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:

Something Is Happening Here

Something Is Happening Here

It’s getting easier to share my writings and as comments pour in there is a new found motivation happening. So far the topics that seem to resonate the most are fitness/wellness and health, beauty, faith and spirituality, and a few of the life lessons learned.

While this is an assumption, it informs me that the writing needs to be relatable and not always offer a solution-  but perhaps invite someone to share their experience, thoughts and opinions. A common ground really.

But something else is happening as well, showing up to my blog allowed me to talk freely (where I felt comfortable in sharing publicly) about myself, my struggles, fears and dislikes – but as new people come along for the journey I know I don’t wish to sound like I am rambling. It’s forcing me to choose my topics a bit more intentionally.

But my writing were (selfishly) for me. A place to clear my head, improve my writing style, “find my voice” as people like to say and just explore. But more people are peeping in. Curiosity is striking and I see you! 🙂

One thing I believe is that we have one life and everything is interconnected. From the choices we make, to the people we meet, the seasons of life and everything in between its there with and for purpose.

I want these writing to help me articulate better and help me in finding clarity – especially when it comes to designing for people. This thing thats happening has only come through experimenting, showing up consistently, and being authentic.

Perhaps a crowd is forming- and I’m not gonna lie – it’s interesting to take note, to point it out even. Perhaps an audience is forming.


In Two Years

In Two Years

This morning I was scrolling through my photos on my phone and I came across one that was taken during my brother and sister (in law) wedding shower.

I was so happy back then.

I was working out, I enjoyed the outfits I was able to wear and well… two years down the line, and a whole lot of stress later – I’ve gained nearly thirty pounds, a double chin and then some.

However, looking at those photos made me realize I can still change a few things.

It motivated me to take my behind to the gym this morning. I did 45 minutes of cardio. I figured that 45 min on the treadmill is more than I did yesterday. I also figured if it means walking the pounds away – so be it.

I’ve been researching more about nutrition and health. Fun (random fact) I always told myself if a career in design didn’t work out, I’d go back for nutritional health. I’ve since reached out to several people that are well versed in the subject and I’m slowly but surely working my way back into better health.

I’ve found that it can be difficult to be well when your state of mind isn’t in the right place. In the past month (March) I’ve had highs and lows throughout the month. Having the right people in your corner is so important for growth strength and improvement in this thing we call life.


It's Not Really A Friday If You Have To Work – Right?

“It’s Not Really A Friday If You Have To Work – Right?”

What is the energy you bring to work each day?

Work is one of those things many people dread. I’m not even gonna front – I find myself dreading work some days too. However I’ve found that mindset is where is all starts. I am known as the early bird in the office. I really despise being late to anything, and since I often arrive before anyone else, I take it as an opportunity to set the day off. I greet everyone with a cheerful smile, get the coffee pot going and set the temperature to a comfy warm setting (ok that last one, I’m typically freezing, so If I get there first I’m going to turn up the heat).

I found myself cringing when I heard these words, “It’s Not Really A Friday If You Have To Work – Right?”. These are words from a co-worker as they headed out the door — before everyone one else – an hour earlier at that.

I couldn’t agree with this statement. I don’t hate my job that much. And for the most part my coworkers are fairly cool. They make jokes to lighten the day and its been a fairly quiet yet busy week. But this coworker seems to be consistently aggravated, annoyed, sighs left and right, and looks for someone to join in the misery.

When I’m having an off day, I need to reach for my headphones and find some uplifting words be it in a podcast, a youtube video, or music that can divert my attention.

I’ve found that even when the assignment or task is mundane, you can find enjoyment somewhere in the process. Most of the frustrations come when all you (or I) do is think about where I’d rather be.

I’ve found a few ways to combat that.

  1. Don’t engage in that behavior. Misery loves company is far too true. And my energy needs to go towards something worth while.
  2. Listen to music. I put on positive music and listen to artists I like.
  3. Spin the negative comment into a positive one. I know I said not to engage, but if this person is insisting on an answer spin it around.
  4. Take a walk and stretch – get away from the environment. Go use the bathroom do something. I’ve found that there is such thing as energy and people will try to bring you down. Run! and get to a better space if you can.

I want to wish you a Happy Friday!

Good Vibes your way.


Design, Legacy, Work

I love design because it’s a way to communicate visually. To capture ideas, tell captivating stories, push and pull on emotions – yet it can also be interpreted differently across nations. Be it design that is digital, formal, physical products or the illusions we create design is amazing.
When I was in college course we took ranged from fine art – the foundations of drawing and illustration, to digital art like Photoshop and illustrator, and 3D like solid works rhino, and CAD. My course load was often anywhere between 18 to 21 credits, along with working a part-time job. Luckily I managed to find the jobs that would allowed me to do additional work while in class – like note taking for the Deaf students, or checking people in at the front desk.
My internal struggle upon graduation was feeling that I didn’t know enough, that my portfolio wasn’t good enough and that there are people out there that’s better than me. fast forward five point something years and here I am working for a design company – getting paid as a professional yet the same feelings arise from time to time. You know, that moment you realize you submitted work that had a mistake? Your supervisor comes and points it out in a way that makes you feel small. Is this the way to approach mistakes at work? How do you recover from that? perhaps my feelings are displaced to begin with.
Lets rewind a little bit. I didn’t get my start as a paid designer until three years post graduating from college. once getting hired, I figured I would go in and learn from the experts. Yet what I’ve found is that the experts are so far removed from what its like being a beginner. they have been doing the work for ten plus years and cannot relate to the learning curves – or better yet the learning styles that people are accustomed to. The little nuances that should be communicated and taught are over looked. Or you’re thrown in to figure it out – by yourself – which then leads to mistakes, errors and being seen as incompetent. For certain that is one thing that I am not.
One of my biggest fears is being fired from my job. While I wasn’t “fired” I was let go from an agency without reason or cause. And when I did ask for a reason it was because work was slow. A few months had passed and they called me to go back. In my eyes and in my mouth the distaste had already set in. There was no reason for me to return and work with someone who would call me up while I am waiting outside to enter the work place and tell me, “we don’t need you today, work is slow. We’ll call you when it picks back up”.
Since then, it’s made me not want to work for or with agencies. Sure, at the time I made the decision to leave a part-time job. For me it felt soul sucking and brain numbing – it lacked mental stimuli and just wasn’t for me. The work was repetitive and EVERYTHING was spelled out. I don’t want to go no I can’t back to a place of feeling worthless, depressed, and have my bills piling up to the ceiling. (Yes I’m still salty about it).
You would think though that just as I would need to give a two weeks notice, there would be some type of warning, message, consideration even? for me to better prepare and make arrangements to search for another place of work. For many companies it’s a race to the bottom, survival of the fittest, and to be seen as the best.
I, for one am interested in doing work that matters. I want to do work that impacts people’s lives. I want others to see my life and feel inspired to engage ask questions of why I do what I do, how I’ve chosen to do it and that they see my life’s work as a reflection of my ultimate beliefs.
In my research, there are very few companies that are sincerely interested and invested in their employees lives and well-being. Some will say they want you to do your best work, and yes there are circumstances of which we cannot control in and out of work – but the ones that can, should actually follow through on implementing it. I don’t say that from the thinking of entitlement. I say that from the perspective of duty. An employer builds a business and hires employees. Why not invest in their lives to continue to get the best work from them. Otherwise its just a job, not a career – not a path of building a body of life’s work.
It is our duty to leave behind a legacy. Yet most of us are too fearful to jump that ship.


A typical 9 to 5 job just isn’t for me. I can’t sit for hours at a time at a computer desk with people looking over my shoulder to see what’s on my screen. I think I am so used to college life where you get to walk around every so often if you need to, or to even talk to other people.

If I am able to find a way to do what I love most, in a way where it isn’t a typical office setting, it would be great!