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.) 


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.


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.

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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.

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

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:

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.

Making A Buck Online

I was going through my email today and came across an article that resonated all too well.

If you are in the email marketing space, you are familiar with people having blogs, email lists, and signups and eventually selling goods or services online.

For some reason, when it comes to those that are creative, people have the mindset that if we make a buck or two online we are sellouts.

But – as used in the article – doctors that have their own practice that love what they do – are fine to charge for their services. The same goes for Lawyers and online businesses. Let it be anything of a relatively creative venture, and it’s the starving artist mentality.

Often it’s said that you may have the wrong people in your bunch, or your message just isn’t resonating with the right people. You have services that downplay the validity of designers like Fiverr, (WTF).

As a creative, I’m learning more and more why design matters. And by the way, a Basquiat painting sold for 110.5 million last week. Come correct or don’t come at me for my services at all.

Read Paul’s article.