Sketching Every Day

Sketching Every Day

I’ve been desiring to draw more. I’ve drawn nearly all my life, and after college, I stopped doing what came naturally to me. I’ve been struggling to get back into it, but I think I’ve found a way.

In an attempt to get back into sketching, I’ve purchased additional paints, sketchbooks, pencil, and paper. Yet the start of sketching every day has yet to be fully in place. I have a friend that I talk to nearly every day and she sent me some inspirational posts. We talk about design, owning our own studios, and everyday challenges – from at home to the pressures we face every day.

Each and every morning, I check my personal e-mail before arrival to work. I browse through until its time to start my day at work. Today I saw an email from an artist friend distances away. She quickly sketched my portrait at the then last seanwes conference. (Forgive me as I cannot seem to find the original Instagram post.) 

ART IS MY SAFE SPACE

There are so many things that I aspire to do and I always come back to art, always. Art is my safe space. Last year, as a way to raise money for my very first international missions trip, (I went to Haiti to serve my people,) if anyone donated more than $200.00 USD, I made a custom painting for them.

Be Bold – for Brit
Portrait Painting for Latisha Styles.

A post shared by Keshna Donia (@keshnadonia) on

 

I’d always wanted to visit. I even wanted my first trip to be more like a vacation, I wanted to see why it was known to be the pearl of the Caribbean. My mom and dad were born in Haiti. And I was able to serve by selling my paintings.

 

I also painted out of generosity. One of my good friends was in a horrible accident. She lost both of her babies. I decided to paint them and give her a beautiful memory.

I've had my head down working …..

A post shared by Keshna Donia (@keshnadonia) on

As I checked my email today, an email from Liz wrote,

 

This is just a quick mid-month email to make sure that you have heard about a week-long online workshop which I will be part of. I shared details on my blog and Instagram account last week, but if you missed it, here is the information:
 


It’s called Sketchbook Revival (hosted by my new friend Karen Abend) running between 23 April – 4 May  (and drum roll please) it’s FREE!

It will feature over 20 artists (fine artists, illustrators, intuitive artists, designers, art therapists and art journalers etc) and each session will feature an activity/workshop with the focus on creating art inside a sketchbook. 

I did indeed miss the post. but I’ll be joining this challenge. One of my goals for the new year has been to sketch more. And to enter into a daily sketch challenge. I guess it’s being handed to me. I’ve since joined the facebook group and will be taking part in this daily sketch challenge that I found on Liz’s blog. Challenge link.

Lastly, if you’ve been on my blog before, you’ll notice a few changes. I’m looking to move this blog to more of a lifestyle blog. Integrating art, design, fitness, finance, and spirituality. Stick with me through these changes and remember to create, design, and build.

Becoming a better Designer

Around this time last year I started blogging regularly and I wanted it to document my journey from here to there – there being IDEO.

I'm not there yet but a friend of mind posed a really great question. What if the industry still existed but ideo no longer exists? Then what?

This question was posed to ensure I wasn't putting ideo on a pedestal and for me to research and figure out other ways to do the work I'm interested in. It floored me. I had no responses and began to wonder," are there any other companies that do similar work?"

Regardless of the answer, I believe that I first have to become a better designer. I need to be designing for people in need, and to be solving real world problems. They can be small or big- but the best ones are within reach.

Most of design today is based on existing products that are slightly modified, but planned for obsolescence.

I keep debating if it's wise to return to school for a graduate degree or if I can continue in my field to gain additional experience. The field has grown exponentially and it's become competitive in a different playing field. But IDEO.org stands out to me as they focus on designing for people in poverty.

This hits home because my family knows what it means to grow up in poverty and struggling. Ever since I learned the power of design, I've wanted to use it to do good and to service people. It's what drew me deeper into the world of product design- designing products to improve people's lives.

So where does one start to improve themselves as an industrial designer? Especially when access to tools and understanding of engineering is limited- insert me and my scenario. Often you'll hear people say scratch your own itch. But for me, industrial design is all about scratching the itch for other people in need.

Clean Water in 2017

So this missions trip for me was all about experiencing Haiti from a service standpoint. Yet it’s becoming more than that. If there is one thing I hear over and over again, it’s “do not drink the water”.
Often you hear this from country to country – especially when traveling overseas and in poorer countries.
But why is it that in the 21-century clean water isn’t prevalent everywhere?
Since going to school and studying industrial design, accumulating debt because “it’s an investment” and having a belief that I can change the world through design, I figured I can start with figuring out the best way to get clean water.
I really want to design to improve people’s lives. I understand that having a business requires making a profit – even if its just to sustain the business.
So where does one start?
I can see where a missions trip can have good intentions but we have to bring bottles of water with us. What happens to the waste we’ve brought and accumulated? If there was a better way to help filter water locally – so that foreigners could drink, and not get sick – this would eliminate costs for the non-profit as well as waste added to Haiti’s landfill.

Behind the scenes painting process

Behind the scenes painting process

So as many people know – especially if you are following along my Facebook timeline and maybe even my twitter feed, I’ve been using my art and design to help raise funds for my missions trip in just a few short weeks.

I found out today that my campaign is trending. (Yay) But trending won’t get me to Haiti 🇭🇹 Donations will. As an incentive to encourage people to give more, if one donates $100 or more I’ll create a custom piece for them.

Today I’ll show you behind the scenes of painting number three. I can’t show you the completed painting of number two because well, it’s been shipped out and the recipient hasn’t gotten it just yet. I don’t want any spoilers and I have no clue if she reads my blog.

Where it Starts

After someone donates I follow up with them to see what they’d like me to create.

Each canvas is 18 by 24 inches long. This canvas is being prepped for a hand lettered quote. I use various brands of paint but DickBlick has really good acrylic paints. The colors are vibrant and they dry with a semi-gloss finish.

Painted canvas


Typically I use larger paint brushes to cover large canvas but since this is a painting with such detail and precision I’ll be using these fine brushes I purchased on Amazon. If I want an easy cleanup, I use this wax like sheets for a pallet. I can’t remember the brand and the cover has been torn off. I also have different containers to put my paints and mix in but since the colors on this next piece will be limited I’ll stick the the above paper like a pallet.

I’ll sketch out ideations for the hand lettering piece and work on the composition for the best way the quote can be read with impact.

(No previews because the canvas is still wet and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for my donors).

After finding the right layout and sketch I will use tracing paper and carbon paper to get the image to the canvas. Since this canvas is black I’ll be scanning my sketch into the camera and projecting my image onto the canvas.

I can show you a finished piece that has been delivered – she made a video about it on Facebook.



What can I make for you? Remember to donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/haitimissions17

openIDEO – Last Weeks Event

I went to last weeks event.

And it wasn’t what I thought it would be – but it was interesting to hear peoples ideas. I’m not even sure what I was really expecting!

I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was able to listen in on people’s ideas surrounding technology, medicine, virtual reality – I tried one of those headsets and it’s fun but still has a sense of creepy/paranoia to it. I’d hate to take the mask off and someone is watching me 😱👀👁.

The most difficult thing about event’s like this is going alone and not seeing anyone right off the bat you can connect with. I sat alone for about a good thirty minuets. However, soon after, I met someone who did e-commerce for RiteAid. We spoke for a while an learned about each others background. It was great to know I wasn’t the only one there that wasn’t a student. I assumed everyone else there was. I was wrong.

Some of the ideas that were presented were really good. One person was looking to deliver medication through a patch – similar to the way nicotine is delivered. Someone else was interested in Expanding the usage of Drones. Someone else was interested in developing virtual reality. I love these types of things because it shows just how far the mind can span in creativity.

After watching a handful of presentations a few things came to mind:

  • You’ve got to believe in your idea 💡 so others want to jump in.
  • Be willing to collaborate with others from different backgrounds – you never know their perspective or what they can bring.
  • Get comfortable speaking in public – you never know who’s watching.

 

I remember the maker space in the Newark Museum. We taught high school students how to use Arduino boards and how to make their own controls, they also learned how to use a 3d printer – the maker bot. They learned how to make stencils, screen printing and they were able to meet Cory Booker when he was still Mayor of Newark.

It would be really cool if there was a central hub like this for high school students. It seems that many students from NYU take this as a prerequisite course to learn design thinking. How great would it be to incorporate thinking like this into high schools!

Since I punked out last time, I figured I should go, and see what openIDEO was all about. There were some pretty sweet awards and it seems to be geared towards innovation, technology and the future.

I hope there’s a chapter that opens up in Jersey in the near future. Sorry but the trip to NYC is just too expensive for me.

Parking (if you want to find your car when you get back and not get towed: $25.00

Food: (was provided but I stopped to get something just in case) $10.00

Crossing the bridge:  (I’m guessing because ez-pass)… $15.00

I’d recommend checking out the openIDEO challenges if you are looking to network, jump onto a challenge or if your just curious.