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Gary Hovland  –  artist and cartoonist
Click for larger image " It was the ability of the artist to convey an emotion or situation with a minimum of line. "
How were you motivated to choose your particular field?
  I met a kid in the seventh grade who could draw better than I could. In fact, I couldn't believe any kid could draw like that. "How did he do that!?" We became fast friends, and he revealed his source: Underground Comix.

The 60s and early 70s when I grew up was an inspiring time for a "cartoonist". Counter–Culture genius could be found on the pages of Zap comics, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Mr. Natural, and Rip Off Comix among others. The work tapped into the radical youth culture of the 60's with stories that were raw and satirical and the drawing was expressive and masterful. This was a seductive mix for 13–year–old who liked to draw.

I made countless drawings and comic strips of my own, and began to appreciate a subtlety in these artists' work beyond the mere line quality and social commentary. It was the ability of the artist to convey an emotion or situation with a minimum of line.

  Click for larger image
What can you share about your creative process?
    Today I make images primarily for magazines and newspapers. 'Illustration' allows me to interpret a writer's intentions and create a visual that concisely expresses the essence of the writing. My goal is not simply to pictorially re–state what the author has expressed. The challenge is to intrigue the reader visually so he or she will read the article. The image has to complement the article's content and be visually compelling.

My most successful images combine the drawing and painting skills I've developed as an artist with a quick, clear communication of the article's main idea. I translate words into visuals by means of a "visual vocabulary"–– a tool bag of exaggerations, tricks, gags and common symbols that spark ideas with my audience. Much like Charlie Chaplin communicated without words, I must rely only on the visual.

I'm inspired today as I was nearly 30 years ago, by turning a page in a magazine, seeing a drawing, and gasping "How did he do that!?".

What ideas do you have for a future human community on Mars?
  The Mars Millennium Project will be a unique opportunity to bring together the thinking and experience of 100 of the very best minds in the arts and sciences. As a teacher and student I've found that inspiration comes mostly from being exposed to the creative work of those around you. The community on Mars should be structured so that all members have the broadest exposure to other members work. Such a concentration of creativity and diversity of fields will be a catalyst for great ideas.  
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