Have you ever considered changing your name to sell your art? Guest blogger Todd McPhetridge shares his thoughts and his own personal experience in taking this major step.
Maybe your name has more consonants than words from the U.S. Spelling Bee. Or let’s say you have a thriving career, and don’t want professional contacts to know how much time you spend on your passion. Perhaps your name is John Doe. Whatever the reason, a lot of emerging artists consider working under a pseudonym. Been there and done that, boy was it fun… not. Here’s the real scoop on what to think about before using a snazzier name for your art.
My given name is Todd McPhetridge. A little bit lengthy, and surprisingly easy to mispronounce (the ‘Ph’ makes a “Feh” sound, by the way…as in MC FEH TRIDGE). I’ve been called every name in the book, from Mctheridge to Muppetridge and everything in between. As an online marketing consultant, I know that in the web-O-sphere, keeping it short and sweet is often the ideal. Pretty sure nobody got rich off www.supercalifragilistic.com.
When I wanted to market my art, I thought it made a lot of sense to give myself a pseudonym for that work. My art needed a simpler name. Easier to find online…you know something more “marketable” I approached constructing my pseudonym like some major brands test market their new consumer product. Ahem…meet Todd Ridge. Snazzy huh?
Todd Ridge is an awesome artist name; way simple to spell, and pretty dang easy to remember. Two syllables total. I thought in some way the name Todd Ridge evoked my style. Rustic landscapes and rural scenery are a few of my favorite themes, you know…White Collar Redneck Art. Todd Ridge sounds like that, right?
Even better, my consulting work could be kept apart from my artistic online profile. I was concerned that clients could:
- Decide my focus was divided;
- Change my opinion of them when they didn’t like my art.
So I gave birth to Todd Ridge online. Todd Ridge had his own Facebook account, Twitter profile, LinkedIn account, blog, webpage – you name it. ToddRidgewas making friends and sharing art all over the place. Heck my art publisher was even publishing art under my new found awesomeness called Todd Ridge.
But there lies the problem. Maintaining one persona online is time consuming enough. But keeping up with two? My art and consulting work were being thrown out the window because updating two separate people online was a job. To me, I was losing time I would rather dedicate to my craft.
So I put the brakes on and picked up my brand from the wreckage and moved forward with Todd McPhetridge. It wasn’t an easy choice, but the right one for me. I don’t have to spend a lot of time keeping up with all of those accounts. My art publisher was super cool about changing up my name moving forward. Sure people will still butcher my last name, but that’s ok. I’m happy being me even if it means getting called muppetridge from time to time.