Travel Jitters

The traveling jitters are settling in.

Sunday I went to a meetup and met some amazing people. I met another person who is half Haitian (Sac Pase’?)! She was half Haitian and half French.

The meet-up was organized by my lettering artist and friend Eric. It was truly amazing to meet people who were traveling around the world. One person came from Texas, another from Portland!!

My interest in travel has increased and I was able to share my upcoming service trip to Haiti. My nerves are beginning to get the best of me, I am uncertain of what to expect and more so what to bring!

Never have I been so happy for my period to come (what it’s natural) – I didn’t want to have to deal with that overseas, in a third world country and without the luxurious things like wipes and toilet tissue. Oh, the first world things we take for granted! Perhaps this trip will be a rude awakening – or it’ll inspire me to see what the rest of the world is like.

Perhaps this trip will be a rude awakening – or it’ll inspire me to see what the rest of the world is like. As of right now, I do not know.

Yesterday marked 290 of my 365-day writing challenge. I am trying to figure out if it would be wise to double up my posts over the next few days and share my experience of traveling overseas when I get back.

I know one thing for sure, I am bringing my journal so that I can write. I was also hoping to bring a camera along, which may not happen. I haven’t fully reached my financial goal of 3500. A few people have made promises to donate, and it feels like a promise to pay a loan – you know it won’t happen.

I decided to pick up a part time job, with flexible hours to try and make additional income for this trip.

I’ll continue to go live on my facebook page and share my progress goals. It’s been an interesting journey thus far. I really want to focus on what I need to pack for my service trip and spend the rest of the time in deep prayer.

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:

Simple Pleasures

Earlier this week I took a look at my nails only to see they were scuffed up from handling brown boxes and comping displays from my day job ( I am a package designer). For a moment I got really upset.

As I took a look at my gel cover nails, for a moment I got really upset. And then a thought crossed my mind, “even if you were at a salon this is nothing to get upset over.” 

I started thinking about how we go in for services from businesses operated by people, and we get upset over the mistakes that happen, or that we just aren’t satisfied and we ask for a change.

But having time to sit and get my nails done in the first place is a privilege. It’s a luxury in a sense. It surely isn’t a need, but it is certainly a simple pleasure.

The scuff marks and slow decrease of shine illuminating from my nails no longer mattered. There are people that will never get to enjoy the simple pleasure of nail polish. Some people are so concern about the world they live in that they forget the bounds of the world outside of them.

So frustration slowly turned into a moment of simple pleasure and gratitude.

What do you engage in as a simple pleasure?

Keep it clean.

I had No Idea She Would Do This

Can I tell you about my day yesterday?

It started out a bit normal and then got a bit bumpy.

In case you didn’t know I still have a day job. (Nothing wrong with that). I make point of purchase displays. They look something like this.

I went into work as usual and about 3 pm I got a call from a friend that I hadn’t heard from for a while.

You see these past weeks I’ve been making custom art and going live on Facebook to share the process. As I mentioned last week, I am going to Haiti on a Missions trip.

This friend called me to tell me how uncomfortable I made them feel. Really it was them feeling uncomfortable for me not seeing the numbers budge on my go fund me page.

Oh did I mention they had contributed to my missions already?

While this is my first missions trip out the country, it isn’t the first time I am raising funds. Yes – it is very uncomfortable putting myself out there, but there is a huge learning process happening and so much growth that I am grateful for. And honestly, if I had the spare money I’d pay my own way.

My voice changed while on the phone  – and I began to feel really emotional and frustrated. I thought this friend supported me, I thought this friend understood the purpose of why I was raising funds.

After work, I had a meeting to run to and I saw a notification from Facebook. I approved it to post on my wall without looking at what it was. When I went back to my profile and my page to see what was added a flood of emotions came rolling back.

I had no idea she would do this!

Little did she know that doing this would impact my day. She got it, she understood why I was doing this.

A little message for you: 

Be mindful of the way you say things to people.

They will always remember how you made them feel. 

I understood the intent that my friend had – and we’ve patched things up by communicating on the phone. I learned that my friend had never done anything similar to what I am doing. I forgive her.

Now for the Facebook live video,

Curious to know what she did?

Check out the Facebook video here.


I was listening to a podcast earlier today while at my 8 to 5 and it talked about Kickstarter and the emotional aspect of crowd sourcing. It resonated a bit as I continue the process with my fundraising for my upcoming missions trip.

I decided to pair my funding with a reward for those that gave above $100 – an incentive if you will – to encourage more people to give in hopes of receiving something.

The podcast briefly touched on the emotional roller coaster ride that ensues with hitting launch and waiting for the response of the public.

it seems that one would never really know just how terrifying it is unless they’ve experienced it for themselves.

Currently, I am at an emotional state of just wanting my campaign to be over. I am grateful to all that have contributed, yet there is still a feeling of angst as I continue to wait for the final results to trickle in.

I’ve told myself that I will give and support other organizations that I believe in because raising funds is much more difficult when you don’t have a defined tribe and audience to appeal to.

If you are curious to know which podcast I was listening to it was the great discontent episode 6. I am hoping to go see a live viewing of the show this month.

Currently, I am at $1000.00 from a goal of $3500.00.

Expecting Too Much

I was expecting way too much from my job Employers makes clear list of the duties you are responsible for. And if it includes a bit more beyond what’s listed it’ll often say “etc”. 
I’ve talked to many people that seem content and happy with their lives and I just couldn’t understand why. 
Until it dawned on me – I’m expecting too much from my job. I believe many people are looking for fulfillment and joy and peace – to understand their purpose and to walk in it. As someone who loves design and the variety it offers I found myself discontent with my day job. I didn’t like the day to day tasks as a package designer and engineer and I tried to understand where the frustrations were stemming from. 
Perhaps I’m expecting too much? 
Some people are lucky to have their dream jobs, their careers to move up in, their vocation – something they are readily available to dedicate their lives to. I don’t think I’ve found that just yet but I’m Coming to an understanding that design is a means to and end. My end goal is to provide exceptional service to people through design. 
Just like we can’t be everything to one person, a job can’t bring ultimate fulfillment to my creative aspirations. 
It’s probably the worst way to expect such fulfillment considering things like health, travel, family – and I am well aware that there are a few companies that take very good care of their employees through benefits bonuses and their company culture. 
I thought back to my happiest moments. It was when I was working two jobs, volunteering with a local business development center and building the foundations of donia studio. 
Through all that I still managed to serve my church, and attend important events, get my fitness goals in and spend time with loved ones. 
We all seek balance. 
In a world full of chaos we are typically looking for balance. Some people find it and many people don’t. 
I decided I needed to do something bigger than myself. I’d been seeking answers for the longest time. I was in the middle of planning a trip to Haiti for December of this year. It’d be a group of 10-15 people to go and explore Haiti. Originally I didn’t want to be exposed of the poverty and struggle- I wanted a better memory to go home with. Yet somewhere along the lines I realized – How selfish of me. This is the mother land of where my mom, granny and great grandmother comes from. Why should I run from it? 
Knowing all the spaces were filled I decided to track down an application and put it in anyway. I was extended an invitation to one of the meetings where I learned of the needs to be met. 
About a month later someone else decided they were not ready to go. They gave up their seat and it was given to me. I know how important service is and the ultimate challenge is to do that in extremely uncomfortable standards. 
I think this is the answer I’ve been searching for.

I’m running a go fund me campaign, raising funds for this upcoming missions trip. It’s been a struggle to consistently put myself out there. I’ve paired the campaign with my design services as a way to give something back to those that contribute. 
The process has been long, and is teaching me quite a bit. As I write this I am at $950.00. I’ve found that some of the closest people in my circle don’t give. And that has been the discouraging part. However, it’s also given me insight to contribute to those charities I believe in. It’s shown me first hand the difficulty in raising funds. 
Here’s the link to make a contribution

Crunching Numbers

I came home from work today and I’ve been crunching numbers all evening. I realize I’ve been handling my finances all wrong.

Somehow I put my bills in front of my own personal needs.

I haven’t even been Tithing.

Over the past few days, I’ve been pushing my fine art work more. I even reached out to a few studios that offer private parties. I mean I have to make additional income just in case I don’t meet my mission fundraising goals. I’ve gotten rejection after rejection

Thus far I’ve gotten rejection after rejection. And then I made a promise in my heart.

If this art job works out I’ll start paying my tithes and give the entire first check from the painting to my church. Immediately after making the promise in my heart, I began to wonder what would happen if I disappointed God? If I failed at my promise? I figured I must be on the right path if this is where my thoughts are taking me.

I mentioned how I made some (bad choices) to help my mom financially and it’s put me in a tight space. I’ve decided it’s time to do better.

I wanted to know how to split up my finances and came across this calculator. I am trying this out this upcoming month because I’m tired of being at a disadvantage due to lack of proper implementation.

No one should have to pay for my financial mistakes and I really wish people in power cared enough to really empower communities faced at a disadvantage. What ever happened to giving back?

I intend to do better and share these things I am learning because being mad solves nothing. I have to do better.

Malachi 3:10 says:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD almighty, ” and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be enugh to store it.

Yet often we think of our bills first. Or the things we want versus the things we need. As I read through this article I decided to take notes and make a new list for my bill payments. I’m tired of not being able to make investments in myself and my immediate family due to financial issues.

Lastly, if you haven’t heard the latest interview on power 105.1 with the breakfast club, be sure to check it out.

Mixed Signals

Today is Haitian Mothers Day. I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I didn’t do much to celebrate other than bringing in a dish for my mom.

I guess it was a little special because a few of my aunts and uncle came by to see my grandmother. I actually ran into my uncle on his way out the house.

I mentioned to him that I’d be going to Haiti and his wife was standing next to him and I got mixed signals from the two.

It’s like when you hear about a restaurant that your friends have gone to visit, a few people will say something like, “yes go and try it out – be sure to order the ribs,” and on the other hand you’ll get a friend that tells you, ” No just stay away from that place.”

I am getting mixed reviews and mixed signals.

Yes, Haiti is my uncles Country, he says there is nothing there to live off. Whereas his wife said no, there are beautiful places to visit and see, especially if you are going to the north. Either way, Haiti will never be home for me. Jersey is home for me like it or not, it’s home and just like any other state, it has its good places and the places you should just keep away from.

My uncle told me that if my Great grand uncle was going, I should have him show me where my mom and grandmother lived – basically their home. I think it would be interesting but I’d only be comparing to where I live.

I’m realizing that at the end of the day, it’s important for me to go and have my own experience. You can’t always go by other people’s reviews. Sometimes, you just have to experience it for yourself.