I joined the Behance Network in the summer of 2009 when I was wrapping up a design internship in Atlanta. I found the site when searching for inspiration for a few different projects that I was tasked with. I found such an overwhelming database of top-notch design that, once I finished my work, I requested to join so that I could submit my own work for critique to a community with such high standards and expectations of its users.
Behance grew in importance to me not only by providing this community, but by affecting my pace and focus as a creative professional. Scott Belsky’s “Making Ideas Happen” had a big impact on the way I work. I even created branding materials for a “Plywood Presents” event in Atlanta where Scott spoke about the book. These conference designs were my first project to ever be featured on Behance.
Now, a large majority of my contract work comes through using Behance. I recently submitted application to a marketing company in Los Angeles seeking a designer through Behance JobList and within a couple of days I had set up a call with the president. He reviewed my profile and projects, and I’ve already done two contract jobs with their company at the time of writing this – and just received a brief for a third.
When potential clients are interested in hiring me – outside of Behance JobList and just from my own self-promotion or contacts – I always refer them to my profile so that they can familiarize with my latest projects and see if their needs and my designs match. International publishers have even found me through Behance and asked that some of my posted projects be a part of their design annuals.
I’m a full-time freelance designer, so I can never miss opportunities with potential clients. Behance has yet to let me down when it comes to making the vital connections my business on which my business depends.
Looking back on my progression as a designer since joining, I think I have pushed myself to constantly grow and explore and learn so that I could display projects that all of the great designers I was interacting with might appreciate; more than this, even, the idea that other young designers would see something that I created and use it as inspiration like I had done when I began.