SKETCH GALLERY: Mark Hofeling
I was born into a family and culture without much interest in the arts or in fostering a creative mind. However, I was fortunate to have had the gift of drawing from a very early age. Drawing page after page of my pre-teen musings on reams of legal paper pilfered from my dad's office gave me an 8.5" x 14" window into worlds beyond my less than happy young life.
All these decades later, the poor grades being a daydreaming doodler earned me have paid off in the most wonderfully unexpected way. My ability to sketch quickly and expressively, even upside-down for the ease of those across the table from me, is a huge timesaver in our rapid-fire business. A picture, even a fairly basic one, is worth far more than a thousand words and can be.
Because the bulk of my work in the past 15 years has been in the conceptual, fantasy based world of musicals, most of what I'm asking my team to build or hunt down are not "off-the-rack" ideas or objects. So, being able to show them a sketch of a bizarre, analogue arcade game made by a fallen Disney Villain stuck on a prison island where nothing new has arrived in 40 years, or the ancient astronomical objects in a werewolf society’s lunar observatory is critical.
But just as importantly, the exercise of drawing is critical to my own conceptual process. When the original idea of a space or an object comes to me, I maybe see 60-70% of it in my head. But it's not until I sit down and begin to draw it out that it reveals itself in full. Drawing is a neuro-mechanical process which helps me fill in the missing bits. When I think myself into a corner, my pencil always finds a way out for me.