Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

Don't send an artist to do a designer's job

Don’t send an artist to do a designer’s job

Being an artist as well as a designer, I have some unique insight into what skills are needed in each field. Unfortunately, most artists take on design jobs that are way above their skill level, and this can seriously compromise a project. In this post I explain how a designer's job is different from that of an artist's, and how to make sure you hire the right person. Read more...

Free hand lettered inspirational wallpapers

Free hand lettered inspirational wallpapers

If you’ve liked the hand lettered quotes I’ve been sharing over the past months here on the blog, you’re in luck – I’m making them available as wallpapers that you can use on your desktop, tablet or phone! Get them all here. Read more...

How to know when to quit a marketing practice

How to know when to quit a marketing practice

Typically when we think about business and marketing, we think about adding and optimizing stuff, not eliminating. However, the process of removing things from our plate is just as important. Not all marketing tactics are suited for all people, and no matter what the “experts” say, not all of them will work for every business. Read more...

Why bother with a morning ritual

Why bother with a morning ritual?

You may be wondering what having a morning ritual has to do with fostering creative productivity. There is a connection, and I've found out through practice that a fulfilling morning ritual makes your whole day infinitely better. Read more...

My Design Philosophy

My Design Philosophy

Designers are humans, and as much as we strive to keep our process objective and logical, each of us is a unique snowflake and brings our own life experiences into the work that we do. Not every designer is a good fit for every project or client. I’ll outline some of my beliefs about design and business, so you can decide whether my approach is what you need. Read more...

Everything is an art project

Everything is an art project

If you’re reading this, I assume one thing about you: you probably feel like you’re not really made for this world. We’re kind of stuck here, and the only remaining thing to do is to make the best of what we have. What if we looked at life in a different way? Read more...

The reason your website fails to attract clients

The #1 reason your website fails to attract clients

Many times in the past I've helped entrepreneurs by building their website, but after the official launch, nothing has changed for them. They didn't fill their website with engaging content to begin with, and they never updated their blog. Their brand new shiny site didn’t attract any attention, because people had no reason to go there. A website that fails to interest your potential clients and provide them with the kind of information they need is no better than not having a website at all. Read more...

Create first, consume later hand lettering

A simple tip for better creative productivity

I’ll tell you what this “super secret” tip is straight away: create first, consume later. That’s it. Simple. Not easy, though. If it were easy, more people would be doing it. I know I have a tough job of convincing you why this tip is so helpful and might radically transform your creative output. In the rest of this post, I’ll try to make my best case for it, and offer some ways you can put it into practice. Read more...

Artist’s guide to designing attractive blog images

Artist’s guide to designing attractive blog images

Creating beautiful blog post illustrations can be time consuming. Sometimes, creating the perfect feature image for a post takes just as much time as writing it. In my search for the perfect solution – blog post images that are both visually appealing and easy to make – I tested many different techniques, and in this post I share some of my tips with you. Read more...

How to know if you're running a creative business

How to know if you’re running a creative business

I talk about “creative business” a lot here on my blog, in my newsletter, in my services pages and my free offerings. My goal is to address the type of people I most want to help. Some of you may be wondering “Does my business count as creative? How do I know? I’m not an artist, can I still call my biz a creative business? Will someone get offended if I do it?” I get where you’re coming from. It’s that old “I’m not really creative” belief that a lot of people struggle with. In this post I’m going to share my definition of creative business, and what this might mean for you. Read more...

How to be a remarkable blogger and attract loyal readers

How to be a remarkable blogger and attract loyal readers

You probably already know that having a blog is great, and that it can do wonderful things for your creative work and business, but you may not be sure if you're doing it “right”, or maybe you still haven't even started publishing your posts. If so, this post is for you. Read more...

What if I don't like your design?

What if I don’t like your design?

In over a decade of my design career, no one has ever asked me this question. Yet, I know it must be the #1 question going through my clients’ minds when we set out to work together. Luckily, I’ve spent years perfecting my process to make sure that my clients get exactly what they need, and not only feel pleased, but amazed with the results I provide. Here's what I learned, and how you can make sure you get exactly what you need as a client in your collaborations with designers. Read more...

How to take great sketchbook photos

How to take great sketchbook photos

One of the things that makes me sad is seeing great art photographed in such a way that you can’t appreciate its true beauty. The images are blurry, unfocused, grainy and yellowish, so it’s hard to see the details and the colors as they really are. I’m not a professional photographer, but I know enough to be able to take clear photos that look good on my website and social media – and today, I’ll share some of my tips with you. Read more...

26 creative ways to share your individuality online

26 creative ways to share your individuality online

Marketing coaches are constantly urging small business owners to “show your personality”, because that’s how you can gain people's trust. This advice is a bit vague, and perhaps you've been wondering how to practically implement it? I’ve compiled a list of different ways you can do it. Read more...

Don't water yourself down

Don’t water yourself down for your clients

I want to share a story of a recent experience I’ve had that really helped me drive home the fact that showing up in my business with the full intensity of my creative voice brings more benefits than drawbacks. Of course, I have many stories about clients who chose to work with me specifically because of my “dark side”, but this one is interesting because the client’s didn’t even consciously realize it. Read more...

Turning down client work when you really need the money

Turning down client work when you really need the money

Maybe you're in a situation where you feel like you can't say no to crappy low paid work for clients from Hell. Maybe you're hearing people's advice on turning down work you don't want to do, but you think it doesn't apply to you, because you can't afford it yet. Today I want to talk about this, since it wasn't that long ago that I was in the exact same situation. Read more...

People over numbers (and why I'll never have pop-ups on my website)

People over numbers (and why I’ll never have pop-ups on my website)

The online marketing community is obsessed with A/B testing and maximizing conversion rates. It may seem a no brainer that if more people do X than Y, then X is clearly better than Y for any business – but what if that’s not true?
What if “better for your business” is not something you can answer with a spreadsheet? What if “better for your business” means you need to include the “soft” stuff that’s impossible to measure with numbers and percentages? Read more...