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Thread: Artist Name or not?
February 7th, 2013 #1
Artist Name or not?
I'm a 20 year old girl who would like to do concept and illustration as a job one day. I'm studing 3D animation for now and I plan to continue in a bachelor of fine art oriented in illustration. I was wondering if in buisness, it usefull/recommended to have an artist name or not? Also, I was wondering that if we have an artist name, is it better if it is something similar to our real name, or it doesn't matter and can be completely different!
Thank you very much in advance!
Hide this ad by registering as a memberFebruary 7th, 2013 #2
Well, checks will presumably be made out to your real name, so there's that...
Personally I think it's easier for people to track you down if you use your real name for business purposes, and it just looks more professional to use your real name. It says "real person doing real business", whereas a pseudonym can come off as "some kid hiding behind a fake identity". Pseudonyms work best if you manage to build up a really consistent persona with a pseudonym, essentially making it your brand... Or of course you can establish your studio as a business with a business name, and yourself as the proprietor of the business using your real name (in which case the business name becomes your brand.)
(Also being able to match your art to your real name may be a good thing in case of certain copyright issues.)
Having an "artist name" should be pretty low on the list of priorities for your career, though. Because it really doesn't matter as long as people can find you and want to hire you when they do find you.
February 7th, 2013 #3
I'll echo what Gwen said, you shouldn't really worry about that.
Speaking from personal experience, I've had issues with pseudonyms because some people know me by skullsquid, but they have no clue about who I am when presented with my real name.
I advise against it if you're planning to establish yourself as an artist.
It will only serve to confuse people and split focus in terms of press if that's what you're looking for. You either embrace it completely or not at all.
The only other time a pseudonym is useful, is when you're trying to differentiate your work.
Payment has never really been an issue with me, personally. I invoice with my real name, so as long as you do that, there shouldn't be a problem.
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February 7th, 2013 #4
"We called ourselves 'The Originals'... but a band already had that name, so we called ourselves 'The New Originals'. But that wasn't that original... then we were The Thamesmen..."
(Thanks to Christopher Guest's performance in Spinal Tap)
So Renart, an art name is essentiall "Naff"(english expression for cheesy).
Psuedonym's are to hide behind. Anyone seeing one subconsciously asks themselves, 'why?'
From Gegarin's point of view
February 7th, 2013 #5Registered User
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I think it depends on the situation, and while I agree that it has the potential to cause confusion if not managed well, there are various reasons why people in many different industries (artists, writers, actors, and professionals in many other sectors) can and do choose to use a professional name which is different to their real name. It's certainly not "cheesy" if you have a genuine reason and use one which is professionally appropriate, rather than an internet handle or "Sophie Starsparkle" or something silly which could never be mistaken for a real name.
I agree that it's definitely worth considering using a business name as an alternative to adopting a pseudonym. MANY artists do this and it's a great and professional-looking way to go about it. They may be called "Such-and-Such Studios" or "Such-and-Such Ltd" even though they are only one artist.
If you do like the idea of a pseudonym, consider what you think the benefits are of that. Some people use a different name because their real one is odd, boring, difficult to pronounce, doesn't fit the industry, etc (I once met a girl who wanted to go to law school and whose ridiculously misguided parents had christened her "Tinkerbell" - needless to say, she wasn't going to be using that name in her professional life). Or they might use a different name to differentiate between different styles of work they do. In my case, I decided to use a different surname to market my creative work because I have an incredibly common name. For the sake of example, let's assume our artist is called "John Smith". He wants potential employers and people interested in his work to be able to google him and find his work, facebook profile, contact details etc. with a single click. However, if they google "John Smith" or even "John Smith art" they'll find many thousands of people, none of whom are the right "John Smith". Some people try to get around this problem by using a middle initial, but I don't like that idea and it doesn't solve the problem completely. So I chose a surname which fits me and my country of origin and is normal enough to not seem out of place, but unusual enough that I'm the first thing to come up in a search. Having said that, in my case, I have no familial attachment to my surname so I'll probably change my name legally at some point to avoid any future confusion.
You should do a google search with your question, because there are a number of good internet articles discussing the pros and cons of this issue. Things like whether you keep your first name will be personal to you and your reasons for using another name, and there are business issues to consider such as being able to have a bank account in your trading name, so you will definitely want to do a little reading about it before making a decision.
Last edited by Birkeley; February 7th, 2013 at 08:15 AM.
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February 7th, 2013 #6
careful what you pick; the idiotic pun that took 1 second to think up will follow you FOREVER.
""Naff"(english expression for cheesy)."
polari, originally.. good word that.
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February 7th, 2013 #7
Is it possible to change a username in this forum so I'll be sure that a if people wants to know me they'll know me by my real name?
February 7th, 2013 #8
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February 7th, 2013 #9
The way I see it is the pseudonym is for the general public, but the people who pay you will always know. 100% of the time for me, so far, they have respected my privacy in that regard. And there have been a lot of benefits to keeping a pseudonym. For example I draw a lot of erotic artwork casually, so keeping that separate from my real name is a must. As for the rest? It wouldn't hurt to keep one if you want to keep separate your artwork and real life employment. It is definitely good if you have content sensitive material or privacy concerns. Though I don't see the harm--if these aren't an issue--of taking a "studio" name and listing yourself however you please under that?
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February 7th, 2013 #10Registered User
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I also have similar concerns. There is already an established concept artist who has the exact same first and last name as I do. I feel like when applying for jobs, employers might look up the other person's work and it would just be a big mess of confusion. Plus, I also want to experiment with street art and I feel like they are expected to have a pseudonym. That's just my issue, sorry that I hijacked your thread, Renart.
February 7th, 2013 #11
February 7th, 2013 #12
Althrough, I'm doing clothes. I paint on them and I do some as well to try to get a little bit of money by still doing art while I'm studying. After reflexion, I think I could maybe stay Renart for my clothing kinda brand and just be myself, Carolane Bruneau (witch is not that usuall I think...) as an artist and a...somewhat professionnal!
February 7th, 2013 #13
I have a name that may sound exotic to americans, but there's a Chantal Fournier who's a photographer and one who does editorial illustrations. I guess I'll have to outfamous them
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