Spotlight: Teriell - Self-taught Painter and Art Explorer on the Move

Find your own way. It’s just the beginning. We need pathfinders and experiments, not replicants.

Hello! Who are you and what do you do? 

Hi there! First of all, thanks for the great opportunity 😊

My name is Sebastian, also known as Teriell. A lot of my NFT works can be found on hic et nunc, and most of my Objekts are digital paintings.

I am minting many paintings nowadays - even though there is formally nothing new about them - because there are many 3D works or code-based, generative artworks and such already present.

So I felt that I should add some (nearly traditional) paintings to help build a bridge between the old and the new world.  

One series is called NEOBOHÈME, which consists of several speed-painted avatars. I could sell some NFTs here and there during the last months, but my stuff is far away from being a blockbuster. 

What’s your backstory and how did you start?

I currently work as Tech Product Manager / IT Freelancer but have started experimenting with digital tools in the ’90s.

Besides digital experiments, traditional painting, drawing, and other classical techniques have been on my agenda for decades now. In the past, I created many oil paintings, tons of drawings, and then code & website experiments, videos, and 3D as well.  

That’s why I would call myself a generalist who always tries to explore new things, thoughts, or experiences. Therefore the exploration of the NFT space perhaps appeared like a logical consequence to me.

I started my NFT journey on the Ethereum blockchain but quickly switched over to Tezos for various reasons. One major reason is energy consumption, which to me should be in a reasonable cost-benefit ratio. Another reason was that I suddenly liked what was going on on Hic Et Nunc. 

Le Voyage

Take us through your creative process of conceptualising, making, and minting your work 

My work – and that is not really special to my NFTs – is extremely process-driven. Some of my older oil paintings can be compared best with ‘palimpsests’ [something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form]. 

My approach has never been the painting of a certain self-contained Objekt from sketching to finishing, but to use the canvas and each layer as a place for associations, for the flow, and for the perfect loop of input and output. 

So it is not unusual that my oil paintings never reach a ‘completed’ status, but they evolved layer by layer, forming a metatext that documents the process of the work and my own progress. 

In most cases, I am not making any sketches to prepare my work, and I usually don’t use any visual references like photos etc. (only in rare cases). So typically, I start on the blank canvas/screen or sheet of paper and just let it flow. I tried to translate this intuitive approach into digital speed painting. 

Twilight Muse

It results in the NEOBOHÈME series, for instance. For all Objekts of this series, I started working in Rebelle 4, which nicely imitates the work with oil and mimics typical painting behaviors.

For a new neobohème painting, I simply start and let the figure evolve on its own, so I’m only a helper - a human agent in the system - which is needed in the loop to manipulate what is going on based on individual cognitive filters and certain motoric abilities/limits. 

Once the raw painting is done, which can happen very quickly, I switch over to Affinity Photo and add some details, like a generated unique sprite/hash (~ ID of the painting) and some collage-like elements, etc.

Overall, I aim for a spontaneous architecture of the image, and I do not try to overthink its subject but keep pace.

A big motivation to me in arts is the same as in any other process of creation – outgrowing and re-shaping my former self through process, experience, and exploration. You always find a new gem and learn from failure.  


What do you do to increase the visibility and collectibility of your work?

I am not extremely focused on self-promotion or branding, even though I try to explore and use the already established channels and platforms. For instance, I tweet about new NFTs and retweet what I like.

The HEN Community is very active on Twitter, so that’s a natural channel to use. Then I look into different tools and platforms to get or stay in touch with the creator community.

In general, I think that it’s more important to focus on a sustainable network of connections than on irrelevant broadcasting.

So, at least for me, it’s not really about high volumes, but about relevant connections to peers, fellow creators, interesting collectors, engaged collaborators, or people with relevant feedback or ideas.

In the context of marketing best practice, I think that the best momentum is always community-driven.

A new project of mine is the blog – this, of course, could also create some marketing momentum, but the primary motivation is the contribution to the community. I want to share my thoughts on the NFT space, speak about some platforms and tools and try to help to promote Art and artists, which I like.   

What have you learned about NFTs and the NFT space since you’ve entered, and what is your focus for the future? 

To me, NFTs are a technical but only partial solution to a problem that got introduced in Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.

In short, I would say that NFTs are part of the set of solutions for old problems. But, then I think, NFTs are not a concept of doing digital art, generative art, or some deep dreaming stuff. However a use case for NFTs is exactly this space.

It surprised me that there was some sort of formal (art-related) trend evolving connected to the fact that you now can formulate contracts and meta-infos above digital works, because ‘cryptoart’ don’t have to be 3d or fractals, for instance. There is simply no logical connection.

All in all, I even don’t understand why there is hype right now in arts when it comes to blockchain.

Of course, I get why Art is a good use case for decentralized platforms and smart contracts in the context of non-fungible tokens.

Still, it also raises questions about critical reflections on the early digital culture during the last 50 years, let’s say.

Or why the established art market did not move at all in the previous years. I am pretty convinced that we are still the cavemen in the cultural story of the future.

NFTs are pretty interesting in that context, as this concept makes it possible to enrich digital assets with subjective histories or interactions.

I am convinced that NFTs are not future as such, but a very important conceptual step to make or a good transitional instrument. This can be true for the arts and also other subsystems of our societies.   

Sketchbook #001 by Teriell

What platforms/tools do you use?

Tools? A lot. I love to experiment, even with EEG-devices (from Emotiv) to interact with code through brainwaves, but also painting tools, of course πŸ˜‰

In regards to marketplaces, I am more limited. Even if I have some accounts all over the place, I typically use hic et nunc as a primary place for my NFTs. 

Which books, people or resources have had the most influence on you? 

Books about complexity theory, system theory, or autopoietic systems, I liked Adorno’s or Eco’s or Marx’s texts in my 20’s, together with comics or illustrations from Moebius, for instance.

I also love Sci-Fi in all formats, as well as the book ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau - a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. 

Visually, a lot of stuff impressed me; some traditional artists I like are Goya, Bruegel the elder, and A. Hrdlicka. Then I like artists like Jodorowsky, Beuys or Jonathan Meese.

In the NFT space, I discovered many interesting people; for instance, I enjoy the illustrations of @iannocent, but you could check my collection for more details ;)  

Overall, my influence is spread over all media and art forms because I like to reflect this as a huge cultural mashup. 

Advice for artists who are just starting out with NFTs and the crypto space:

Find your own way. It’s just the beginning. We need pathfinders and experiments, not replicants. Have no fear, learn from failures, be playful, and do not steal the intellectual work of others πŸ˜‰ 

Where can we go to learn more about you?

@Teriell on twitter is a good start. Then I would be happy so see some visitors on 

Short questions:

Country of origin: Germany

Where are you based: Countryside, near Cologne

Describe your art style(s): It’s a collection of things falling out of the process

Years of experience in Art: ~20 I would say

Largest NFT sale: It was a sale on ETH, because I am a cleanNFT ambassador, that needs to be enough info πŸ˜‰

Describe yourself in one line: A creator, digital PM, self-taught painter, art explorer on the move.

timongty Timongty, Founder of Galleseum
🌏 Indie Maker (currently exploring the crypto space and metaverse). Enjoys chilling and making cool stuff