Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

An open letter to blogger outreach email senders

An open letter to blogger outreach email senders

I'm not a super popular blogger, but I get plenty of email pitches from people who want me to link to their stuff. (I can only imagine what it’s like for people whose readership is much bigger.) Today I've decided to get on my soapbox and tell all those marketers how I feel about their outreach campaign. Read more...

The kooky stuff I do to feel better when everything sucks

The kooky stuff I do to feel better when everything sucks

A big part of being human is running into things that make us feel sad, angry, helpless, betrayed, guilty, or any of the rich spectrum of the so-called “negative” emotions. Sometimes, things are just not good. And you’re allowed to not feel good. At the same time, we also don’t want to not feel good forever. We want things to get better. We want to get better. This is what this post is about – all the things I do to make myself feel better. Read more...

The vital elements of a premium brand

The vital elements of a premium brand

What makes a brand premium? What does premium even mean? Premium brands have value propositions that are so different from other products or services in the market, that the comparisons don’t make sense. This enables premium brands to charge 10 times or a 100 times more than their competitors, because they offer something that competitors can’t match. While it may seem like creating a premium brand would be more expensive, it actually doesn’t have to be. Read more...

Productivity tips for the incurably lazy

7 productivity tips for the incurably lazy

Productivity tips can only offer you so much. If blog posts could change your thought patterns and habits in an instant, I'd be a mix of Buddha and Neil Gaiman by now. We all know that if you want something to happen, you need to put in the work every day. It's so simple. For this reason I decided to tackle this topic from a different angle, one that is more geared toward understanding yourself and your reluctance to, you know, actually doing the friggin’ work. Read more...

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...