Monday, September 14, 2009

Josh Levy, Senior Art Director at Sony...

Joshua Marc Levy has been with Sony Music for 3 years and works as a Sr. Art Director and Illustrator. His basic duties include setting up photo shoots, cover design and/or illustration, package design, color proofing, and press runs.

(click on image to enlarge)

How did you make your way to Sony? Its a long story of strange fate and odd twists...and I took an independent study with someone who used to work here.

What are the greatest challenges you face in your position?
Really depends from job to job. Sometimes its a matter of working with a band that has 5 members with 5 different opinions. Sometimes you win an artist over with your first cover design and other times its the 200th cover. It might thunderstorm your photo shoot day in the park. And of course office politics.

What are some of your favorite/most memorable projects?
AC/DC (one of my all time favorite bands)...We shot in London, special packaging with 4 different covers and a hard-bound deluxe edition. Went to 4 shows on the tour and everyone is wearing my art! Also Ozzy Osbourne, Modest Mouse, Love As Laughter, and Buddy Guy to name a few. (Josh's AC/DC cover below...)

Lots of students would love to work at Sony. What are some tips you can provide for students wanting to work in Graphic Design at Sony?
For Art Directors: (we no longer have designers, the AD does everything from start to finish) You have to be the best! Work your hardest, make sure you are up to date on what is out there....Visit the record store, hit up the music blogs and see what your competition is already doing. It won’t just happen, it takes years, so don’t be discouraged too easily. Do it better. If you choose an album that exists as a school project, make sure that its better than the original artist. If you know someone in the business, even better...connections are gold.

What advice can you give to Graphic Artists and Photographers about how to break into the music industry? Try and get into advertising or fashion, because the music industry is dying and the pay for photographers gets cut in half every year. If it really truly is your passion then go for it and don’t give up.

Recently, you made a trip to Dallas for a shoot, so… do you know who shot J.R.? Yes, I actually do. But do any of your students even know who J.R. is? I bet they’ve never used a typewriter before.

If you could be on the cover of any musician’s album (living or dead) who would it be, and what would the image look like?
ahhh, there are many I’d love to design. A lot of the old rockers...My top are Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Mudhoney, Bruce Springsteen, The Buzzcocks, Social Distortion, Iggy Pop, to name a few. What would the covers look like? I have no idea. It’s a giant puzzle you have to solve when the time is right.

See more of Josh's work HERE.

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