Work / Digital

Illustrator Mariano Pascual’s new website is an interactive and playful portal into his world

As a creative, your online portfolio is an incredibly important thing. With sites like Instagram and Behance becoming more and more popular as a way to showcase work, the humble website still retains an edge over its well-followed competitors, and that’s its flexibility. A website is fully customisable from its URL to its loading page, navigation and even sound effects. It has the ability to truly embody your personality whether that be in an outlandish or nuanced way. It’s this pliability that Argentinian illustrator Mariano Pascual decided to co-opt recently when giving his site a refresh.

“I decided to redesign my online portfolio after a long time without taking care of the old one,” the Barcelona-based creative tells It’s Nice That. “Over the years, [the old one] had turned into some kind of boring yet minimalistic site that wasn’t attractive nor represented me at all.” Breaking away from the usual portfolio site with projects stacked in grids, Mariano wanted something where “people could really spend time, where the public could know me and the way I work through interaction, offering a different perspective,” he explains, “a portal to dive into my world.”

The result is an interactive experience which mimics a desktop, designed alongside Achos!, a communication and interactive design agency based in Barcelona and Bali. With a dock full of applications at the bottom of the screen, the site also features a toolbar, real-time clock and (not so real-time) battery life, all designed in Mariano’s signature style. As well as Achos!, Mariano also worked with developer Chanel Mepschen and animator Tomas Picasso.

The site’s success lies not in its fancy tricks and hidden Easter eggs – although these are top-notch – but in its immediate impact and speed of communication. “I came up with this operating system that I think is a great way to show my work because you can have an idea of my style as soon as you pop onto the website,” Mariano adds, “Actually you don’t need to see any of my projects to have an idea of my skills… the website turned out to be a piece of art itself.”

As for Mariano’s favourite aspect of the site, “the settings tool is something that I have a special feeling for”, he tells us. This addition allows visitors to the site to toggle background colours, make it full screen and adjust the brightness, add filters but also zoom in and out. “I think this playful characteristic and the chance the users have to create or give their particular meaning is something that I always wanted to transmit through my work,” he concludes. Our advice: go ahead and click the “Open Explorer” button.

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