Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

Avoid panic: Start looking for a designer before you need one

Avoid panic: Start looking for a designer before you need one

Every now and then a business owner inquires about my availability, and I have to turn down their project because they want me to start working on it immediately, which just isn't possible. Many business owners are very bad at planning, which is why they only think of looking for help at the very last minute. If you’re a business owner, it would be wise for you to be actively looking for potential people to hire all the time. Here’s why. Read more...

I royally screwed up.

I royally screwed up.

Sometimes I get the feeling that people put me on a pedestal I don’t deserve to be on. I fear that if they knew of all my past and ongoing mistakes, they would change their mind about me, and wouldn’t want to be my friends or work with me ever again. But I’ve spent the past year teaching and mentoring intensely in different ways, and I’ve learned that what I’m most interested in is teaching by example. If I want others to feel safe about admitting to their mistakes, I need to do the same. So that’s what I’m doing right now. Read more...

“Premium” isn't “luxury” & more myths about premium brands

“Premium” isn't “luxury” & more myths about premium brands

Most people when they hear the words “premium brand” imagine a luxury brand: Cartier, Tiffany, designer clothes, vintage champagne, 95% fair trade cocoa chocolate with edible 24-karat gold flakes. You may be feeling this way about the word “premium”, too. But in truth, you may already be using premium products and services yourself, without even knowing it. Read more...

Design contests suck. Don’t do them.

Design contests suck. Don’t do them.

Every now and then a friend will forward me a post about a design or an illustration contest. I never apply. I never forward it to my colleagues, either. Not even when it’s my friends who organize the contest. I just won’t do it because I oppose the idea of contests in principle. Here’s why. Read more...

Why I start every day with personal creative practice

Why I start every day with personal creative practice

One of the reasons why I chose to be a freelancer instead of being an employee was to have more time for my personal art and other self-initiated projects. For at least half an hour (ideally a full hour) almost every morning I draw, paint or craft something that isn’t related to my clients or my business. I believe that prioritizing my creative practice benefits not only me, but my clients as well. Read more...

The hidden blocks of business growth (it's not your mindset)

The hidden blocks of business growth (it's not your mindset)

If you're anything like me, you've got too many projects you're working on in various stages of completion. There are many things you want to “get around to eventually” that you know would be helpful to your business. Contrary to popular opinion, success is not out of your reach because you don't know what to do. I know you do. There's something else at work here, and I'll tell you what it is. Read more...

9 marketing lessons from a “natural” marketer

9 marketing lessons from a “natural” marketer

My marketing was the most effective when I wasn't aware what I was doing is in fact marketing. I was completely oblivious to the concept, yet I did things right. Where did I learn that? I have no idea. My theory is that the best kind of marketing is indistinguishable from a regular conversation people have in real life. The same skills we use to get around in relationships are essential to any marketing endeavor. Read more...

Is perfectionism all bad?

Is perfectionism all bad?

Perfectionism is badmouthed on blogs and social media all the time. It's a modern boogeyman that incapacitates many creative people. But is there a good side to it? Here's how to use the benefits of perfectionism, without letting it paralyze your progress. Read more...

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