Split Second of Loss Focus

Today I stepped out after lunch to go make a deposit at the bank. I have a few automatic payments set up to withdraw and I already knew that my account didn’t have all the needed finds for tomorrow the 15th. I kept telling myself I need to stop at the bank – and I just didn’t make the time or set some time aside to do it.

So during lunch I used my GPS to take me to the nearest location. My GPS said 10 min from my job.

for some reason, the route I was taking took me to the parkway. As I merged onto the route I was distracted and rubbernecking, looking to see what was causing the traffic. It was less than five seconds and I realized my GPS was telling me to turn right.

I missed the turn as a glanced to my left seeing fire trucks and police cars stopping traffic to a complete stop.

I thought if I just remained focused I wouldn’t have added an additional 10 minutes.

Pictured above is me five minutes away from my destination, at a red stop.

When I got back to the office the cerse popped on my head – abide in me. I googled the phrase not remembering the exact verse located and found, John 15:4 remain in me as I remain in you.

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

‭‭John‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬


One of my biggest desires is to reflect Gods Glory in the work I feel He has called me to do. However, if I don’t remain in his word, grounded, planted, and continually seek him, remain connected – my work will be fruitless, if not meaningless. If I want to Glorify Him, I must set aside the bad days, and seek him for strength. I must treat others with respect always. But today was hard for me.

While I felt singled out in our design meeting this morning, I know that it wasn’t intentional. Feelings don’t always win. Our emotions aren’t always right. I want to ask for forgiveness but my pride won’t let me.

There’s still 2.5 hrs before quitting time so we will see if I have the strength to ask for pardoning.

My Experience(s) with Grief in 2018

I remember when my uncle passed.

It was my introduction to grief and loss of a loved one. I don’t remember how old I was or the exact year – but I believe I was in the 7th or 8th grade. It was May, and the breaking news that my uncle had passed weighed on me.

I expereinced feeling angry because he’d promised me that when we got better he’d take me out for ice cream. but he never got better.

He passed away from lung cancer complications I’m sure. During his funeral we had to wear all white. I wore that outfit once and never again. I don’t remember going to see his body, but I do remember how much anguish and pain I saw from my mom and grandmother.

Marcel Was my grandmothers favorite son. We all know you shouldn’t have favorite, but you can tell he was her favorite because of how much shock she was in after his passing.

He was also my mom’s favorite brother. At least in my opinion. My experience was seeing people come and go to comfort the family as we were grieving, and a few months later the visits stop.

People stop checking in, they stop visiting, they move on. I think after that experience I secretely vowed I’d never go to another funeral unless it was a close and dear friend or family member.

So the next funeral I had been to was in 2014. One of my girlfriends lost her dad. January 5th, my uncle passed. Then My cousin passed on my birthday June 15th. I didn’t get to go to his funeral. Not grieve properly. We were out celebrating my 30th birthday. Most recently, one of my closest cousins whom I could really relate to about design, and God passed on October 19, 2018.

Last night he came up in a conversation and the question asked of me was, “what has his death taught you besides life is short?” It made me realize I am still privalegdeged to be here, I need to forgive myself of the wrong doings and past mistakes, ask for forgiveness and move forward in grace.

But sadness still lurkes in my heart. I am not choosing this sadness. I just feel heavy hearted. Displaced. Unhappy.

I went through Schuller’s facebook wall once more. Looking at all the birthday wishes. I wished him a happy birthday over the phone because at the time I was at a missions trip in Haiti.

It hurts. It hurts so bad, it feels like its not fair. Like Why God? Why couldn’t his testimony be like Jobs? And you know there’s this bigger thing happening where we – the youth – are all grieving differently – yet silently.

Personally I found myself trying to keep going. Keep creating, keep painting. But now? I’m feeling drained. I’m feeling like I don’t know where to search the good book. I go back to the verses and books that Schuller said he loved. I reflect back on his character. He was always positive, fully attentive, encouraging, a friend. We collaborated on a few projects together, and he mentioned time and time again for me to stop by when I had a free moment.

I didn’t. Work became the norm.

Maybe I’m experiencing regret. Heart ache? I am trying to keep my head up and #keeptruckin but it’s hard.

The heavyness comes in waves. Kind of like the ocean. it hits your feet and you feel a splash of cold, and when you look up you see a wave engulfing you into the endless blue abyss. Amazing people have that kind of impact. You missthem dealy when they’re gone.

The deep conversations, and the limitless amount of talent. RIP and RIH Schuller Ojentis, Principle Designer at SoDysne

I survived INKTOBER 2018

Hello World. Originally when this challenge started I wanted to draw, do a daily write-up and post to youtube, and then I quickly realized –  I realized I needed to RELAX just a bit. I still work a full-time job and teach on the side. So doing all that was bound to set me up for failure. Rather than give up on the daily drawing – which was the main focus of the challenge, I decided to go ahead and continue to draw and post to facebook and tumblr. I realized my write up could be what I left in the comments section below. And even then I didn’t do that on the daily either.

There were quite a few things that happened where I had no control over it. The ceiling in my room decided to fall through. My Blue Toyota Echo Died, then I went and purchased a dodge neon from my mechanic – which gave me issues less than a week later – forcing me to have to ask for help from my coworkers to tow my car. I felt embarrassed that day, but thankful none the less. A week later I found out one of my dearest cousins passed away. This October was a hard month.

There were few glimmers of joy.

My fiance’ and I finally put a deposit down on our wedding venue, I went down to DC to visit an old friend of mine, maybe two friends of mine and I took a course that helped me learn how to reframe my thinking much quicker and stay positive or deal with the things I can’t control or change right away- which was perfect timing with everything that happened this past month.

What’s Next?

I’m making prints! I’ll be opening my shop within the next two weeks and I’d love it if you joined me. Visit www.doniastudio.co and sign up to receive 35% your first order. People on my mailing list will always get the best deals and rates. Especially those that show loyalty.

What tools did I use? Keep reading to find out.

What did I learn/what did inktober teach me?

You need margin for when Life happens. What does this mean? When I’m busy I AM BUSY. But after listening to a quick live It’s become such a cliche thing to say and it may frustrate you but we don’t have control over everything. Do what you can with what you have now and everything else will fall into place. MY supervisor sat me down and let me know that my stress was showing on my face. I mean that’s not the way he broke it down to me but he let me know he could tell I needed a break. While I am not at my breaking point, I have been highly stressed, with medical issues (my thyroids) and everything I’ve listed going out of whack. I simply would like a day where I could get a massage and not think about my problems. I know that there were some days where I could have pushed my drawing a bit more. I am certain it shows in the work too. Initially, I was looking to explore different techniques with inking. Instead, I found myself using a variety of tools, like

  • Dr. PH  Martins India Ink.
  • Dynasty paintbrush in a size 1
  • pilot Inkpen
  • Marie’s guache
  • pentel pocket brush ink pen
  • Stillman and Burn Beta series 250lbs smooth mixed media sketchbook.
  • iPhone for video recording, lights supplied by my sister in law for lending me her lights.

Lastly to see where the idea of inktober came from, be sure to check out these links below:

Additional links to check out:

Jake Parker’s Blog Post: https://www.mrjakeparker.com/inktober-1/

Inktober has an official Site!!! https://inktober.com/

Learn Shift Grow

I learned so much today at the 2018 Learn Shift Grow event.

Even more so I learned about how to make changes and become more of a wholistic well being. I learned about boundaries, I learned about personal branding, I learned about eating raw, nutrition, fitness, and I won a book!

The journey to get to the event was a long one, considering my car broke down again. I went and got a rental with the help of a friend and drove down to Maryland around 9pm. It’s truly only by the grace of God that I was able to make it here safely. I found myself dazing out while driving. The entire drive was about 3 hours long. And tomorrow, I drive back up to jersey. I didn’t take too many photos, as I was doing audio recordings of all the speakers.

This event was really amazing and has me curious to learn more about healing crystals, essential oils and eating raw. I know the body can heal itself, but hearing about other people’s health ailments that they’ve overcome makes me interested in learning more.

Last year I didn’t get to come out to the event. This year I gave up all my teaching classes to make it and had other obstacles to overcome. I’m excited because my brain is nearly working overtime right now thinking of all the possibilities for next year.

The event is geared towards moms, but I believe that if you are a woman of color, married, and/or have children this event is for you!

I also loved the decor!!! And turns out the lemons were real! I snagged a few before I left, thanks Martine! Can’t wait for next years event, I’m bringing my girls with me next year!!!!

Days 6 – 7 of Inktober

I’ve finally gotten my videos to upload to YouTube. I found out that the sound/music I added wasn’t working with the mobile software. I’m assuming there’s a glitch somewhere. Tonight I get to go home and sketch day 8. While I alluded to sketching a super star in my recorded intro, I’m thinking of sketching literally the stars. How magnificent they are as they glimmer in the sky’s.

Pictures above day 7

I’m a part of a large Facebook group and it simply seems that there are many people complaining about what they don’t like. And how some pictures are able to go viral while others get no love and attention. There’s no saying if people are actually doing these prompts as each day comes. I for one did not plan in advance and I’m posting each day after each drawing I’ve completed.

Pictured above day 6

There are a few things that are overlapping as I continue this journey. Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing all about that in a future post

Day 5 – chicken

  • Did you use a reference? Yes
  • How much time was taken to complete this piece? Approximately thirty min
  • Today in the challenge… getting my videos to upload
  • Today in my life… it’s Friday. I simply want to rest. I’m thankful my coworker dropped me off to the mechanic. I’m annoyed that my lyft had the air conditioner on and took the longest route home ever.
  • Ambitious or careful? Ambitious. Really enjoyed the technique.
  • Did I struggle? No.
  • Satisfied?


Inktober Day 4 – spell

Do spells really exist? I have no idea.

Growing up, in my culture I would hear my grandma talk about the bad things people did to each other. More recently my mom told me stories about what her grand dad did to her growing up. I’ve heard stories about voodoo, voodoo dolls and zombies. Things like the walking dead, the sixth sense, Jason and all those other creepy scary movies – it’s not for me.

I hate those movies that make you jump, scream, or wake up with heart palpitations in the middle of the night.

I haven’t created the drawing yet so the following below doesn’t yet apply.

  • Did you use a reference?
  • How much time was taken to complete this piece?
  • Today in the challenge…
  • Today in my life…
  • Ambitious or careful?
  • Did I struggle?
  • Satisfied?

Inktober Day 3

Day 2 recap:

  • Did you use a reference?

yes google search

  • How much time was taken to complete this piece?

approximately 35 min

  • Today in the challenge…

staying awake. I was extremely sleepy, I need to change my drawing schedule.

  • Today in my life…

still car less, and its using some of my mental energy when I am at my day job. I don’t like it but I have to figure out how to get to and from work.

  • Ambitious or careful?

somewhat careful still? Maybe both. I was ambitious to try drawing in cross hatching, but when I go back to view the video, I see where I could have stopped.

  • Did I struggle?

not at all.

  • Satisfied?


I probably should really quit…

I realize I go to a lot of events. I’ll go alone, I’ll go with friends, I’ll even go to make new friends. I’m not like Drake, “No New Friends, No New Friends” attitude.

I knew I had an event to go to but still didn’t make time to sketch. Today’s prompt is roasted….. all I can think of is roasted coffee and roasted chicken. What else do we roast?

  • Did you use a reference?

Yes google.

  • How much time was taken to complete this piece?

Twenty minutes

  • Today in the challenge… didn’t know what to draw
  • Today in my life… still carless, and frustrated with not having a form of transportation. It’s consuming my mind while I’m at work!
  • Ambitious or careful? Careful.
  • Did I struggle? Not at all.
  • Satisfied? Ehh

I didn’t Quit – Inktober 2018 Day 2

I didn’t quit. I published on my IG, shared to my Facebook, Tumblr and I’m still alive. I wanted to answer these questions I posted at the end of yesterday’s blog post. I did publish really late but for yesterday the answers are still fresh in my head, and besides, I am finding it a little difficult to fall asleep. Not to mention I had a caramel latte and I’m assuming that has something to do with it. I haven’t had a cup of coffee in a few weeks.

  • what counts as a piece of art?
    • an illustration made in the designated sketchbook for Inktober.
  • are you allowed to miss a day?
    • I’d really prefer not to. There’s something sexy about showing up and being consistent. but do we ever really know if and when something will come up? There are so many people that are able to get through without a blimp, or in spite of it. It’s all about moderation and being intentional. Like me staying up until nearly 3 am isn’t the best time considering I’ll have my work cut out for me.
  • will you be planning the art in advance?
    • just thinking about the prompts. like today’s prompt is tranquil. it can go either way. I was thinking every post had to reflect some form of evil…. still working on this.
  • what’s this all for?
    • to grow as an artist, illustrator, and designer. learning how to solve other peoples problems using my design and illustrative skills. I’m hoping to work on my sketch framing, storytelling, and grow my audience.

These questions below are questions I’ll answer more regularly. The previous ones were to establish what my goals were.

  • Did you use a reference?
    • I did, mainly my own and google search images.
  • How much time was taken to complete this piece?
    • approximately 40 min
  • Today in the challenge…
    • I struggled with making time to sketch. I was focused on my mastermind call and paying invoices.
  • Today in my life…
    • my room is literally upside down. and I can’t wait to have it back in order.
  • Ambitious or careful?
    • my drawing was a bit careful. for something that was last minute I don’t know that I wanted to delve too much into attempting to draw something I was completely unfamiliar with.
  • Did I struggle?
    • somewhat. using a new material that takes a bit of adjusting, it’s the Pentel brush and you can achieve various thicknesses with one brush.
  • Satisfied?
    • yes! I published something, and then I shared it!!!.

Just hoping I don’t regret this in a few hours as I prep to go to my main job…


InkTober Day 1 – I want To Quit

It’s the first day of inktober and I am already thinking about quitting. I know, I know terrible right?

I haven’t even gotten a chance to take pen to paper and start drawing yet. I certainly didn’t dare to look at the hashtags either. But it seems like this year is bigger and better. So many people have been talking about inktober through different platforms, and I’m excited of what can come of it, but I am uncertain about if I can really commit to it.

My room is up in shambles. No, I mean literally, the ceiling is – or was falling and now my room is pretty much dismantled. My car, A Toyota baby blue Echo, Which was coined the name Bluegotti  is in the repair shop, and I’m not willing to throw more money into her. It’s a little bit of an emotional time because she’s been a ride or die for me for the past several years.

Now for inktober, I wanted to document my process through video and up load it to youtube, and share through my socials – IG, Twitter, Facebook.

Maybe I’m doing the most, and just need to focus on creating the artwork. I’ve already went and purchased all my tools for inktober. I just need to make time and schedule in the sketchbook practice. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, there is a prompt list that we can follow. And I have a bit of an Idea I’d like to execute for the sketch. I just need to sit down and do it.

But I’ve also been thinking about quitting. Am I doing too much? Am I setting a realistic goal? If I choose to simply post in Instagram, that would be the minimum effort. Draw, ink, take a good picture, use the tools I have to edit and make it look pretty & clean, then post. Or at least that’s my thought process of how it might go. I have to actually sit and do it to see what it’s really like. Adding the video component is extra and not really necessary. I’ve updated my personal calendar and I can see where my free time is and I can work around that.

Lastly, I’m hoping this will catapult me into drawing daily. If I am going to push forward with focusing on art as a career, I need to be a little bit wise in how I approach that. I’ve gotten the inspiration from fellow artist Minnie Small to ponder and reflect on these questions for an upcoming project:

  • what counts as a piece of art?
  • are you allowed to miss a day?
  • will you be planning the art in advance?
  • what’s this all for?
  • Did you use a reference?
  • How much time was taken to complete this piece?
  • Today in the challenge…
  • Today in my life…
  • Ambitious or careful?
  • Did I struggle?
  • Satisfied?