Tery Spataro:‘Web3 transforms me from artist to creator’

The accomplished artist shares her experience of working in digital for decades

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For the latest instalment of our Meet the Metaversers series, we caught up with artist Tery Spataro who has been championing digital art since the 80s. Find out what Terry has been creating, and how she’s been embracing web3 creativity. 

What has the process of adapting your art into web3 been like? 
I’ve been creating digital art since the 1980s. Every decade, there is a new evolution to the tools that I use. I’m talking about the evolution of technology, new devices and software, for example. With web3 we have a new type of tool called AI(artificial intelligence) and it is transforming my way of working with digital art. For example, when I tried out my first creative AI application called Playform, which is no-code AI, it was exhilarating!

I learned so much from this experiment. It turned my world upside down to realise that AI contributes to my artistic style. That’s where I discovered what makes my art magical. AI understood my vision of getting very close and intimate when I photograph, plus it uncovered textures that add to the composition in ways I never would have seen before. You can take a look at this piece on the Art Mine (GAN) gallery that I created using an AI called Playform: Flower Magic.

The last year was all about experimentation and discovery. I wanted to learn ways my digital art would adapt to the physical world. So I had a very prolific year and produced 804 physical products wrapped in my digital art. I care very much about the environment, my products are 100% made to order. Web3 transforms me from artist to creator.

You're an author as well, tell us a little bit about this? 
I got into writing because I wanted to entertain, educate, and communicate my philosophy about the future, which is that humanity's future is inextricably tied up with technology, the environment, and our consciousness. Writing doesn't come naturally to me. I got over the hurdle of publishing by doing what I do best: I described Erwin Schrodinger's quantum theories through pictures.

Laundrygate, Strange Stories About the Future is a science fiction book that imagines the future outcomes brought about by technological change, human curiosity and posthumanism worlds. It has four heroines and many themes and other-worldly ecosystems. The audience is taken on a technological rollercoaster of human evolution, environmental ramifications and political fallout, all with very human emotions.

Tripendicular orange moth transformation

What would you consider to be a career highlight so far? 
My career in digital began in the 1980s. Over the past decades I was involved in brand strategy and creative development in hundreds of projects for many well-known brands. I push the envelope for digital to be part of the physical environment. Although times have changed, my passion hasn't. My expertise has evolved with technology and now I'm providing insights as to how Web3 and metaverse will affect the business, brand, and human condition. 

My greatest career highlight was being the founder of STIR, one of the first digital marketing agencies in New York City.

What exciting projects are you currently working on?
All my projects are exciting!  I’m working on the Playform Art Mine “Flower Magic'' which is my first GAN experiment. I love using Playform, whether the piece I’m creating is all AI-generated or mixed with my signature. It’s a thrilling experience. 

I just finished a collaboration project with a wonderful artist from Bali, only known to me from Twitter as Giraxel /@pixellnft. I learned so much from Giraxel who makes pixel art. I took the role of producing the animation, which involved adding the background screens and mixing the AI music track. Mama, Where are you is my first animation that tells a sequential story. I’ll be incorporating more AI-generated music into the art I’m creating and I have 29 tracks that I recently created. You can view some of my other digital pieces here.

I am also producing Tom Lombardo's Evolution of Science Fiction series. Tom is an amazing scholar of science fiction, and I’m also taking on the problem of making estate planning current and accessible, with an incredible team.  

How do you think web3 and the metaverse will continue to change the way we consume and make art? 

Web3 and the metaverse are definitely changing the future of consumption and art. I’m learning how to use Horizon Worlds to create a VR world.

I also use Tilt Brush which helped me envision VR as a catalyst engaging the audience with art in a whole new way. 

  1. The viewer emerges in the art as an experience. Kind of like the Van Gogh experience but in the metaverse. 
  2. The viewer learns from the masters by becoming the master. Imagine if you can learn how Hilma af Klint made her gorgeous bold art pieces.
  3. The VR canvas is collaborative. I can invite friends in to create art that is expansive and engaging.

If you could give your younger self one bit of advice, what would it be? 
Find what you love to do and make it into a business but don’t quit. Don't give up and don’t sell yourself short! Be persistent but love what you do.

What is your favourite part about what you do? 
When the idea is starting to form, I see a sparkle, like a tingling! I love the excitement of discovering and investigating the idea. I like to explore different techniques to bring the idea to life and consider, will this idea be around in the future? I like to imagine the audience's response and engagement with the artwork, and I love collaboration.