I've never liked orcs. Too many piggy depictions of them in fantasy art, I suppose. Plus, they've always kind of bored me. After Lord of the Rings, I was done with orcs. But, hobgoblins...almost the same monster - but dressed like samurai! I could get behind that in a big way.
Then, to give me an even nastier creature dressed in fantasy-Asian garb? Bliss!
The ogre mage set me on the path to including an Asian-themed realm in my own campaign setting. Along the way, they became something like fallen genies to me. Well, because genies are also Asian. So - association. With that pedigree, suddenly the hobgoblin became something else. I decided to give them a relationship with ogre magi. Hobgoblins would be fallen ogre magi - who were fallen genies. Now I had an entire family of exotic monsters with a common flavor and origin.
Before, hobgoblins had simply been something like Mongol horsemen for my setting. They had the unique quirk of being able to become Barbarians of a lawful alignment. But, that's another entry.
While David Sutherland has never been my favorite D&D illustrator, he certainly did a lot for my setting design with these particular entries. For that, he holds a special place in my heart. It doesn't take much to spark my imagination into something akin to a fireworks finale, but I do give credit where it is due.