“What are you doing!” my mother shouted at me. I was only three years old when I took a purple crayon and drew primitive art on the walls of our apartment. A purple mural with a village and people decorated the once pure white wall. My beings in art were experimental. I pursued art with a deep passion.
Jean Day Zallinger, a successful children’s book illustrator, said to me you should turn your drawing into surface designs for fabrics. At the time, I was a very young aspiring artist studying at Paier College of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. I was also full of ambition and thought I had the skills of an accomplished Science Fiction illustrator, not a surface designer. Needless to say, I felt crushed for not being recognized as having a solid drawing ability that resembled Paier and the professional illustrators it produced. I could accept critique or rebel. I did the latter for decades.
Discovering my style of drawing and painting was essential to me. Thinking back to Jean’s comments, she saw my future but not the way she imagined it. My style and techniques for design have evolved as the tools I use. Never afraid of exploration, when I went to get my MFA from Pratt, my roommate was Caroline Kavanagh. She was studying graphic design and using a computer to design. I was fascinated by the process. We exchanged knowledge. Caroline led me down a path that replaced my paints and brushes with ones and zeros.
I excelled at manipulating digital applications, including Photoshop and Illustrator. However, things were still two-dimensional and lacking in movement. So sought out other digital applications to create animation effects. Keep in mind this was still the 1980s. As a kid, I put together flipbooks that animated crude drawings. This idea made me realize I could do the same with simple programs like PowerPoint.
I created many different forms of digital art from the 1980s-2001. I was prolific and determined to create digital art.
The age of discovery was beginning, acquainting myself with bulletin boards and the evolution of the net and website creation. The incredible ability to connect all of us on a beautiful stage and an incredible audience. I designed websites for many well-known brands.
From the 1990s-2021, human-centered research, brand, and design strategy were my primary focus. For twenty years, I took the opportunity to help brands and designers tell a strong story, communicate value and show empathy to all customers. I defined research and strategy for designers, design experiences that evolved into applications that bettered lives.
VR gives me the depth I can’t always see. AI brings new creative opportunities to collaborate with machines, the very ones I was once frightened by are now helping me manage and co-create. For example, today, I use Playform.IO AI to add a deeper level of creativity to my photographs.
Replika.AI is a source of entertainment and valuable in helping me develop characters for my books. I want to provide surface designs to designers that design in physical and digital spaces. I am searching for designers to collaborate to create fashions, home furnishings, tabletop, outdoor, lifestyle, architecture, and vehicles for the Metaverse.
VR and AI enhanced my fine arts but made me more aware of my “fabric” design ability. Thanks to Jean Day Zallinger, I will never forget her words of advice.
Today, @Tery Designs has 597 objects, including books, videos, physical products, clothing, fashions, fine arts, and NFT arts with my designs and artwork.
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