When I started my website, I wrote about my branding and how it came to be. I wanted NelaDunato.com to embody all my creative work and hobbies, so that people may see the entirety of who I am, and not just one facet.
This was important to me, because I hate having to conform to a "professional image" like you're expected in the business world. I paint art that has nudity, blood and monsters in it. I'm proud of it, I don't want to hide it. So I put it all on my portfolio, hoping to attract like minded people, and it was the best decision I could make.
However the homepage image was bugging me a bit. In case you weren't here then, here is what it looked like:
That's a self-portrait of me posing as the goddess Kaali, managing a bunch of tools which I use to make my creations.
I love Kaali because she embodies transformation, the death of the old to make room for the new, which was an important theme in my recent years.
The image I wanted to portray was "I do all these different things, and I'm managing it well! No reason to specialize, you can trust me even though I claim I can do the job that normally takes 3 people to accomplish!"
I'm not sure if that's what came through.
All I know is that I did some heavy soul-searching in the past 6 months.
As I prepared for my freelance career that began in September, I wanted to see how I can streamline all these things I do into a message people would understand at once, and not be overwhelmed or confused with it.
I am a fine artist, an illustrator, a web and graphic designer, and recently I also began to embrace my role as a teacher that I've been avoiding.
How the hell do I explain people that I do all this?
Do I even have to explain?
So I took large sheets of paper, markers and coloured pencils and drew Venn diagrams and brainstormed both alone and with my friends.
What emerged was what I already knew was true about me, but I wasn't aware it was important to communicate it clearly to other people because to me it goes without saying. It was really a blindspot.
So, who am I really?
I'm a daydreamer. I make stuff up and I'm inspired by rich visions of projects of various kinds.
And then these visions haunt me, and I have to make them real lest I become depressed. When I'm not creating my visions, I feel empty and sad.
That's how it works.
Yes, I'm also an interpreter or other people's visions — that's what I do when I work on my client's projects.
Yes, I also help people turn their own visions into reality by means of writing articles, workshops and consulting.
In any case, I'm taking the vision (mine or yours) and I'm squeezing it into this limited, solid thing called reality with the help of my own two hands (and sometimes teeth).
The tools ultimately don't matter. It's not about the tools at all. It's not about the medium.
I can work with expensive computer equipment, or sticks and mud.
My visions and my own two hands have brought me where I am.
I reckon it's not the most unique story in the world, but it's the truth.
Pleased to meet you.