Having an artistic eye is one thing, but to pair it with a knack for entrepreneurship is quite another. Luis “Orlando” Blanco uses this powerful combination of skills for community-building as the creative behind the Visualist, based in New Bedford, MA.
“I enjoy engaging with the community and working with non-profits,” says the multi-disciplinary artist.
Blanco is primarily a photographer and videographer focused on creating “tangible, intentional imagery over a wide range of projects,” according to his website, Visualist.Biz. Orlando has created photography that delves into lifestyle, boudoir, fashion, and traditional portraits.
It all started with Blanco’s vision: The concept of a collective community is at the core of Visualist’s values. He first rented a local studio with the purpose of fostering a space for art creators in all forms–photographers, models, set designers, etc. “The long-term vision of Visualist is to have creators of many disciplines under one brand developing their craft in the industry,” says Blanco. “Essentially, all services would be provided in house—photographers, videographers, make-up artists, etc.—creating a reliable community where everyone’s work is welcomed and appreciated no matter how different the ways of expression are.”
His versatility has allowed him to work with a diverse set of customers and industries including, non-profit organizations, urban music artists, and media distribution companies. Recent clients include U-Mass Boston, Yai & Toly, Anonimus, Health Resources In Action, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, Guayafull, LTlife, and Springfield Pedicab.
Blanco ingeniously brings his vision from his brick-and-mortar studio to the online realm. When it came to launch online, he opted for a .biz website. “I felt the .com was overrated,” admits Orlando. “Also, I viewed the .biz as a tool to reinforce the professionalism and trust customers could have in my business. Plus, it was another form of making my business moniker unique online.”
For the sake of consistency and branding, he uses his domain name for his social media Instagram account, @visualist.biz, where he showcases his portfolio and engages with his followers through direct video reels and stories.
The Visualist.Biz website is indeed chic and aesthetic, but it is also multi-purpose and beneficial to business. In addition to basic booking services, its blog serves a greater purpose to humanize the artist and other collaborators behind-the-scenes.
The blog’s mission is “to learn the story behind the lens perspective. Immerse in my world. Not only to keep reading, but to capture more of what isn’t available to see.” He uses his small business blog as a platform to highlight other like-minded artists as well. One blog features Michael J. Hartwig working on a grand canvas. The Provincetown-based artist specializes in original oil paintings of seascapes and landscapes. The blog writes about how Hartwig donated a painting to Health Resources in Action for its new offices in Downtown Boston, Massachusetts.
At the end of the day, Blanco’s artistic values serve as the engine that drives his artistic business. “He approaches every subject with the intent to make something fresh while holding onto timeless aesthetics,” his small business website states. And when it comes to his art, Orlando’s motto is: “It’s not just about taking a photo, it’s about creating a lifelong memory.” And it is this approach to art that enables him to build a budding, creative solo venture.