Josh Levitas BFA '00 (Illustration)

Philadelphia-based Josh Levitas is a graphic designer at Independence Blue Cross.

Professional Experience
Graphic Designer
Independence Blue Cross
August 2010 – Present
Responsibilities include design and pre-press for marketing materials, signage, and outdoor advertising, oversight of interns

Partner
Throwaway Horse, LLC
November 2008 – Present
Founding member, responsible for graphic production oversight, promotional graphic design, illustration, business development, and strategic planning.

Owner and Graphic Artist
Josh Levitas Illustration and Design
April 2008 – Present
Freelance illustration, graphic design
Clients include Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Lovin' Spoonful, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Sodexho, the Royal Circus of Moscow on Ice, and more.

Design, Print and Production Consultant
Signature One Graphics
April 2008 – August 2010
Freelance design and consulting on the subject of the subject of print design and production. This includes not just the mechanics of designing for print, but also the economics involved.

Graphic Artist (contractor)
Independence Blue Cross
June 2009 – October 2009

Graphic Artist
Replica Design & Print
March 2006 – April 2008
Responsibilities included graphic design, illustration, pre-press formatting, pre-press trouble-shooting, interaction with various outside vendors, business strategizing, billing, occasional collections
Clients included: Barnes & Noble.com, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Wallace, Roberts & Todd, Burt Hill Architects, Daroff Design, The Pyramid Club of Philadelphia, TRG Healthcare Management, The Building Owners and Managers Association of Philadelphia, Devine & Powers Public Relations, and many more.

Graphic Artist
Yellow Book USA
January 2001 – April 2004
Responsibilities included design and layout of advertisements and presentation graphics, as well as illustration. The highlights: I Designed, Association of Directory Publishers Homeland Security Advertisement, Mar., 2003 and initiated profitable in-house illustration service for the company.

Assistant to Camp Directors & Counselor
Appel Farm Arts and Music Center
June 1999 – August 2000
Responsibilities included organization of the art dept. and residential facilities in preparation for the summer program, daily and overnight supervision of children, teaching classes in drawing, painting, and technical theater, and planning of educational/artistic activities. Worked with wonderful international staff of visual and performing arts professionals, wonderfully talented children, ages 10 - 16 from all over the United States and the world.

University and Alumni Association Involvement
In 2011, I participated (by invitation) in both the Career Services alumni panel at alumni/parents weekend and a discussion group for the Alumni Association. I have since met with students and a recent graduate to discuss my career path, and I recently discussed life beyond UArts with students at the 2012 Opportunity Day.

Personal Accomplishments
I have been involved since 2008 in the creation of Ulysses "Seen," a graphic novel adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses with a full page-by-page reader's guide, which has been mentioned in The New York Times, on The New Yorker Book Bench, on Slate.com, on Time magazine's web site, and many more. We received quite a bit of press in 2010, when Apple rejected our iPad app and then publicly reversed its decision. The project has allowed us to apply our platform to other comics adaptations of dense literary works. It has also allowed for a features on NPR's "All Things Considered" and WHYY's emmy-winning "Friday Arts" program, as well as public speaking opportunities in New York, Austin, San Diego and most recently at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

My collaboration with my Ulysses "Seen" partner, Robert Berry, will appear along with work by iconic artists like Robert Crumb and Seymour Chwast in The Graphic Canon Vol. 1, released in April 2012 by Seven Stories Press. The editor has told us that a Reader's Digest review of the book will feature our work, a comics adaptation of Shakespeare's Sonnet XVIII, as the showpiece.

Letter of Interest
I was invited to be a part of the first advisory panel for the new Alumni Association in October of 2011. I felt that I was able to offer some valuable ideas about increasing the involvement of alumni with students as early and often as possible. I believe that I can continue to build on those ideas and have a real impact on the Alumni Association program and the lives of UArts students as a member of the Alumni Council.

I am passionate about applying the knowledge I have gained in my experience since my graduation in 2000 so as to help to enrich the experience of current students and to assist them with their transitions from student life to professional careers. I can speak from personal experience to the rewards and challenges of the worlds of both full-time and self-employment as a commercial artist, as well as the importance of perseverance, patience, strategizing, and financial responsibility. While lecturers and guest speakers may help to plant those seeds, I believe that internships with UArts alumni and regular one-to-one conversations with a friendly alumni mentor who has lived that experience can make the process much less daunting and much more successful. It has also been my experience that advising students and recent graduates is rewarding for alumni, as well, and creates a stronger feeling of connection to the school after graduation.

I hope to have the opportunity to work with the Alumni Association to create a strong program that will significantly increase both the success rate of UArts graduates and alumni participation.

Thank you for your consideration.