Terry Smith Creations: Fleer Pro-Visions & Colla Diamond Marks
For collectors growing up or hoarding in the 1990s, some of the most desired chase cards were the Fleer Pro-Visions art cards, featuring the work of famed sport artist Terry Smith. Like their Donruss counterpart Diamond Kings, Pro-Visions featured photorealistic images of contemporary stars, from all sports, but with a fantasy twist. After Fleer moved away from the Pro-Visions line, Mr. Smith teamed his creations with the Colla Collection to produce Diamond Marks, which included 2.5"x5" bookmark-style art cards. Unlike an action photo, Terry Smith's still art images have a voice, providing superhuman context to superstar calibre athletic talent. Angelic outside shots, nuclear powered bat strokes, and prototypical Vitruvian ballers are just some of the themes reflected in Smith's works, which read more like a comic book than weekly sports column. While his masterpieces tell stories, not all stories are works of fiction; Smith's 1992 piece "Bionic Bonds" has almost prophetic starkness, featuring an artificially enhanced Bonds being intravenously infused with the essence of baseball itself.
Today, Terry Smith is a guru of design, logo branding, concept artistry, amongst other talents, and continues his line of sports fantasy for project specific purposes. Mr. Smith is the founder and president of Terry Smith Creations and art director at Electronic Arts. To view his works or contact him for business, visit www.TerrySmithCreations.com.
On a personal level, I would like to thank Mr. Smith for his time and generosity. Not only did he graciously sign my own personal Frank Thomas memorabilia featuring his work, but he generously included signed and unsigned items to further enhance my collection. His talent inspired my youth and, along with his kindness, continues to do so today.