Sunday, 2 February 2014
Drafted - My experiences getting on Dribbble
I was just recently drafted on Dribbble and just posted my first shot (which you can see here at www.dribbble.com/VanionParadis/ ).
If anyone doesn't know, Dribbble is a community based website, where designers and artists can post 400 x 300 shots of their work. "Show and tell for designers" is their slogan. It's a place to show what you're working on, works in progress, fully finished work, or even style experiments. Really Dribbble is what you make it, and it's a great way to connect with other designers.
The problem is Dribbble is an exclusive community strictly for designers. In order to become a "Player" (as it's called on Dribbble) to post work and comment on other shots, you have to be invited or "drafted". There's ups and downs to this system; the quality of work is generally very good though. Players are only given a couple invites throughout the year (and not all players) so people aren't constantly being invited. This can make it difficult, even for talented designers, to become players. If you really want to be on Dribbble though, it's absolutely attainable (just takes a little hard work, patients, and persistence).
My advice to anyone looking to get drafted on Dribbble:
Do searches on Dribbble for things like "Dribbble Invite" or "Dribbble Draft". Players will often post shots when they have available invites and will run contests to choose who they will give their invite to. Do the same on twitter, designers often use twitter as a way to reach out and will post here instead. Have shots ready (400 x 300 or 800 x 600), designers giving out invitations will often want to see what kind of shots you will be posting. Contact as many people with spare invites as possible, send out emails, tweets, any way you can; more exposure is always good. In fact in my experiences, I wasn't always chosen to be invited but people liked my work and even posted shout outs to me to help me get more visibility; I also put myself on these designer's radars for the future. Personalize what you are saying in emails to your target audience, check out their works and likes on Dribbble, and choose what you will show them based on this information. It also doesn't hurt to show interest in their work... You don't have to be a kiss ass or lie, but talk about what you like or something that inspires (or intrigues) you. Exhaust any chance you have, if people are offering invites, put your hat in the ring. If you aren't getting chosen: keep at it and keep improving and learning. Dribbble is a site about growing and learning, so it's more about potential than finished work with paying clients.
Post your work on sites like Draft.Im (a great place where people with invites can browse prospects' works and draft someone), and loviv.com. Any community based art sites in order to get exposure will help. There are tons of tumblr Dribbble draft contests out there as well. Make sure you have a portfolio website or at least a behance.net portfolio and always link back to this.
It might take a while, and even seem futile, but doing all this will definitely be great exposure and if you've got the experience and skill, you will get on Dribbble. In fact it might not even be the countless emails you'll send out that will get you that long awaited invite... It wasn't for me. It was a simple reply to a tweet at 3 AM that got me invited. Obviously everything that I did prior didn't hurt. I had more pictures on twitter because I had been sending out shots to designers, so it would have been easier for him to see my work right on twitter.
My trek to get on Dribbble was a great learning experience. I've had the chance to speak with some really talented individuals, whom I would have never engaged with otherwise. I've learned exactly what it takes to get there... I've been wanting to get on Dribbble for about a year and a half. However wanting it and just posting work is one thing, but really going for it and not letting any opportunities pass you by is another. I've only just started gunning for this as of January 11th, and I gave myself no other choice but to get on Dribbble, and worked at it. Now I'm there! That's one goal down. This mindset can really help in all aspect of life as well: if you want something, get motivated and work at it, REALLY WORK AT IT!
Now let's see how this Dribbble thing goes... It's a new journey for me as well.