Ad for Ortones Music Shed, 1979Ad for Ortones Music Shed, 1979

Editorial illustration for Ahoy Magazine, 1984

Editorial illustration for Guardian Newspaper, 1985

Ad for Shatter Records, 1987

Biography of Mark Levine

While in my last year of High school, (circa 1975), my artwork was influenced by music, comic books, television and movies. The graphics used to promote, package, display and advertise these these various media was also of great interest to me as I wanted to build a career in commercial art. Album covers by Roger Dean, comic books by Bernie Wrightson, magazine covers by Richard Corben, (to name a few favorite artists) inspired me to illustrate the genres of Science-Fiction, Fantasy and horror.

After converting my parents single car garage too my first studio, I became quite prolific as I began to combine my illustrations with mock graphic design jobs for posters, packaging, covers for magazines and books. My skills and experience quickly developed so that I would be able to submit a portfolio to publishers.

Throughout the remaining 70’s and thru the 80’s, I exhibited in local businesses, art shows and galleries. In 1978, I received an honorable mention for a fantasy pencil drawing in the yearly City of Newburgh Juried Art exhibit. The drawings favorable greeting encouarged me to continue my direction. In 1983, I traveled to NYC for the Creations Comic book convention to enter 3 pieces of art in separate categories. I took first place for color, second place for pencil and third place for ink. The show was juried by comicbook editors and art directors. For me, this was recognition of the highest level. I was invited to launch the opening of the gallery, Revelations, located in the town of Walden, NY. The curator had been familiar with my work from earlier showings wanted me to have a one-man show. The show was entitled, “In-Vision”, illustrations of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I sold reproductions of my art along with a few originals.

After 2 years at a community college I obtained a degree in commercial art, and I started a career as a graphic designer and art director. I continued my formal education in printmaking, drawing and painting at new Paltz State University. In my fourth year I started an independent project that would be a vehicle for me to showcase all of my abilities and talent as an illustrator and graphic designer. “Journey Above and Beyond”,a fanzine that contained local writers stories and poetry of fantasy and the bizzare. I art directed, illustrated and marketed the small publication for a two years with local distribution.

The “Journey” experience, spawned an art career in illustration and graphic design with local publishers and businesses. I had a Bi-weekly editorial cartoon running for a local group of tabloids for E.W.Smith publishing, a monthly full page caracture of a celebrity musician that ran in a local music publication, The Music Machine, distributed throughout the Hudson Valley. I received commissions from collectors who had purchased original artwork from earlier shows. Assignments from businesses that needed a fresh look to their advertising, like Ortones, (a music store selling instruments) had their marketing manager commission me to develop a series of science fiction illustrations for an ad campaign. The Stereo Magic store chain, (a retail store catering to audiophiles.) commissioned me to create signage and a mural for their chain of music stores. I was invited to a local pub, Bennys, where I sat and did caricatures of their patrons.

Despite my growing popularity and success, I went to NYC in 1983 and applied to The School of Visual Arts and was excepted to their illustration program. I found a room at a YMCA, located in the “Hells Kitchen” area of the city. A volume of work was surfacing, one in which a darker and cynical view of the world was taking hold. “Urban Plight”, fashion, politics and dancing, contained artwork that represented my new environment. It told a story in images of the homeless, the after hours clubs, the underground subways and the graffiti that decorate the trains and platforms, I was engulfed with a new reality.

Throughout the mid 80’s I would sell my art to collectors and publishers alike. I became a chameleon, working in the advertising industry as an art director and an illustrator for multiple industries. With a wide selection of portfolios, I offered options to editors and publishers on my various artistic styles and usages of mediums.

A cartoon strip for a local tabloid “The Herald” entitled “Droid”, a personal commentary on city life, (always on the darkside.), ran for 2 years. I also received my first commissions for editorial art for national and international publications like the “Guardian” newspaper and “Ahoy” magazine. Working for book publishers, magazines and newspapers and music labels as an art director and designer to generate income, also paved paths to more illustration assignments. A NYC design firm saw one of my portfolios of line art illustrations, a collection of some fantasy creatures I was developing, and in turn,sent me to a record label, “Shatter Records”, publishing new heavy metal bands. They were looking for a series of ads with fantasy monsters as the featured graphic. I created an ad campaign that ran in national publications.

The latter part of the 80’s and through the new milenium I continued illustrating and art directing for advertising agencies, publishers, publications and corporations. Most notably, in 1995 I began my relationship with independent comic book publisher Double Edge. I worked on various titles like the Book Of Spells and Demons Of The Mist.

Today, Bloodbytes, my online gallery, represents my growing history; a timeline of my experiences through illustration. I went through numerous portfolios of published and unpublished art, that would best represent my experiences.

Welcome to the Bloodbytes gallery.

With much gratitude, thank you for your interest.

Mark Levine

Ad for The Music Paper, 1989

Catalog Cover for Lab Aids, 1997

Comic Book Cover, Double Edge, 1999

Comic Book Cover, Double Edge, 2001

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