At The Martin Group, great ideas and results really are a group effort. They come from remarkably talented individuals that we form into equally remarkable teams. This month, meet Andrew Henesey, Senior Art Director, and Andrew Martis, Art Director, two members of our creative team as they reflect on their histories and creative inspirations/motivations.
What was your path to what you’re doing now?
Andrew Henesey: Three different colleges, two different degrees, seven years, and two internships later, I was at The Martin Group with an offer I couldn’t refuse. I’ve never left and couldn’t imagine life anywhere else.
Andrew Martis: Half a year of a high school design program, four years of college at SUNY Fredonia, worked at a screen printing shop, a design retreat in Maine, brief stint at The Martin Group, two years interning/working in NYC, freelancing, Creative Mornings Buffalo, and finally back to The Martin Group working with some of the most creative and hardest working folks WNY has to offer.
Did you have an “aha” moment?
Andrew H: On the sixth day of shooting [creative for the ASICS Welcome to the Dojo campaign], 14-hour days in 100-degree temperature and being sad to see it end. This job isn’t for everyone, but at that point, I knew I was one of the crazy people who needs it.
Andrew M: I think it was more of a series of “aha” pushes along the way that opened my eyes to utilizing art and design as a legitimate career path.
Did you have any mentors along the way?
Andrew H: Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the creative I am today. There have been a few [mentors] that have contributed more than others throughout the years. I think they know who they are…Shout out if you’re reading this.
Andrew M: For sure, my professors in college all helped me in different ways. Whether it was the technical aspects of design or showing me the power that design and design thinking can have on the world at large. Those connections I’ve made through those relationships as well have been critical in helping me grow and they continue to do so. My creative supervisors here at TMG have also been a huge help with agency-related life as I didn’t really come from an agency background. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning things, so there will always be some sort of mentor in my life.
What kinds of projects are you working on right now?
Andrew H: Isn’t that confidential? i will defer to HR if this question is appropriate.
Andrew M: It’s been a good dose of New Era Cap and Under Armour projects recently. Been working on New Era’s MLB campaign steadily throughout the year and helping evolve it as events come up throughout the year. As for Under Armour, we recently evolved their Lacrosse look for the second half of 2019—which has been a nice change of pace. While it’s still sports-related, the two brands have their own voice and presence that need to be considered.
Do you feel a responsibility to contribute to something bigger than yourself?
Andrew H: I think in the beginning, I just wanted to survive in the agency world. But as time goes on, there is more of a feeling to want to be a part of something and influence the others around me with some sense of obligation to it.
Andrew M: Definitely; I think it’s important to give a damn about at least one thing and champion that cause. Being complacent or silent just doesn’t cut it.
Are you creatively satisfied?
Andrew H: There are days when you feel like you have it all, and days when you wonder if you’ll ever get the right project to satisfy that certain craving. So it’s a bit of a cycle where you want to be satisfied, but hate the feeling once it’s there.
Andrew M: Yes and no. I try to take some time to reflect after completing a project and focus on both the good and the bad, but as soon as that passes, the needle starts to trend the other way. It’s always a constant cycle and the best thing for me is to keep going, even if it’s small steps.
How does where you live impact your creativity?
Andrew H: Buffalo is full of beautifully created things and beautiful things yet to be created, so it’s a bit of a spectrum of inspiration and opportunity.
Andrew M: Buffalo has been a great catalyst for my creativity; from all the public art going up around the city these days to things like Creative Mornings, there’s no shortage of inspiration and creative people that can be found all around this great city. Buffalo is also conveniently located just a few hours from places like Toronto, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, which provide even more sources of creativity.
How many Taylor Swift songs do you actually listen to every single day?
Andrew H: Her catalogue keeps growing, so the number is bound to increase. But I’m confident there’s no less than 20 per day
Andrew M: Honestly, none. Sorry, Tay.
What single most important piece of advice would you give to students and young designers trying to establish themselves in the industry?
Andrew H: Look at good work, know what good work looks like. You’re only as good as the people you’re competing against, so know who is good and how to be better.
Andrew M: Keep going, the deck can feel stacked against you at times, but seriously, keep going. Don’t wait around for briefs, make stuff on your own, publish your successes and failures. As a single piece of advice: keep working while you’re waiting.
As a designer, what types of projects are you most passionate about? What attracts you to that type of work?
Andrew H: The type of work you can’t shut your brain off about…when you’re at home and can’t stop thinking about it is usually a good sign that you’re engaged, and the work is going to better for it.
Andrew M: I’m passionate about the projects that give a good set of boundaries and limitations, but allow for a ton of experimenting within those confines. It’s fun to push the envelope while still checking off all the things the client is looking for.
You’re standing outside a 7-Eleven when the aliens land. They can only survive on Earth for two minutes and you only have two dollars. What snack do you buy to teach them about humanity and provide sustenance for their long journey home?
Andrew H: Are we allowed to mention 7-Eleven by name? We might have a lawsuit on our hands… Anyways, I’m buying them a chocolate chip cookie. It’s handheld, it’s chocolate, it’s a cookie; it’s perfect.
Andrew M: I’m going with a Snickers bar here, King Size, for sure. It’s got it all, salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy, and chocolatey.
What music is playing in heavy rotation right now?
Andrew H: When there’s not a new Taylor Swift album…if it’s been out for more than a month, it probably doesn’t exist anymore. I need all new music. By the time this is posted, all the music I would mention is too old.
Andrew M: It’s always a pretty steady stream of indie, but I’ve been really into this band Far Caspian recently.