Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tip for artists: What's in a name?

Ever heard of John? How about H? Artist names. I have met quite a few artists who want to use a different name on their artwork than they are known by their family, friends and/or other job. Maybe they want their name to be catchier or perhaps they don't want their artwork associated with their other profession.

Regardless of the reason for using multiple names, I strongly encourage you to keep your name the same in all your social and professional involvements. Imagine you want to invite people to an exhibition of your work, do you have to explain to each person you invite (most of which are family, friends and co-workers because that is who comes to events!) who you are? What if you are well known in another job or field, wouldn't you want that credibility to transfer to your artistic life?

You can only develop a reputation, thus sales, commissions, visibility, through consistency. Your name is an important part of that consistency. Of course there are circumstances that make this impossible (i. e. two OVAC members are both named Rob Smith, one decided to go by Rob Smith-Phenix to distinguish himself-- quite understandable because it's a small world for two artists with the same name), but keep it the same!

1 comment:

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Julia, you're so right! As you commented on my blog, it's so frustrating to try to sort people out and line them up with their art if they keep using different versions of their name.