Posted 29 April 2021

Watch Andrew Herzog’s Pep Talk on building a portfolio that best represents you

Our latest Pep Talk guest was the brilliant Andrew Herzog, who answered all your portfolio-related questions live from New York. Hosted by Steph Fung, you can watch the video of the event below, as Andrew talks about everything from self-initiated projects to portfolio curation and also a short discussion about tropical fish!

The big talking points:

• Whether it’s better to specialise or have a wide-ranging portfolio (09:48)
• Showing process and talking through your portfolio (14:00)
• Andrew’s favourite tropical fish (18:50)
• Using mock-ups and putting work in context (20:15)
• How often you should update your portfolio (23:05)
• What not to include in your portfolio (27:19)
• Whether it’s important to have a portfolio website (31:42)
• Thoughts on self-initiated projects (35:15)
• Advice on finding internships when you have no experience (40:30)
• The inspiration and process behind Andrew’s latest book (43:39)

What did I miss?
After an introduction from our host Steph Fung, Andrew shared his mini-pep talk; “You get the work you do.”

Talking through why he chose this, Andrew emphasised the idea that if people see you produce a certain kind of work, they’ll likely employ you for more of the same. This can work in both positive and negative ways, especially if the work in your portfolio isn’t what you’re actually interested in.

As Andrew advises, it’s a good idea to work out the kind of work you want to be making, and not to wait for permission to do it. Instead, it’s about finding ways to put that into the world – whether that be through self-initiated projects or collaborations, for example.

“You get the work you do.”

Andrew then spoke about how those with a more multidisciplinary portfolio can find a common, unifying thread through their projects, and how showing your process and thinking can help bolster this. On how often you should update a portfolio, Andrew explained why it’s ok for your portfolio to be continuously developing, as long as it authentically represents you and your practice. He then went on to share his advice on securing an internship when you don’t yet have industry experience – and how passion, a desire to learn, and excitement can sometimes trump experience.

Finally, Andrew shared the inspiration behind his latest book, A Report: Circle Or Curve? Describing it as a ‘How-to’ in making public art, the book is an accessible, unfiltered look into the process behind Andrew’s 2018 installation at National Museum of Art in Bucharest in Romania. Showing a glimpse into the 140-page book, Andrew ends by encouraging everyone to write about their work!

About Andrew Herzog
Since graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design’s graphic design course in 2013, New York-based artist and designer Andrew Herzog has had an impressively wide-ranging career, showcasing a truly multidisciplinary way of working in a variety of creative roles.

After stints at both R/GA and Sagmeister & Walsh, Andrew joined the Google Five programme in 2015 – later going on to lead projects at Google Creative Lab often dealing with AI and accessibility, like this drawing game built with machine learning. A year later, Andrew co-founded design studio HAWRAF alongside fellow Creative Lab colleagues Carly Ayres, Pedro Sanches and Nicky Tesla.

Today, Andrew is a partner and director at creative studio, School. Working across a wide range of mediums, the studio’s output has so far included everything from websites, brand identities, books and videos, to installations, bots, illustrations, apps, advertisements and tools.

As an artist, Andrew’s work has also been exhibited in museums, galleries and city streets. His latest book, A Report: Circle Or Curve? is the first in a series that documents Andrew’s 2018 public art installations in which he created a “walking mural” by painting a metre-wide, one kilometre diameter circle around the National Museum of Art in Bucharest, Romania.

See more from Andrew on his website and Instagram; and see more from School on their website and Instagram.

What is Pep Talk?
Pep Talk is our monthly Instagram Live event to share relatable, easy-to-process tips in conversation with inspiring creatives.

Each session begins with a ‘pep talk’, where a chosen creative gets to share their ultimate advice for anyone who might be feeling a bit stuck, before answering questions submitted by you, our readers.

Written by Creative Lives in Progress
Mention Andrew Herzog