There is a question which I have been meaning to address. Well, actually, there are many questions which I would like to address but I should just focus on this one: Why don’t I like the sound of my name, as it is associated with artwork (inherently mine)?
It is a strange phenomenon truly. For we are born into this world and given a name, whether by parents, institutions, or ourselves; yet, we still hold options to change how it is that we are addressed and the ways of validating this change.
I am by no means saying that I wish to change my name. No, that’s not what I desire. However, I am asking myself why when other artists attach their name to their work, it does not sound wrong. A better way of asking this is possibly as follows: why doesn’t my name sound “right”?
I don’t have an answer to this question. Possibly it could be because I have no true validation to attach to my name in concerns with visual art. I, as an artist, make art. It’s what I have chosen my path to be. However, no one really knows that my work exists. I have not yet publicly displayed my work for others to ponder over, criticize and/or support. Therefore, I am a ghost; I am a commodity being kept from the world and therefore from use.
It might be that to solve this problem, that I should begin to show my work to the world. Perhaps this simple solution will rid me of these lingering questions, but perhaps not. Maybe the questions that I need to address are, “Do other artists feel this way?” and “Is this normal?”
Such questions are obviously charged with the assumption that artists have some sort of complex. I would agree with that, at least in my own experiences. I most certainly believe I do have complexes that need addressing. Perhaps that is what is interfering with my mental space; a complex of self-worth. Perhaps not.
But I am left to wonder if others do indeed feel this way. Is it normal for artists to somewhat dislike their own names? Do they too feel as if there is some standard that should be strived for with regards to addressing an artist? These are all good questions which I have no answer for but maybe someone else does. It is my hope that I find these answers soon.
Although, maybe I do not need a name. Maybe, for myself, a name is an arbitrary thing or superfluous. After all, there are artists who have no name and are anonymous. There are artists whose names are bestowed upon them. And there are artists that just don’t care one way or the other.
In my case, I care. But I am comforted by the idea that I can remain nameless but not faceless. To refer to me as “Carlos Lewis” is just, well, unsettling. Maybe just call me “Carlos” or perhaps some pseudonym that I happen to like. Yes, I like the idea of a pseudonym. Maybe that is the solution to my problem.
In any case, I am an artist who doesn’t approve of being addressed by his own birth name. I would like to be addressed but not by that name (or at least the full name.) I’m far too casual as a person for that. But there is a reality I must face; and that is that I will be addressed by my name. People will look for me (if they are indeed looking) by my name. They will talk to me and say my name: “Carlos” and “Mr. Lewis”.
I want my name, my signature if you will, to be one that I am proud of. And right now, I’m not proud of it. So my goal is to fix that.
Forgive me for being so timid and insecure about my position on this. But these are my honest thoughts and I do hope to resolve these insecurities sooner than later. Right now, it is enough that I recognize that I feel this way. All I have to do now, is figure out which method I’ll use to fix my problem.
For those of you who are artists, be it of language, visual medium, etc, how do you feel about this? Do you have any answers to my questions? For the non-artists, what are your overall thoughts? Please leave your answer below.