Robby Leonardi on his zigzagging path to success

We spoke to the net Awards nominee for Best Online Portfolio about his Mario-style CV and his impressive body of work to date.

New York-based Robby Leonardi is one of 10 nominees for Best Online Portfolio in the 2014 net Awards. Most of his work is for media companies such as Fox News, FX Networks and Speed TV, and you may have already seen his interactive resume, which presents information about his skills and experience in the style of a platform game. We quizzed him to find out more about his background and how he put his site together.

Give us a summary of your career so far.

If I had to draw a shape to illustrate my design career, that shape would be a zigzag line. I loved to draw when I was a kid so it was easy to pick design as my career. But things were a little bit different after that. I went to architecture school but I worked as interior designer.

Then I went to graphic design school to study corporate identity but I worked a as Flash animator and web designer. It was good because I learned so many things, but bad because I needed to focus to become a better designer. Recently I have made a plan to concentrate on illustration since I really enjoy working on my interactive resume website. I hope I can settle down this time, I guess only time will tell.

Robby caused a sensation last year with his game-style CV

What have you been working on over the last year?

I worked on Fox's show websites and banner ads for my day job. I also worked on my interactive resume website and some other projects for my side job. I was very busy last year, I hope I will be able to chill out more this year.

Tell us about the process of designing your portfolio site.

I wanted to design an interactive resume after I saw one in a design award website, but I wanted to put my own touch on it. I quickly chose illustration as the main style of the website since I really like to draw. I also incorporated a game element to make it unique - I've never seen that done before. It was not an easy process since resumes and games are very different! I combined them to simplify the information so it is easier to digest. The game enemies became the resume's bar charts and pie charts. The game levels became resume's sections. It turned out very well and I was very satisfied with the result.

Game elements are used to convey skills and experience

Who and what influences and inspires your work?

Super Mario Bros is a very big inspiration for my interactive resume website. I owe Mr Miyamoto a lot for the inspiration and fun childhood memories. For other projects, I am mostly inspired by good design that I find in award websites, design magazines, and design news.

Vote in the net Awards!

Celebrating the best in web design and development, the 15th net Awards is open for public voting until 24 March. With a record breaking number of nominations this year, it's set to be the biggest and best yet. Have your say by casting your votes here.