Nela Dunato Art & Design Blog

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...

Sketchbook flip video: Sketchbook West art show

Sketchbook flip video: Sketchbook West art show

As you may know, one of my favorite activities is drawing inside sketchbooks, and today I'm sharing another sketchbook flip video with you. "Sketchbook West" is an art exhibition coming this February to Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach (CA). If you're not able to be there and see my sketchbook in person, check out my video. Read more...

My 31 day social media fast - a month without social media, videos, podcasts and blogs

How my 31 day social media fast went

During the month of December 2015 I decided not to use social media, read blogs, watch videos, or listen to podcasts. What I hoped to achieve was to get some clear head space and dedicate more time to exploring my personal art. It was also a nice way to wrap up the year and make sure that what I’m doing in my business is what I really want to be doing. You’re probably curious to hear what it was like, so here we go. Read more...

How to overcome information addiction

How to overcome information addiction

Information addiction can be a huge block to growing our business. If you see this as a problem in your own life, you may be wondering how you can deal with that. Here are some things that helped me, and I hope they’ll give you some ideas to try out. Read more...

You already know enough – Tips to stop forgetting the important stuff

You already know enough – Tips to stop forgetting the important stuff

How often do you go through an experience, and afterwards you think “Why did I get myself into this again? I’ve been through similar things so many times before, I’m supposed to know better by now.”
Falling for the same thing time after time doesn’t mean you’re stupid, or that you lack self-awareness – it just means you're not doing enough to remember what you already know. In this post, I offer some tips on how to do that. Read more...

15 ways to infuse creativity into boring business tasks

15 ways to infuse creativity into your boring business tasks

No matter how wild, beautiful and free your creative work is, there are some things you need to do so your business could thrive that are just booooriiiiiiing. Maybe you postpone things that are essential to keeping your life and work running smoothly because you’re either intimidated by these tasks, or the very thought of doing them is exhausting. I wrote a bunch of ideas how you can approach your boring, tedious and fear-inducing tasks to make them slightly less terrifying and dull. Read more...

My WordPress Meetup talk and thoughts on roadblocks

My WordPress Meetup talk and thoughts on roadblocks

Why do opportunities often seem to come with a side dish of pickles? (Metaphorical ones.) I wish I knew the answer to that question.
It's just too big a coincidence, hearing all these stories from people who had a total shit storm happen as they were preparing for something big. One of these things happened just last Friday, as I was on my way to WordPress Meetup in Zagreb. Read more...

Creative Clarity Retreat – 31 days without social media

Creative Clarity Retreat – 31 days without social media

Let’s cut straight to the point, because I’m not in the mood for introductions: I’m taking a break from social media. Again. This time for longer than usual, and I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am. It feels like going for a trip to a foreign land, except this foreign land is in my own home, and I get to bring all my art supplies with me, not just one (okay, two) sketchbooks. If that piqued your curiosity, I’m glad to share the why and the how in the rest of this post. Read more...

Why I hate personal development blogs

Why I hate personal development blogs

You know which blogs I mean. You’ve probably read them, too. Those blogs that feature a new post every day of the week – a post that looks and feels exactly the same like the post from the day before, and if you've read one, you've read them all. Those blogs that seem to talk a lot, yet say very little. Those blogs that are listed on every life coach’s sidebar under the title “As seen in”.
I wanted to like them. I truly tried to enjoy them, but I just couldn’t. One by one, I unsubscribed from those blogs, and continued my search for meaning without them. And what a great decision that was.
What triggered me so much that I want to dedicate 2000+ words to this now?
An epiphany. Read more...

Dealing with creative burnout

Dealing with creative burnout

Every time you pull off an extended period of working like a crazy person, you’re bound to be left in a state of complete devastation. Or at the very least, a state of “I’m not sure if this is even worth it, will it always have to be like this?” which is just as scary because it makes you question your career choices. I already gave you some tips on how to prevent burnout, and now we'll talk about what to do when you’re already suffering from burnout. Read more...

On being in the Process

On being in the Process

The Process. The growth period. The transformation. We all love being at the end of it. It’s a badge of honor to be through with the Process. To be a survivor. A winner, even.
Being in the middle of the Process? Not so much.
I am in this Process right now, and I want to collect my thoughts on this and share it with you, if it’s something you need to hear. Read more...

How to stay sane during launches

How to stay sane during launches

If you’re any type of creator, there are going to be times in your life when you’ll be required to “launch” something. We think of launches in terms of websites, courses, books, retreats etc. but the same things apply when you organize an art show or prepare for a crafts fair, a big show, speaking engagement etc.
My experience with launching comes mostly from organizing live events in the past 5 years. Here are some tips on what you can do to prepare for and survive an extended period of time when nothing is normal. Read more...

The ways I've changed in 2 years of freelancing

The ways I’ve changed in 2 years of freelancing

September 1st was the second anniversary of me going out on my own and becoming a full time freelancer. On occasions like this, bloggers usually write recap posts where they share about how their business has grown, the goals they've achieved, how much money they’ve made and what their newsletter list growth was like... If you've been paying attention, you know that's not the real focus of this blog. I'm not living a six figure dream working 4 hours a day. I don't have an Amazon bestseller, or a course hundreds of people have gone through. But there are other things I value, that have improved so much in the past 2 years, and that's what I want to talk about. Read more...