Creative Quarantine: Artist & Creative Director Josh Berta

Josh Berta

1. How are you holding up?

I am holding up fine. Working from home—and thankfully there is work—is manageable for most people in my position, I suspect. Our daughters are old enough, and self-reliant enough, to manage their schoolwork and their downtime with autonomy. So my wife and I maintain a pretty standard workday, minus the commute (hard to complain about that). But our cabin fever ebbs and flows.

The Hoard of the Things | © Josh Berta

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

The pandemic has effected the industry as a whole and things are slowing down everywhere. But for the most part, I’m staying busy with client work. 

Maybe Sick | © Josh Berta

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to
keep after this is over?

In my off time, while I’ve never been overly inclined toward personal projects, I have started one that is mostly a way to fend off monotony—I can only do so much binge-watching! Around week two of the shelter in place order, I started photoshopping existing book covers to have titles (and sometimes graphics) themed around the pandemic. At worst, they’re corny dad jokes, but at their best, they’ve become a satirical look at the peculiarities many of us are experiencing: from hoarding to relentless parenting, to the crazy political scene.

Great Vaccinations | © Josh Berta

4. Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well?

Truth be told, I’m not a great follower of artists or other creatives. Certainly not on social media. But having started the book cover project, and hosting it primarily on Instagram, has gotten me somewhat reengaged with what people are sharing about their lives and work. It’s reassuring to see we’re all in this together and that life carries on. Surviving and tending to our loved ones is enough.

A heartbreaking Lack of Adequate Genius | © Josh Berta

A Farewell to Norms | © Josh Berta

Josh Berta is a Creative Director, recently relocated to Chicago from New York, working in design and branding. Historically he has also written about design, contributing to Design Observer, Quipsologies, and his own (now long-dormant) blog Pr*tty Sh*tty. He has a patient wife and two pretty decent kids, adapting to life in a new house, in a new city, all while sheltering in place.

You can see more of his book cover project here.