Going Green: Conor O’Driscoll

Seizing St. Patrick’s Day as a green-and-gold opportunity, we’ll be profiling a few Irish Dribbblers over the next week. First up: Conor O’Driscoll.

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P-A-D-D-Y. 

Designer Conor O’Driscoll will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2013 by typing those letters again and again and again, while drinking any beer but Guinness.

"I will be spending my entire day on Twitter correcting people who refer to it as St. Patty’s Day. It is literally the bane of every Irish person’s life," O’Driscoll told Dribbble. "Come the 17th, we just go nuts, viciously whacking the keys on our keyboard, typing ‘IT’S PADDY’S DAY NOT PATTY’S DAY.’" 

As for the beer, “if you’re in Ireland and you see somebody drinking Guinness, they are almost certainly just trying to show off to the tourists.”

O’Driscoll spends the other 364 days a year designing, interviewing for The Industry, and curating One Minute With. In his quick-interview series, recently nominated for a .net Award for Side Project of the Year, O’Driscoll pins downs developers and designers, placing them under a microscope for as long as it takes to answer a few great questions.

Tables turned, we set our sights on O’Driscoll. He squirmed. Just a little.

In the end he rose brilliantly to the challenge, supplying this interviewer with clever, funny and well-thought-out answers we can only assume are a reflection of a similarly engaging personality and an insider’s appreciation for the squirmy task of interviewing.

O’Driscoll originally hails from Skibbereen, the most southerly town in Ireland, but now lives a few hours outside Cork City, “in what can only be described as the middle of nowhere.” O’Driscoll’s survey of the local scenery charms: “lush, green, rolling hills and a view out over a lovely little bay filled with beautiful, sandy-beached islands.” He finds Cork City friendly, and even has his own little green spot hidden behind a high wall in a shopping district. “I can happily relax there listening to whatever busker is furiously strumming outside and just people-watching.”

The lovely and the friendly aside, O’Driscoll bemoans Cork’s lack of a design scene. Thankfully, he said, there’s Dribbble.

O’Driscoll’s put the site to full use, not only sharing his own work but also digging around in piles of pixels and pulling out approximately 100 Dribbblers to profile on One Minute With. When asked to pick a favorite, O’Driscoll names a designer he admires not only for her work, but also for elevating the game.

Claire Coullon really is the Goddess of Dribbble,” he said. She “has really taken the ‘What are you working on?’ question on the Dribbble homepage to heart, and continues to show us what she is working on, and not simply what she has worked on.

"She is also the very best at commenting on Dribbble. Every single comment … is chock-full of useful, nicely-worded constructive criticism. … Every now and then, you hear people criticizing Dribbble’s community for how many of the comments … are just ‘Amazing!’ or ‘MAN THAT RETRO VINTAGE SKEUOMORPHIC MINIMAL MODERN FLAT DESIGN IS SO NEAT. … You only need to look at Claire’s comments to discover that there’s hope for all of us yet."

As for his own Dribbble portfolio, O’Driscoll chose to highlight a shot that supports the one Irish stereotype he finds true. “We’re not all leprechauns, we don’t all have red hair, and we’re not all farmers,” he said. But, “the Irish, for better or for worse, love to drink.”

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The image was initially part of a pub-quiz poster but for Dribbble, O’Driscoll animated the bubbles using Photoshop. Oops.

"Turns out Photoshop isn’t ideal for animating things, and I could’ve done it a whole lot faster in Flash, but hey, Dribbble’s for learning, and that was a somewhat valuable lesson to learn."

Interested in reading more about Paddy vs. Patty? O’Driscoll suggests a visit to paddynotpatty.com. You can find O’Driscoll at conordriscoll.com,  oneminutewith.com, and on Twitter @ConorDesign.

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