Interview with Aaron Covrett

Years ago I had a major interest in fine art, and tools like Substance Painter help bring back that intimate feeling I lost when I traded in graphite for a mouse.  

Aaron Covrett is a Motion Designer from Brooklyn, New York with 2 years of industry experience.
He likes to work with Allegorithmic´s Substance package.

What led you into CGI/3D? Tell us your story

Like so many, I’ve always had that creative itch. In high school I spent weekends figure drawing at a studio downtown. In college I majored in Graphic Design and took as many internships as I could – each in a different creative field. By graduation, I had worked in everything from publishing and packaging to advertising and interactive (the latter of which stuck).

In the summer of 2016, I landed a Motion Design internship at Stinkdigital (now Stink Studios) in Brooklyn, New York. For the entire summer, I worked with a talented team on a collaboration between Google and the National Parks Service: The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks. Serving as an interactive documentary, the site allows users to experience five of America’s most-beautiful national parks.
It was an incredible experience; leading up to a full-time gig after school, and the drunken story of my 21st birthday receiving honorable mention in an LA Awwwards speech.

Where do you go to get inspired?

The easy answer is online; sites like Behance, Vimeo, and a curated social feed. A twitter bot with a better aesthetic than I’ll ever have. The hard answer is something I wish I did more of: getting away from the computer. New York is gross, crazy and amazing. One day I hope to see more of it.

What/who inspires you?
People who give a shit! Love what you do and do it well. Regardless of your interests, passion is contagious…. and I respect anyone who owns that.

How does a typical working day look like?

I usually start with a few too many cups of coffee, browsing through Vimeo and Behance to get inspired for the day. I’ll then answer emails and get started on my daily tasks, which often involve collaborating with creatives, developers and producers. When I get home from the office, I try to spend a few hours at night chipping away on personal projects (which can be difficult during the week, but something I find relaxing.)

What does your workplace look like?

While I have a space at the office, I’m showing my personal station as it’s where a majority of the work I share is done. It’s not much; I’m still getting used to New York’s limited space. I can’t complain though!

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

Surrounding myself with people I look up to! Social media, for it’s pros and cons, is a wonderful outlet for this. At it’s best, it’s a wonderfully inspiring and curated window into the design world. Never before have our idols been so close; a mere 140 characters away. But at it’s worst, the sheer volume of talent is overwhelming and can feed into our worst selves. I think it’s about limiting your exposure, which (admittedly) can be tough.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

This may be a weak answer, but I’m obsessed with cinema. When done well, it’s such a transformative experience and has so much to offer. Admittedly, I’m a bit neurotic when it comes to being productive… it’s hard to relax if I don’t feel like I’m “gaining” something in the process. Film has always been that outlet.

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

Less is more! As work piles up, it requires increasingly more effort to manage and showcase. I think it’s a balancing act. You want the big case studies for projects that deserve it, but don’t be afraid to share the smaller stuff in a lesser format (especially on social media!).

What software do you use to create your artwork?

Lately it feels like a hodgepodge of everything. I try to house everything under Cinema 4D, but have expanded my toolkit for larger productions (i.e. Octane Render, Unity, 3D Coat, Marvelous, Substance, Houdini, Adobe CC, etc)

What software do you want to learn in the future? Why?

I’d like to continue learning Houdini, as I’m still new and there’s just so much to learn. I’ve yet to find something you *can’t achieve in Houdini.
I’ve also got plans to pick up Redshift this year, and I’d eventually love to dive into more modeling-centric software like Fusion360 or ZBrush.

What books do you recommend to read?

It’s more of a publication, but I adore the quarterly issues of 99U. It’s an excellent insight into the creative world, with a broad catalog of articles ranging from travel guides to intimate interviews. And it looks so, so good.

What music do you listen to while working?

I spend a majority of my day (and night) listening to music, so it’s important to have variation. Mornings typically include softer acoustic tracks, and I’ll work my way up to something more aggressive mid-day. Late night work sessions are my favorite with Lo-Fi ambient house.

Any advice for new artists?

People LOVE to help new-kids on the block, especially if it involves talking about themselves. Use that to your advantage and start building your network, ASAP. As a student, I was shocked how many responses I received from emails sent out into the void.