Sunday, May 1, 2016

Alicia's Aquarium Journal -Wrap - Up

This is the 6th time I have participated in IFJM. I didn’t get my inspiration for my theme this year until a few days before I needed to start. Although Roz suggested “a shift in place “ I decided to do a storied theme like I have done in the past. My character was working in an aquarium. I started by compiling a list of creatures that would be found in an aquarium and possible events that would take place there. For each sea creature I selected I did some research on facts or something that could be put in as a detail in the story. I did use photo references that were “royalty free” if possible and if not I changed the image as well as the setting quite a bit. At times I wasn’t sure I would have enough creatures for each day of the month, so I perused many aquarium websites for creatures to include. I ended up having one possible post that I didn’t use. I knew I had to be willing to do quite a bit of research to make this work, but I knew it would be worth it.
As the month went on I had a serious family medical problem to deal with. My father-in-law was at the end of his days with cancer, and my husband and I were helping out at his apartment nearly every day. I just brought along my computer and sketchpad and worked on the journal when he was sleeping. I think it was good for me because it gave me something I could control and concentrate on in the middle of a terrible time. He passed away on Thursday. While I was there and he was still aware of what was happening, he enjoyed seeing the pages I was creating.
I am happy with the way my journal came out. There are several things I need to remember or think about for next year.
• The sketchbook I was using didn’t have enough pages so I bought a second one thinking I would just add the additional pages to the spiral as I did in the past. However I didn’t get the second sketchbook until I had already started the journal and will now have to remove all the pages from the filled one and put the last 4 pages behind them so they are all together. Maybe I should just do individual pages and have them bound at Staples after I finish.
• When I was nearly done I wished I had used a material that was different from what I usually work with. I always use watercolors and some ink. I rarely experiment or go out of my comfort zone. Maybe next time I will think about using gouache instead, since I have wanted to experiment with that for a while. Working on a collaged background might be fun too.
My thanks to Roz and all the participants. It has been a joy to follow your journals this month! There were days that I was able to find time to comment, but not always…be assured that I did look even if I didn’t comment. It is great to be in the company of so many talented people.
When I have a bit more time I will go to Roz’s page and find the blogs that are listed and revisit them to read them together. I hope to see all of you back for IFJM 2017!