Anything wrong with having an 'Artist name' instead of real name for portfolio stuff?

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As part of uniting my own 'brand' I suppose, working on getting social media together so I actually have a few places where I'm active in an effort to push my own portfolio as I go forwards, I was wondering about names. Since names are generally pretty important.

I don't want to use my real name, because.. partly I want to stand out a bit, partly privacy, and partly the digital environment and nature of my work. Being on the internet, meshing with being an online presence, usernames and all that jazz.

Is there any reason not to have an 'Artist Name' as something for my twitter, artstation, polycount, and so on? I just like the idea of having my portfolio name and stuff mesh with the username I go by, the username for professional things, and something distinct beyond just a real name.

Hopefully that makes some sense, but I figured I'd ask opinions from people who might actually know from an industry perspective!

Replies

  • CrackRockSteady
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    CrackRockSteady Polycount Sponsor
    If you're talking about a professional portfolio with the purpose of finding a job/work I would definitely stick with your real name.  Not only would it seem unprofessional as a potential candidate to send someone a link to ArtWizardCoolDude's portfolio, but you're adding an extra step for a recruiter/art director/whatever.  If someone sees your work and really likes it but they have to do extra work to find out what your real name is, that's a problem.

    I'll also say that as far as using a username or whatever in an effort to "stand out", the artwork in your portfolio should stand out on its own.  The only thing that matters is the quality of the work in your portfolio, no one is giving extra points for creative names at the top of the page.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    Blend into the norms of the platform. On Polycount it's normal to have absurd pseudonyms like CrackRockSteady or Amsterdam Hilton Hotel or even poopinmymouth, I don't really know why, I guess it's forum culture, it's always been that way. We tend to have signatures with links to portfolios that have our real names so it's not exactly an anonymity thing. On Facebook a lot of people will create a page for their art so that people can follow it without exposing everything else about their life. The norm on Artstation is to use your real name, same on your resume. If you use a pseudonym in those mediums it can look amateurish unless you're unbelievably well known under it already. 

    I wouldn't worry about being identified if your objective is to get hired in meatspace, sooner or later in that process people will have to learn who you are. Keep your professional side sanitized and you won't have to worry about it. Avoid discussing controversial issues on your art accounts, save that for 4chan or whatever 
  • slosh
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    slosh polycounter
    Yea I would stay away from Online Nicknames as well.  I think it works against you for the most part.  Unless you are the absolute best, it just isn't going to help you.  I mean, how many people actually are known by their online moniker?  Maybe a handful: Hazardous, Slipgate, Kite?  Very few.  I mean even those guys are more well known by their actual names now.  Well, except for Kite lol.  Just stick to what works and what helps people know who you actually are so when you apply, they can easily put 2 and 2 together.
  • Eric Chadwick
    When I first started here, I used a nickname just like everyone else was doing. A couple years into it I realized the same thing these guys have been describing already, and asked the mods to rename my account.

    I've used my real name ever since. Some people recognize the name, it doesn't happen a ton but it does matter. 

    I don't want feeble privacy attempts to get in the way of my career. As stated, way too easy for anyone who digs around to find the links. 

    If you're really interested in true online privacy, you have to work really hard to actually make it work. Like a dissident.

    If you're online long enough, you will inadvertently leave breadcrumbs heading back to your professional sites. Better to be in the clear, up front.

    My 2 cents.
  • Gaurav Mathur
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    Gaurav Mathur polycounter lvl 6
    Real names 100%.  I wish people on polycount used real photos of themselves for their profile pictures, too.  It makes things so much easier when you meet in real life, when you're trying to learn more about an artist you admire, when you're a hiring manager looking at candidates, et cetera.  Adding another name into the mix just adds friction to others discovering your work in a world that's already saturated with content.
  • Gaurav Mathur
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    Gaurav Mathur polycounter lvl 6
    @Eric Chadwick, who should I reach out to if I want to change my username to my RL name?  :)
  • Testarossa
    Thanks everyone for the input, I really value it, and.. Well, I'll get on it. Got a thing or two to change up now, pff. Thanks, all.
  • Eric Chadwick
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Real names and real photos unless there's exceptions.  Or at least accessible ones.
  • Eric Chadwick
  • JordanN
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    JordanN greentooth
    I was on Platinum Game's website and one requirement they had was you need to mail a picture of yourself. It seems common in some Asian studios to physically identify yourself to them.  :s

    I'm weary this may lead to intentional/unintentional discrimination since your quality of art should come first, rather than what your personal appearance is.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter lvl 2
    IMHO, your birthname for anything linked professionally and an online nickname for fun stuff. Actually that aside I tend too identify artists that are on my radar by their individual nomdeplume's, like for instance snerfer, racer445, Lunatique...etc
  • Gaurav Mathur
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    Gaurav Mathur polycounter lvl 6
    A curriculum vitae from other countries can be so much more comprehensive and personal than a resume in America.  A photo, and even hobbies and interests can be included.  It was quite surprising to come across those international applicants as a hiring manager in America!  Sometimes it really felt like "too much information!"
  • BrianShray
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    BrianShray polycounter lvl 2
    A curriculum vitae from other countries can be so much more comprehensive and personal than a resume in America.  A photo, and even hobbies and interests can be included.  It was quite surprising to come across those international applicants as a hiring manager in America!  Sometimes it really felt like "too much information!"
    True, I can attest to this. 
    Im from a South East Asian country
    Here, its common to include a picture of yourself as well as a number of very personal information in your resume.
    And it can easily stretch our Resumes to 2-3 pages long if not careful.

  • garcellano
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    garcellano polycounter lvl 3
    Yeah, I can only think of a few artists where they're also known for their artist name or nick name. But yeah, nowadays, I would say your full name would be a safer bet.
  • jStins
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    jStins polycounter lvl 5
    Real names 100%.  I wish people on polycount used real photos of themselves for their profile pictures, too.  It makes things so much easier when you meet in real life, when you're trying to learn more about an artist you admire, when you're a hiring manager looking at candidates, et cetera.  Adding another name into the mix just adds friction to others discovering your work in a world that's already saturated with content.
    But it's so much more fun to imagine a world where Eric is a crazy skull monster and Slosh is Batman!
  • slosh
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    slosh polycounter
    jStins said:
    Real names 100%.  I wish people on polycount used real photos of themselves for their profile pictures, too.  It makes things so much easier when you meet in real life, when you're trying to learn more about an artist you admire, when you're a hiring manager looking at candidates, et cetera.  Adding another name into the mix just adds friction to others discovering your work in a world that's already saturated with content.
    But it's so much more fun to imagine a world where Eric is a crazy skull monster and Slosh is Batman!
    Hah, I used my bats since I figure no one wants to see my ugly mug :wink:
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