Much of Damarcus Holbrook’s dark, foreboding work reveals a prime source of his inspiration—nightmares. Today, he designs worlds for some of the biggest games in our world.
“People told me it would be difficult to break into the entertainment industry,” said Holbrook. “But I kept trying and was blessed with being at the right place at the right time. Talent is important but it’s more important to make yourself stand out.”
Prior to landing his position at Red 5, Holbrook worked at 38 Studios where he created environments for Reckoning. Shortly after, the studio closed and he moved to Japan for four months to co-art direct Metal Gear at Konami. After completing this assignment, he moved back to California to work for Red 5. Currently, Holbrook is working on the free online multiplayer game Firefall.
Prior to his career at 38 Studios, Holbrook worked on popular games such as Sony’s Dark Kingdom, From Russia with Love (James Bond) and Half Life 2 as well as created art assets for the film “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and models of three-dimensional environments and characters (known as “tank soldiers”).
Much of Holbrook’s concept art was featured in Half Life 2: Raising the Bar. His dark, foreboding work reveals a prime source of his inspiration—nightmares. As a child, Holbrook often experienced horrific dreams. To help him deal with them, Holbrook’s mother told him to draw the nightmares and then, together, they would rip up the images.
Many years later, Holbrook’s art teacher, Mrs. Burrell, at Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School recognized his talent and encouraged him to apply at CCS because of their reputable transportation design and animation programs.
“I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I wouldn’t have taken her advice,” he said.
Holbrook has worked hard to establish himself, yet he attributes much of his success to the knowledge and skills he needed to break into the film and game industries and the motivation and encouragement he received from special mentors at CCS.
“Sylvia Austermiller recognized my talents and gave me the push I needed to make it through my liberal arts courses,” said Holbrook. “At the time I was learning 3D animation, the technology was very cutting edge. It was difficult to find an instructor anywhere who knew this stuff. I was fortunate to learn a great deal from my classmate Linden Vennard and be taken under the wings of experienced CCS instructors Larry Larson and Dennis Summers. They taught me a great deal about the industry and what I had to look forward to.
“Thanks to the encouragement I received from Sylvia and other mentors at CCS, support from home and prayers to God every night, I made it. My family has been the biggest inspiration to me. Regardless of how much I’ve achieved, they keep me striving to do more.”
Holbrook’s work can be seen at http://www.damarcusholbrook.portfoliobox.net/
- Graduation Year: 2002
- Employer: Red 5 Studios
- Title: Senior World Builder/Level Builder Artist
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