Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Is a Name Just a Name?

Does everyone know my new name is Chaska? Chaska Peacock. Seriously.

This is from Robert Genn's delightful newsletter:

Recent research has shed some light on the connection between self-esteem and name. Jochen Gebauer of Cardiff University in Wales has authored a study on the relationship between people's names and their image of themselves. "People with high self-esteem tend to like their names more," he says. It's called the "mere-ownership effect." It means that we tend to like things that are ours. Apparently, people with low self-esteem tend to like and even covet other people's things.

It follows that artists who like their name tend to like their work. While it's not necessary to be overly gung-ho about your stuff, it helps to feel good about it at least some of the time.

When an artist's name is perceived by the artist to be inappropriate, hard to explain, or ugly, the quality of work may suffer. Healthy artists are comfortable with their names. They enjoy seeing their name on their work, as well as on cheques, incoming and outgoing. They are okay with hearing their name said, both in public and quietly in their ear.

Of concern to many is the commonplace nature of their names. While there are plenty of Smiths who thrive in the arts, lots of Joe Smiths wonder if they would do better with something else. Changing to Joe Limburger Smith would ensure a higher search ranking. Further, the olfactory connection, while cheesy, would certainly make it more memorable. The Internet is stealthily encouraging three name monikers. Distinctive two-namers need not worry.

Women are the most frequent complainers of name. Some women, through divorce, retain the names of a former husband, often for the sake of the kids. Not liking the ex very much, they may feel a tinge of remorse every time they sign his name. Here, a perceived lack of secure identity may influence quality and the imperative to put oneself forward. While there is something to be said for sticking to a name, some women, particularly younger ones, might think about reinventing themselves in a name they can love.

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Blogger Susan Tuttle said...

Hi Mai-Liis,
Thanks so much for the kind blog comment. I am taking it easy and trying to cut back on the computer. Hope you are well.


10:46 PM  
Blogger Gena Lumbroso said...

So very interesting all this. Thanks for posting it!

9:53 AM  

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