Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

Welcome to my studio - Desk and easel

Welcome to my studio! This is where the magic happens

For years I've been living in apartments with no room for a proper studio. I've been creating on kitchen tables, balconies, beds and even floors. All my art & craft supplies had to fit in two drawers. I tried to make the best of what I had. Now I have a wonderful dedicated room just for my creative work. It's an office and an art studio in one. I have plenty of room for creating, and enough storage space for all the art supplies and tools I own. I absolutely love spending my days here. Read more...

Fans ignoring your best work

Are you frustrated when your fans ignore your best work?

Recently I've been e-mailing back and forth with my online friend and we came across the issue of people's taste not being aligned with our own artistic taste. She mentioned how some of her very dear and important works went almost unnoticed, and those works that she didn't consider that good got a huge amount of feedback. The good side of this phenomenon is people like something. At least you have fans! The bad side is, they don't like what you want them to like. Read more...

Multipassionate blog cover

Maybe you’re not meant to be a specialist

We've been called unfocused, irresponsible, flaky, Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none and a gazzillion other things, mostly negative. Occasionally someone might call us a Renaissance person or multi-talented (usually people who are themselves multi-passionate, so they see the benefit), but in general we have a really bad rep in the world of specialization. Read more...

Resistance scales 1

How to overcome Resistance: A visual metaphor

We usually imagine Resistance, or creative block, as a solid, heavy thing blocking our path. It's difficult to bypass and impossible to move or destroy. Sometimes we see it as a little nagging monster, riding on our backs the entire time, covering our eyes and generally causing mayhem. I propose a different visual that might feel less intimidating. Read more...

Using Art Journaling To Beat Perfectionism

Using Art Journaling To Beat Perfectionism

I this video I talk about how art journaling can help with releasing perfectionist tendencies. I call myself a recovering perfectionist, I'm still not completely completely over it, but I saw some progress and I'm really happy with how it's working so I want to share some of my tools and techniques with you so you can see this progress in yourself as well. Read more...

Quote Art creates a bridge

Who are you really creating your art for?

There was a time when I was concerned about what my art represents, and what it does to the viewers. I was concerned that I was spreading negativity through my art, that I was airing my dirty laundry, and that maybe it wasn't a smart decision. My family's concerns about them possibly looking bad in public cast doubt on my work as well. So there was a phase when I really wasn't sure whether I should publish such art at all. But after I examined this subject from all sides, I decided it's OK for me to publish my art, and that I will continue to do it as long as I feel the need to. Read more...

Use your planner to plan smarter and track your creative cycles

Use your planner to plan smarter & track your creative cycles

Here's a tip on how to use your calendar or planner in a different way than you might be used to — instead of just looking forward to things that you planned for the future, you can also look back and learn from it. Companies invest millions of dollars into "big data" research that helps them make decisions that will bring in even more millions, so what can we learn from this example? That data can be extremely useful when we know what to do with it. Read more...

Creative peak

Stop wasting your peak creative time on chores

Did you ever wake up one day super motivated and excited, with your fingers itching to make something today, only to get lost in menial work that isn't really what you had in mind? And then the evening came, and you realized you didn't get to do a single thing today that you were so excited about. But tomorrow morning you aren't really that motivated or excited. You don't really feel like doing any of the stuff you wanted a day earlier, even though you have time to do it. The magic is gone. Yesterday was your super awesome day, and today isn't. That's just the way things are sometimes. Read more...

Case study: Wild Moon Spirit logo design process

Case study: Wild Moon Spirit logo design process

When I asked people what they would like to know about logo design so I can write about it, most of them were confused about the process itself, and they didn't know if it's bad if they have no idea what they'd want their logo to look like. In this post I share the entire logo design process for one of my clients, so you can get all the inside info about what goes into making a logo, from sketch to finish. Read more...

Be A Creative Powerhouse

“Be A Creative Powerhouse” Free EPUB eBook now available

Download this free guidebook and you'll learn: how to get more brilliant ideas, how to keep & organize your ideas and how to turn those ideas into reality. This book is formatted as a series of texts in which I share tips and inspiration, followed by worksheets with exercises so you can take action as soon as possible. Read more...

How to ask illustrators and designers for help

How To Ask Designers And Illustrators For Help

If you're not a visual creative yourself, and you find yourself in need of some design or illustration services for your project, there are two options: pay for them, or try to ask a friend to help you out for free (or cheap). If you opt for the second route, here is a short guide to help you approach your friend in a way that will not endanger your relationship and create resentment on either side. Read more...

Mind Detox Retreat

Mind Detox Retreat – A Cure For Burnout And Overload

On several occasions during the past few years, I've had a feeling like I've lost my mojo. I was overworked and stressed, and even the things I used to love lost their appeal. Getting up in the morning was a horrible experience in itself. A practice that has helped me to get out of this negative spiral was something I now call the mind detox retreat. In this post I reveal what exactly is that I do during this mind detox, the benefits I get from a media sabbatical, and why it might be a good idea to try it, even if you're not a tree-hugging hippy. Read more...

Sketchbooks video

Why I Think Every Visual Creative Should Keep A Sketchbook (+ Video sketchbook flip)

I'm a huge fan of sketchbooks, so I'm very passionate about this subject. I hope that in this post I will give you enough reasons to finally start using them, and of course even if you don't consider yourself a visual creative, sketchbooks are a lot of fun! In the end I'll also share some tips how to get the best from your sketchbook practice, and I'll show you a video of my sketchbook flip. Read more...

Should you turn your hobby into a job?

Should I turn my hobby into a job?

I'm a bit of an expert on the subject because all my work experience was based on my hobbies. I never trained to become a creative professional, it just happened that I was offered opportunities to make a living with my hobbies because people saw what I was doing for fun and offered me money to do it! Isn't it amazing when that happens? Well, I've learned that it isn't just sunshine and roses, and it doesn't work for all people and all kinds of hobbies. Read this post to learn the potential pitfalls of turning your hobby into your full time job. Read more...

Inspiration from Nature: Maple leaves on the sketchbook

Inspiration from Nature: Maple Elemental

Stuck with ideas on what to draw or paint? Wondering where do I get my ideas? Here's a post in which I describe how I got inspired to do one of my latest works. Of course, every work has a unique story and I don't go down the same route twice so it's hard to compile a 'recipe' - but I hope you'll find these tips helpful anyway! Read more...

Branding Venn graph

How to create a brand for your business on a budget

If you're just launching your new business or creative venture, you're probably on a tight budget. Designers (myself included) insist that you should not be skimping on the quality of your presentation, but I understand that it's difficult to invest upfront in something that you aren't even sure will take off. So let's skip the preaching how you should absolutely let a professional do your branding and visual identity (it kind of goes without saying). I'll give you some tips how to handle it if you absolutely can't afford it right now, or at least not all of it. Read more...

Sometimes you just need to delete stuff

Sometimes you just need to delete stuff

I periodically delete things from my gallery. I don't have a set time-frame, but let's say that once in 2 years I go over my entire gallery and remove everything I deem not 'good enough' for my current standards.In this post I explain the reasons why I do it. Read more...