Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

What’s in your Creative Wellness Toolbox?

Artists are intimately familiar with our physical tools—but today, I’m talking about a different type of toolbox. The toolbox you need to keep yourself in optimal mental and emotional shape to be able to create not just any kind of work, but your best work. Read more...

It’s all about who you know

It’s all about who you know

In some countries where corruption abounds, using personal connections to build career opportunities is seen as unethical, because it's so often abused. However, connections are not only a perfectly valid tool, they're “the way of the world”. Here's a few stories on the role of personal connections in my career, and some tips to ethically use them to your advantage. Read more...

Mixed Media Art Journals

Sketchbook Adventures: Mixed Media Art Journals

Every once in awhile, I like to share the results of my personal creative practice here on the blog. If you already follow me on Instagram, these might look familiar since that's usually the first place where I post my work in progress and finished pieces. The sketchbook pages I'm sharing today are about exploring mixed media. Read more...

Hyperfocused vs. holistic brand

Hyperfocused vs. holistic brand: which one is better for you?

When it comes to the very highest level of branding and marketing approaches, currently I see two currents: “Be focused” or “Be all of who you are”. Which one should you adopt? It’s not a decision anyone else can make for you. What I can do is give you pros and cons for both to help you make the right choice—so let's do that. Read more...

How to never miss a weekly blog post

My best tip: How to never miss a weekly blog post

Last year I’ve updated my blog every single week without fail, despite all the client deadlines, long workdays, launches, teaching, traveling and conferences, vacations, burnout... It was quite an eventful year, and my blog kept on ticking like clockwork. Want to know how? Read more...

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

How to avoid getting ripped off by a logo designer

Unethical freelancers are the worst, and it stings even more when those rotten apples are my own colleagues. I want to make their job of cheating you harder, and your job of finding great freelancers online easier. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Read more...

8 painful lessons from my most horrible client experience

8 painful lessons from my horrible client from Hell experience

Last year, I’ve had the most awful “client from Hell” experience in my 12 years as a professional designer. While the experience itself was horrible, the things that came out of it made my business so much better. Here are the lessons that inspired my transformation toward the next level of professionalism. Read more...

Stop chasing clients - 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

Stop chasing clients: 4 effective alternatives to cold pitching

If you've found yourself in a situation without clients and many bills to pay, you might get tempted to start pitching your services to people who haven't heard about you yet. Pitching is not fun, it puts you in an inferior position, and the effectiveness can be hit or miss. Here's what I recommend instead. Read more...

Why basing your brand strategy on your ideal client is wrong

Why basing your brand strategy on your “ideal client” is wrong

Ideal clients: those mythical creatures all brand strategists talk about. Who are they? How do you find them? How do you charm them so they become your real, not just ideal clients? Maybe those aren't the first questions you should be asking yourself. In fact, by starting your branding strategy with your ideal clients, you might run into some traps. Read more...

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients and How To Repel Them

The 5 Types Of Bad Clients & How To Repel Them

Service businesses can’t afford to work with the wrong kinds of clients. We spend so much time immersed in the projects and client communication, and constantly taking on people who are a poor fit will destroy your business. Here are practical ways to use your marketing to repel the wrong clients from your business. Read more...

Who the Hell needs branding

Who the Hell needs “branding”? Here’s how to get noticed, your way.

I write a lot about branding on this blog, but I don’t blame you at all if you’re getting sick and tired of hearing this word all the time. Let’s try something different today instead. Let’s drop all pretense of there being any system or formula that you need to know or follow in order to succeed in business. Let’s deconstruct “branding”. Read more...

What is a unique value proposition

What is a unique value proposition & how to create one

Your unique value proposition is a statement of how your business solves the customer’s problem in a unique way – what differentiates your business from thousands of others in the world who are attempting to do the same. Finding it may be one of the most challenging aspects of branding and marketing. In this post, I offer tips on how to do that. Read more...

Struggling with your brand strategy - Start here

Struggling with your brand strategy? Start here.

If you had to figure out your brand strategy right now would you be able to do it? Would you know which steps to follow to get to a coherent brand that is easy to maintain for you, and attractive to your ideal clients? If your answer is “No”, or “Maybe”, or “Uhhh, I’m not sure...” that’s OK, because today we’ll get that confusion out of the way. Read more...

My favorite things in 2016

My favorite things in 2016

We can probably all agree on one thing: 2016 sucked. Hard. A whole bunch of terrible things happened around the world (of which celebrity deaths are the least problematic). Let's send it away with a “Whooosh!” and hope that better things are around the corner. To celebrate the pleasant things I've experienced in 2016, here's a little list of books, music, movies, places, art supplies, articles and videos that made my year more delightful. Read more...

7 ways a logo can make your business better

7 ways a logo can make your business better

Many people don’t use their logos to their full potential. Then there are others who commission a logo expecting that it will somehow magically fix their business and increase their sales. We have to talk about what logos can realistically achieve for your business, and what they can’t. Read more...

Watch my talk: End Design Revision Hell

Watch my talk: End Design Revision Hell (video)

Design is easy to see, and this makes it an easy target to shoot down by anyone and everyone. Bad design process leads to many problems, such as matters of personal taste determining the outcome of the project, and endless revisions that postpone the website launch date. In this talk you'll learn the two biggest mistakes designers and other freelancers make in their process, and how to fix them so your design concepts get accepted faster. Read more...

Quiz: What stage is your brand in?

Take the quiz: What stage is your brand in?

If you're having trouble finding branding advice that's perfect for you in the forest of information that's available out there, I've created a free tool that will help you get tailored advice based on where you're currently at. Take this fun quiz and learn how to grow your brand into the next stage! Read more...