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?



InkTober is officially around the corner and I have been doing some research to figure out what I’d like to create. It would be my first official time taking part in this online challenge and typically I like to be prepared. So far I only have my sketchbook and my inking tools, but as far as having a solid them or idea that’s a bit up in the air for me.

Inktober was started by Jake Parker in 2009. In 2015 he came up with an official prompt list and I was researching how other people have handled the prompts on youtube.

I’d love to record each drawing and post to both instagram and youtube, and maybe even blog about each piece.

This years promt is below, courtesy of Jake Parker:


As I look at the list a few drawing ideas pop into mind. And after reading his FAQ sheet, Inktober is meant to help free you up but creating drawings, but using a limited amount of resources.

Last nights research lead me to this mans youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEnObCCbncQ

I found that his approach was pretty good, and due to using the same tools each day it gave a cohesive look. He used Copic Markers, a white gel pen, and a few other materials. I loved the view of the snow.

and Here you will find his Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/lethalchris/

Typically my drawings are from realism, but this challenge will help me do a cross between realism and fantasy. I’m up for the challenge lets go #inktober #inktober2018

Choosing To Move Forward With Art As A Career

Choosing To Move Forward With Art As A Career

I have previously written a blog post about the starving artist mentality. I am not sure if it was on my business blog, on Tumblr, or where it might be right now on the innerwebs.

Lately, art as a career has been more and more on my mind. There are a few artists I look up to like Lauren Hom, Minnie Small,  Lina Iris Victor she was someone I stumbled upon, and has lead me to research other artists like Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, Chris Ofili, and Yves Klein.  There are a few illustrators that I have found through skill share that I enjoy too, Ohn Mar Win, Cat Coquillette, Leah Goren to name a few.

Lina Iris Victor says if you’re a struggling artist you are doing it wrong. It sparked interest and made me curious to know what she knows. She mentioned her job as an artist is to get the viewer to partake in self reflection, observation and to have them challenge their thinking.

I’ve found that many artists aren’t well versed in knowing what to say, or how to talk about their work. They simply want to do the work. Personally, I’ve found the most challenging parts of my art has been believing its worth while. Like I can paint a mean portrait. (Slang for a damn good portrait painting). Yet people will try to purchase something like this for less than $100 bucks. When was this ever ok? I’m on a mission to serve people through my art, through my illustration, through my lettering.

Join me in this journey.