D'ana Nunez of COVL (*short for Craft Onward Versatility and Lifestyle) has been making waves across the country since she moved up to NYC from Miami a few years ago. Nunez began COVL as a branded foray from her background in illustration, styling, and creative direction. The venture was a way to tie all of her design work together and has quickly taken her from artist to entrepreneur.
So far, she’s built a dedicated following online which has caught the attention of brands like Nike, Redbull, Converse and more, leading to projects like murals, exclusive t-shirts collabs, installations and a handful of other creative ventures, and her signature, doodlebombs, have been sketched on musicians like Tierra Whack, Snoh Aalegra, Omar Apollo, and Siobhan Bell.
This Spring, COVL, was tapped for one of her biggest projects to date as art director for Instagram's first ever Coachella house. Her designs ended up on everything from pool decor, photo walls, and merch to custom COVL IG Story filters available to Instagram's billions of users for the foreseeable future.
Her goal for COVL is to become a fixture within the design by putting her signature stamp of color and shape on various mediums from the digital to the physical. We chatted with D'ana below about what it takes to build and maintain a thriving creative business.
When did you decide it was time to move COVL to New York?
D'ANA NUNEZ: To be honest, I didn't because I was so consumed with the idea that perhaps COVL wasn't ready at the time yet the Universe had different plans when I got the news that my fiancé was offered a job in New York.
How do you balancing maintaining creativity while managing a growing portfolio of projects?
DN: Creativity is a muscle that I'm constantly flexing, every project I dive into is an opportunity for me to expand on what I know and dabble in what I don't. It's important for me to keep every project fun and present myself a lot of challenges along the way.
How has social media impacted your career?
DN: Social media has presented COVL with a lot of amazing opportunities which has taught me to engage with my audience differently, in a way that's fun and honest.
How do you maintain authenticity and a style of your own within a crowded digital age?
DN: It's important to note that I am still a work in progress and have done a lot of self reflecting along the way. Now more than ever as COVL continues to grow, the more careful I am with what I am creating. Making sure every move made brings longevity and I can only do so by writing my own narrative with my own rules and getting my hands dirty with projects or campaigns that align with COVL to the core.
Tips on growing your brand while staying true to yourself?
DN: Do your research and create a workflow that allows you ease between work and life, it's been such a game changer for having a way of creating and living that allows me to approach my craft with fresh eyes and mind.
What's next for COVL?
DN: A Summer starter kit! COVL is slowly seeping into the product space with an upcoming launch of Made by COVL, art-centric products for everyday living. This next venture has been a long term goal of mine and as daunting as it may seem, I am honed in and ready to give it a whirl.
Photography by: Photography Courtesy of Kevin Gonzalez