EverQuest II is blessed with an incredibly talented art team! Dave "Covic" Brown works on character models, people, mounts, etc. He has recently worked on the character models for the new Prowler mounts. Dave is super talented and we're very lucky to have him on the team!
What do you draw from for inspiration for your art?
I look everywhere I can from movies, video games, comics, the internet, and I am always trying to build my collection of art books. I don’t limit myself in where to find art or great ideas. I think all artist, no matter the skill level with have something to offer in the way of ideas and style.
What’s your favourite part of EQII?
The community that plays our game, and all my friends that make the game. The passion in the developers that work on this game is what makes it so amazing. I don’t think the game is considered a job to anyone that works on it. We are creating an imaginative world and experience that will be part of our legacy. It’s a permanent record of our hard work that we can be proud of and show to our kids and grandkids.
What's your favourite thing that you've done for EQII?
This is always changing form each new character I do. First it was Varsoon, then Anshti Sul, then Kraytok, and definitely Rhoen Theer. It seems every model I do becomes my next favorite, and I am starting to feel the same way about the model I am working on now. But I have to say that the one I will be working on next month, if done right could top them all.
How did you get started in the industry?
I have always loved to draw, ever since I could pick up a pencil. I was always the kid in elementary school that was asked to draw special projects for the class, like Christmas window paintings and things like that. I spent a lot of my free time in high school sitting at home drawing. My dream was to be an artist and animator for Disney.
So I went back to school, attending The Academy of Arts in San Francisco. I did the whole program online since I lived in San Diego. I studied hard and had perfect grades. It was not easy because my last year in school I was also interning at SOE on EQ 1 then EQ 2. I would intern from 7 am to 2 pm Monday thru Friday. Work 3 pm to 11 pm at my job to keep insurance for my family, then work on school work from 11:30 to 2 or 3 am. I drank a lot of coffee, and the world was mostly in a haze. But man I would not take it back for anything, I love my job and my family could not be happier.
What are some of the other projects you've worked on?
I have worked on Everquest and I did paintings for the first 4 or 5 packs of Legends of Norrath cards.
Do you have any special (or just super fun) projects you're working on now for EQII?
The project I will be working on after I finish my current model is going to be awesome. Its going to give players something they have never had in our game yet, I can’t wait to get started. Also it’s going to need a lot of QA time to get this right. So I want to get it done as soon as possible so we will have over half a year to work out the bugs.
Do you have any advice for aspiring game artists?
There is always the usual work hard and keep pushing yourself. But I will also give some insight to the industry. It is very competitive and for every open job there are hundreds that want that job. The one thing that most people don’t tell you is that most of those hundreds didn’t work as hard as needed and don’t have the skills it takes to get in the industry. There have been times we had to leave positions open because there is no applicant with the qualifications needed. So stay up late to push your school projects to the next level and you will get in. Also quality over quantity, the demo with one clean perfected model with get the job over the guy who has a 20 min real with 100 ok looking models.
A basic mind set I try to keep is that I am never a perfect artist, I will always be a student and try to learn as much as I can. Art takes a lifetime to perfect and even then we can always learn more. New techniques and ideas are always being introduced.
Oh and one more thing that seems to get overlooked by new students. Draw and sculpt in clay till your hands cramp, before you jump into programs like maya, z brush, and others. I see a lot of students that know the tech great but really have no 2d drawing experience. The programs are just a tool like a pencil, without the basic understanding of form, lighting, structure, mass, and other basic art principles, the final product will not look good.