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Welcome to Made of Sticks!

MoS is the personal portfolio site and blog of British graphic designer, Ben Morgan.

On the site, you will find a feast of creative work expertly crafted by yours truly; design tutorials covering a range of techniques and disciplines; my personal blog exploring the design industry, as well as a merchandise store.

If you're looking for a freelancer or a creative designer for your next project, then why not get in touch? What have you got to lose?

And if you're wondering about the name... simply mix too much alcohol, a reckless game of pick-up sticks and an accidental Giraffe made of sticks...

Made of Sticks is on Dribbble!

February 9th, 2014

Made of Sticks is on Dribbble

Yes, you heard it! All my super-duper design work can now be found on the designer’s favourite playground, Dribbble.

What is this Dribbble you speak of?

Dribble is the platform of choice for graphic designers to showcase their current work projects and get feedback from the community. In Dribbble’s own words, it is: “Show and Tell for Designers”.

So what exactly does Dribbble do?

Again, in Dribbble’s own words:
“What are you working on? Dribbble is a community of designers answering that question each day. Web designers, graphic designers, illustrators, icon artists, typographers, logo designers, and other creative types share small screenshots (shots) that show their work, process, and current projects. Dribbble is also a place where designers and companies promote their work and products, find designers for hire, and receive work inquiries.”

The platform takes on a basketball-type theme. Users upload ‘Shots’ (thumbnail visuals of their work) to their account which can then be shared, commented on and showcased by the design community. ‘Shot’s’ can then be ‘Rebounded’ – that is, a Shot in reply to another Shot – which is a way of following up and linking two Shots together. For example, a concept sketch ‘Shot’ can then be ‘Rebounded’ with a finished design or alternative concepts.

‘Shots’ that you like can be placed in ‘Buckets’ which act like collections of favourites for easy reference.

‘Shots’ can also be grouped into ‘Projects’ which enables users to link items with common themes.

How can you sign up for a Dribbble account?

The maker’s of Dribbble always wanted only honest, dedicated and expert users on their platform. What makes Dribbble unique is the quality of work on show. Because of that, access to a Dribbble account is by invite only. This ensures that users offering accounts on Dribbble take responsibility for who they invite. It means that the quality remains high and the community thrives.

How to get an invite

So there is no hard and fast way of getting an invite to Dribbble. But there are techniques you can use to help your cause. The first step is to create a Prospect account so that users can see you want to join.

Get pally with an existing Dribbble user

Invites for Dribbble are given out by users (also known as ‘Players’), not the makers of the site. So existing ‘Players’ can offer invites to other talented designers. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking an existing ‘Player’ for an invite, perhaps in exchange for some exposure of their work or help with a project.

Although this is the most straight forward way of getting an invite, it is also the most frowned upon, because being so direct can seem disrespectful. Players cherish their invite power and being blasé can devalue the invite.

Sign up to other showcase sites and wait for an invite

There are many other great sites you can use to showcase your work. Some as distinguished as Dribbble, some not so. Sites like Behance, Creattica, Dunked, DeviantArt and Awwwards all give you the opportunity to get your work seen by others. If your work is of a really high standard then inevitably, Dribbble Players may pick up on this and give you an invite.

This approach has been used by many Prospects; maintaining integrity and letting your work do the talking. But this approach can also take a long time and sometimes never even result in a Dribbble invite.

Give yourself a helping hand and use Draft

The most effective way of obtaining an invite is to use a combination of both of the above techniques. Ever heard of Draft.im? If you have been dieing for a Dribbble account then this is the way to get one.

Draft.im is like the Dribbble acid test. It works very much like a diluted version of Dribbble, allowing you to upload your work in a very similar way to ‘Shots’. Existing Dribbble users routinely visit this site to search for potential invite candidates. It gives them a familiar interface to browse other talented designers, check the quality of their work and assess their suitability as a ‘Player’.

The process for Draft is very simple. There’s no need to create an account, you simply upload your thumbnail, give a description of your work, add a link to your online portfolio and, bosh, you wait for Dribbble Players to take the bait and send you that all important invite.

*One point to note, you should create a Prospect’s account on Dribbble first, before using Draft, as your user handle is required to get an invite.

Draft Website

draft.im – add your shots here for your best chance of success

Now you have an invite, share only your best work

Dribbble is a very highly regarded community. The users are very professional and take a lot of pride in the quality of work on show and the user’s behind it. Because getting an invite is so highly sought after, once you get one you’ll be stupidly excited to start uploading your work. Many user’s go the extra mile by uploading a ‘Shot’ thanking the ‘Player’ who invited them. This is not a good idea.

Your very first ‘Shot’ is displayed in a unique stream of work called ‘Debuts’. Existing ‘Players’ view the Debuts stream to profile new users, get new followers and hand out advice. This is your chance to put yourself ‘in the shop window’ and show other ‘Players’ what you’re made of and build a cult following. Choose your first work wisely and make an impact.

Dribbble to your heart’s content

Now you’re a proud member of the community, make sure to continually upload ‘Shots’ and build a relationship with other ‘Players’.

Consider upgrading to a paid Pro account (only $20 per year) which gives you the ability to create projects, make yourself available for hire to users searching for designers to work with, access to Advanced Stats and a nice little Pro badge for your profile.

How is your Dribbble experience?

You can view my Dribbble account here.
What are your experiences of Dribbble?
Did you successfully get yourself drafted using the techniques above?
How much of an influence has Dribbble had on your quality of work?
Add your comments.

Peace Out,
Made of Sticks

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