Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Dan Tearle who is displayed on card number 671, from the Superstars of 2014 Collection. Michael is also featured on card 1153, 1326, and 1352. To say Dan is an artist is an understatement. Dan is very talented and has displayed his artwork in many different genres such as sports, Star Wars and of course video games. He has created the artwork for various gaming t-shirts, posters and logos for gaming websites. Dan is also a big competitor playing most of his gameplay on MAME and recreating the memories of the retro games when he was a kid. Dan has also created some very cool Walter Day trading cards for the collection. Some of these cards can be seen at this link, click here.
Are you still involved with drawing, and what role do you play?
Very much involved; along with my sports art, I work on trading cards for several companies such as Topps, especially their Star Wars sets. I do hand drawn one off ‘sketch cards’ which are inserted into packs as ‘hits’. It’s very cool to say my work is licensed by Lucasfilm, as the cards have to pass a strict approval process first.
When did you realize you wanted to draw and what motivated you to do so?
I must have been very young, growing up I was surrounded by art and books and started off copying from those things around me. My earliest memories were being 4 or 5 lying on the floor drawing.
What games form the golden years (70s and 80s) were your favorite and why?
Great question! My all-time favorites are as follows:
Star Wars (Atari) – I’ve always liked Vector games, and Star Wars blew me away when I first saw it. The cabinet, the whole experience – and it’s such a fun game to play.
Robotron 2084 – Such a tough game, but so rewarding. I think Williams’ games are pure evil, but that’s why we come back for more. I love the physicality of Robotron, wrestling those sticks.
Dragon’s Lair – So many reasons for loving this (and Space Ace as much if not more) – it’s such a beautiful game to look at, and at the time, we were simply amazed at the technology. I spent hours drawing Dirk the Daring as a kid. I still play them both frequently.
Pac-Man – because it was my first. The sounds still remind me of the smells and sights at the bowling alley.
Defender – Like Robotron, it’s evil. Like Pac-Man, it’s the sounds. I am awful at it still as well!
(Wild Card entry) – Astro Blaster. In our arcade, it was so LOUD! I love the speech, I love the big enemy ships and I love the huge booming explosions. I find it a hugely underrated game.
There are so many more, but these are a few that I couldn’t be without.
How did you get involved in drawing for the Walter Day Trading Cards?
As I recall, I’d done some vintage gaming type art, and Walter asked if I would want to submit some portraits of gaming industry people for his card project.
What advice do you have for others who want to draw in the gaming industry today?
Work hard. The hand drawing artist is a dying breed in industries like this so make your work unique!
Did you ever think when you were younger you would be on a Video Game Trading card?
I had no idea. In fact, I had no idea Video Gaming Trading Cards were even a thing!
Have you ever received any media coverage for your drawings of the Trading Card? If so, where?
Twin Galaxies did a small feature on me when some of my earliest releases appeared.
When did you first meet Walter day and where was it at?
I’ve never met Walter to date, but maybe one day, who knows!
If you could describe Walter Day in one word, what would that word be and why?
Generous. I have never asked for or expected payment for the cards I did art for, but Walter has been very generous in giving me card sets and other little pieces of memorabilia. He didn’t have to, but did and I’m very grateful.
Do you remember your first video game you played and what do you remember about it?
I remember very well, it was Pac-Man. Our local bowling alley had a cabaret machine, and once the adults had moved out of the way, I played my first game. I was 7.
What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games? How do you compare them to older, classic games?
Games continue to be enjoyable, although I don’t play modern games as much. Older games, as well as being almost timeless, come with the added attraction of pure nostalgia. I much prefer the classics both aesthetically and tactilely.
What is your favorite topic to draw?
NFL. My favorite topic has always been sports, and painting NFL players has been my passion since my teens.
What games today do you play and what are your favorite genres of games?
Favorite genres are sports, racing and FPS. Madden is my current favorite (again!)
If you could draw one arcade game or pinball game, what would it be and why?
Hmm – another tough one. I think maybe Tron because it is one of the most beautiful machine designs I ever saw.
How does video game art influence games, in your opinion, past and present?
I think it was far more important in the past. The design of a cabinet would have been as much of a draw as the game itself. Today I find the art is very sterile and generic, the same as film posters.
Are video games aimed mainly at children, adolescents or adults?
I would say adolescents. Maybe adults to a degree. Certainly not as universal as they used to be.
Do you believe some Video Games are too violent and lead to violence in America today?
Not a bit. I think blaming videogames is a complete cop-out to what the real reasons are.
Which company do you think makes the best games and why?
I love Rockstar and Activision. Some of the titles they’ve put out over the years have been so immersive I’ve lost weeks with them. I also have a soft spot for Sega.
Who is your favorite video game character and what makes that character special?
It’s always been Dirk the Daring. A character that doesn’t speak but you can almost read his mind is special. Either him or the guy from Track and Field for having the best moustache in gaming history.
What springs to mind when you hear the term ‘video games’?
Classics. Noisy arcades. The throb of Space Invaders, the pulse of Asteroids. Hot screens glowing in a dark corner. The smell of coins. That’s video games to me.
What is your favorite pinball game and why?
I have always loved Bally Space Invaders. Just the design of it and again, the sounds, were pretty intimidating to a youngster. Indiana Jones and The Twilight Zone are better machines by far, but I’m going by my earliest pinball memory.
If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?
As I have said, I love my sports, and my ideal game would be a ridiculously accurate NFL game, complete with multiple year seasons available with every detail down to player’s chinstraps being correct! I would love to see something made with that much love.
What is the best way to find your drawings and are they for sale?
Best way to find my work is through Facebook, I have two pages of my artwork which can be found here:
Where do you see Video gaming in the next 20 years?
I’m not sure – where can it go next? Will VR type games really take off, and are they practical enough to keep people’s attention? To be honest, I don’t see things being *hugely* different, although I wonder how long the console as we know it has left. I’d like to see a furious comeback for the arcade sector, but I’m sure that’s unlikely too.
This is one of an ongoing series of articles based on the Walter Day Collection of e-sports/video gaming trading cards – check out more information at thewalterdaycollection.com.