It was about eight years back when the original EVE character art debuted, and now CCP is updating it in preparation for Incarna.
You've got to admit... that's a pretty big graphical update. In their latest bundle of content that CCP plans to release on their test server (Singularity), it seems that EVE's new character creator will be at the forefront of their playerbase's attention. This new character creator is part of CCP's plan to integrate various technical upgrades into EVE in preparation for their Incarna expansion, set to launch in the Summer of 2011.
With this new character creator, players will be able to create "more hyperrealistic, less cartoony, and of course, higher fidelity" characters that, much like their predecessors, will appear in chat, character sheets, on EVE Gate and on the forums. It will only be within the first release of Incarna that players will be able to enjoy their full bodies, but the upgrade is still quite significant.
If you're curious about reading up on the details behind this character creator upgrade, as well as CCP's various musings on this update, feel free to make your way to the EVE Online website. It's definitely worth a read.