Friday, May 9, 2014

Evaluation of the Fake Journal Experience

Last Page of Lily's Journal
Roz Stendahl suggested in her last blog post that participants of International Fake Journal Month set the recently completed journal aside for a week and move on to a new project. Then take the journal out, read through it and really study and evaluate it. What did you like about the experience? What worked? What didn't.  Write it down so that you have it for future reference.

Here is my evaluation.

I liked the freedom I felt I had to create and write anything. I was able to say things that I have been thinking about, wondering about, hoping, but that aren't necessarily real life for me. By making these experiences real in someone else's life, I got to be a part of them too. I could combine my own memories with bits and pieces of other people's lives and make it Lily's life and world. I liked that I could put a little bit of me in her friends and in her family. I loved her parents. The relationship she has with them is what I've wished for myself (though didn't know that until working on this journal.) I would have loved to have had a close relationship with an interesting, wise, loving father. My dad may have been, but I didn't get the chance to find out. And I think that subconsciously I may have wished that my mom had had a strong, loving, supportive husband to share her years with. I hope that the relationship Lily has with her parents is the type of relationship Alina feels she has with us. Lily is modeled somewhat after Alina  (my 26 year old daughter) and her love of New York City, with some of Beth, an old friend, (confidence) and Paula, my sister in law, (independent) added in.

It is hard to know for certain how the character of Lily Roberts came to be. I do think that if I hadn't created my Identity Visual Journal* this past winter, Lily would not have been the character I developed for this fake journal. My Inner Hero, the Historian, is in large part who Lily is. Her love of medieval history and art is because of My Inner Hero, The Monk. Her parents characters came about because of my desire for a father to grow up with. See my Inner Hero, The Child.

Notes on the art of the journal:

What I liked:
The paper held the paint well. It didn't curl much.
The pens write over the professional acrylic paints beautifully.
Lesson learned: use the cheap acrylics to add color. In areas where I want to write something, apply Liquitex or other quality acrylic.
The colors layered on top of each other on Days 1 and 2.
The size of the journal both to work in and to hold.
Working on just one page a day (rather than a page spread) made the project achievable.
Working in a bound book rather than a spiral one. The pages fit nicely together and allowed for a seamless flow from one side to the other.
Having a limited amount of pages. It created a book.
The simple outline of the faded rose on Day 10.

What I didn't like:
The pinks and baby blues on Days 13 and 14.
Days 23 and 24 are too busy with distinctive marks.

Taking it from here:
Want to strengthen my lettering skills. Take Valerie's on line class?
Want to get good at italic calligraphy again. Must practice.
Do more spontaneous drawings such as the tulips on Days 15 and 16.
Do more image transfers.
Use light colors on the page backgrounds.

I have a new visual journal in mind for this summer. It is one that I will do through the persona of Lily.

*I have yet to upload the completed pages of this journal, but you can click on Identity Visual Journal tag on the right hand side to see the pages I did post about.

You can view my fake journal in its entirety by following this link: Lily's Journal

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Month of Fake Journaling

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been working on a "fake" journal during the month of April. It has been a blast!

Lily's Journal

This was an opportunity to work in a journal format that I have wanted to explore, but as of yet, had not. And work in a style different than what I usually do.

When I work on my art, I place a large sheet of paper down on my table and work on top of it. I use this paper to test colors, clean off brushes, make notes, etc. I have been saving these with the goal of using it as pages in a journal or the background a new art project. Tearing the sheets down to journal size, I nestled them in an order that allowed the pages to relate to the ones they were next to. Before binding it, I added some paint randomly on most of the pages to give the journal some cohesiveness. Next I used a stencil to date each page. Then I bound it with a 5 hole pamphlet stitch. The pages were torn which created a nice deckled effect.

Since I usually work in a grid-like fashion with squares and rectangles and lots of collage, this fake journal incorporated circles and I prohibited the use of any glued on material. I found this to be the most challenging part, but the most beneficial. If I wanted to visually depict something I was forced to draw it. I used graphite pencils, colored pencils, acrylic paints and inks and various types of markers and pens.

The layers of random jottings and paints created a very intricate, complex, beautiful background. One I would not have been able to create from scratch. It happened all by chance.

I have wanted to create some abstract work but really did not know how to begin. Creating this journal taught me how to approach it.

The best lesson I learned was to just go for it and have fun! That I did.

Click on the photo to visit my fake journal blog. There you can read all the entries.
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