my day," perspective.

©2015 Dana Burrell. The Wrap-up page in her 2015 fake Journal.
Dana Burrell has also been participating in IFJM for several years. You'll enjoy reading her illustrated wrap up which covers supplies, goals, and her approach.

Another frequent participant is Michelle Himes. You can see her wrap up for 2015 here. She kept her goals simple—completing a page for each day and using a medium she wasn't accustomed to using. She took a fun virtual trip to Hawaii. The project also allowed her to come to a decision about watercolor pencils. I think that's always a great insight we gain from fake journals—more information of media we use for an extended time!

Lily White joined in with a project that limited her media to new choices. She further immersed herself in these new choices by restricting herself to "unusual tools" like credit cards, plastic utensils, bottle caps…no brushes. And she ended with a new fun piece that I think qualifies for Journal Infiltration! (See below.)

Check back this week for more artist's wrap-ups of their 2015 International Fake Journal Month Journal!

Update May20, 2015: Katie Powell wrote a wrap up on her blog that can be found at this link. Despite some health issues, which she writes about, she was able to continue work on her fake journal and follow through on her focus and goals. She took frequent notes about her process along the way and I'll think you'll enjoy reading those reflections. If you would like to see all the pages from her fake journal she has a dedicated page on her blog here.

Joan Tavolott returned to the project this year after a "leave of absence" (my term not hers). She worked with flowers and has some interesting observations about how the whole project went for her on her blog here. I hope that you'll go and check it out.

"Thanks Roz for creating IFJM! What a brilliant idea!" writes Lily White writes on her wrap up collage. (I'm going to need to get some green glasses! I like them. (Image ©2015 Lily White.)