Moved by Seven Santini Bros in 1950 to Miami. Studied commercial art at Miami Technical High School. Graduated June 1955. Entered the Marines one week later. Sent to the Mojave Desert. On KP duty, discovers the art of cottage cheese sculpture. Period reaches it's height when the protoype of the F-8U Cutlass, secretly under testing at the base is created in minute detail of large curd cottage cheese decorated with pineapple, gained critical acclaim and drew the attention of authorities. In 1958, with obligation to the nation over, returns to Miami and then on to New York to study briefly at the Art Students League.
Swept up in the glamour of the Beatnick era, takes to running an espresso house. Poetry and that stuff. Is discovered by Milton Glaser and offered job as the messenger for Push Pin Studio. Is discovered by Lee Savage and becomes animation director for Electra Studio. Designs, direct and produces animation until the industry crashed in the early '70s. In 1974 is discovered by Lee Lorenz. Begins doing New Yorker Magazine cartoons and cover art.
Arnie Levin is one of the many New Yorker cartoonists and cover artists whose style probably isn’t immediately identifiable to readers, but whose constant presence since 1974 has contributed incalculably to the magazine’s identity and success. “Howard, I think the dog wants to go out,” says an aproned woman to her pipe-smoking husband in Levin’s most popular Cartoon Bank image. Their pet, dressed to the nines under a top hat and cape, waits patiently. In another popular Levin panel, a woman returns an item to a department store, explaining, “It’s fancy-schmantzy. I just wanted fancy.”