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

null
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 7
    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 7
    @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 interpolator
    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 greentooth
    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 7
    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 4
    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:
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    @slosh
    I have beheld your face, and iz aight.  I'd post imo.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    Your name all the way,

    I was lucky to join here just around the time where people were changing from nicknames to their real names, so I did the same.
    Depends on what your goals are, but your name will be like a brand, and you want it to be remembered, and run with it forever.
    I see some people that use nicknames kinda change them as time goes, and every time they do this they kinda start from 0.

    As for privacy concerns, here in Japan I think they care more about privacy then anywhere in the world, but they also do the picture on resume etc. I have heard the privacy reason before, but you really need to get your priorities straight, it's a small thing compared to what you gain.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    sacboi said:
    I tend too identify artists that are on my radar by their individual nomdeplume's, like for instance snerfer, racer445, Lunatique...etc
    Yes.

    It's not the Name. People that worry about this are so confused. They worry about "brands." But their only "brand" is making comments.

    You better do good work.

    If you do bad work then i dont care what the Fuck your Name on the forum is.

    If you do Good Work I dont care what your Name is either. But I do want to give you the Big Deals.

    Do good work.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    sacboi said:
    I tend too identify artists that are on my radar by their individual nomdeplume's, like for instance snerfer, racer445, Lunatique...etc
    Yes.

    It's not the Name. People that worry about this are so confused. They worry about "brands." But their only "brand" is making comments.

    You better do good work.

    If you do bad work then i dont care what the Fuck your Name on the forum is.

    If you do Good Work I dont care what your Name is either. But I do want to give you the Big Deals.

    Do good work.
    Of course good work is always number one, but doesn't hurt to get other things right from the start, especially such a simple thing.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    You're right enough,
    but nobody should worry about Getting Things Wrong from the start.

    Mistakes lead to Learning.

    You can change your Username in one PM... many have done this.
    What you can't Change so easily, is your Portfolio of works.

    Your Track Record sticks to you.

    People need to focus on Good Work.
  • Racer445
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    Racer445 polycounter lvl 10
    Everyone yapping about

    "Brands"

    Only brand is Good Work.

    Once you realize this fact you will be Constantly Swooping Mass Amounts of Work.

    Most Guys have no Idea at All about this.




  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    As said before it might be to early for the OP to care about things like this and he should be focusing on the work, but since it was the original question.

    brand is a thing and being remembered can be very important especially in the "late game". Big companies and product brands doesn't just change their name because they feel they have such a great product and they will get the customers anyway, companies put in millions into just getting people to remember their name and the name itself has a value.

    And all opportunities aren't just straight forward studio jobs, you never know what might come your way, the reality is that it's not always the best artist that gets the job, many reasons for that, but having a good internet presence and being known just from the name alone goes a long way, for example when I was looking for people to join my Substance masters set I would be more then happy to spend a couple of $100 extra on someone who is better known even if the skill is the same, maybe not the best example but there are tons of opportunities out there that might come your way that isn't you sending in a resume for a studio position.

    As Racer said, "Only brand is good work" totally right, which is why it's not in your interest to reset the brand you have created for yourself with your good work.

    Also this isn't really about you having to use your real name, for me it's more about sticking to one name, if you choose a nickname and stick with it forever I think that's totally fine, but you know we grow up and stuff changes and I think there is a bigger chance of someone changing their nickname rather then their real name.

    But I think what Racer and Hilton hotel means is that "brands" etc is not a reason for not getting jobs. which is totally true, brands and name value etc is mostly something that starts to matter when you already have jobs coming in, meaning your work is already great, and your name/brand will help you even further.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    companies put in millions into just getting people to remember their name and the name itself has a value.
    it's an Absolute Disaster what has happened to all these damn Companies.

    I never spent One Dollar on my Brand... never will.
    What I spend is Work... I do Great Work. Most never do this. Instead they try to "Brand" themselves.

    It just doesnt happen.

    But the People know an Amsterdam Hilton Hotel model.
    And they know Racer445.
    These are "Priceless Brands."

    The only thing to do is Great Work.
  • Racer445
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    Racer445 polycounter lvl 10
    Too Many are trying to be Known without Knowing Heavy Workouts first.

    I go to the Ocean Every day.

    Mass Push Ups
    Ocean Combat

    Not enough try this.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    companies put in millions into just getting people to remember their name and the name itself has a value.
    it's an Absolute Disaster what has happened to all these damn Companies.

    I never spent One Dollar on my Brand... never will.
    What I spend is Work... I do Great Work. Most never do this. Instead they try to "Brand" themselves.

    It just doesnt happen.

    But the People know an Amsterdam Hilton Hotel model.
    And they know Racer445.
    These are "Priceless Brands."

    The only thing to do is Great Work.

    Hehe yeah I'm not telling artists to spend money on their "brand" just that it's not worth nothing.
    And your names are totally fine, and are a "brand" as long as you don't change it, that's my only point :) so if you stick to that, it's totally fine.
    My advice is that if you start from 0 I think it's better to go with your name since it has the smallest chance of  changing, which I believe was the original question.

    I think you might be misunderstanding what I think I am saying hehe, I blame my bad english on that, but in the whole I think we prioritize the same things.
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel

    Hehe yeah I'm not telling artists to spend money on their "brand" just that it's not worth nothing.
    And your names are totally fine, and are a "brand" as long as you don't change it, that's my only point :) so if you stick to that, it's totally fine.
    My advice is that if you start from 0 I think it's better to go with your name since it has the smallest chance of  changing, which I believe was the original question.

    I think you might be misunderstanding what I think I am saying hehe, I blame my bad english on that, but in the whole I think we prioritize the same things.
    My friend, I respect you heavily. You clearly do Great Work. Who could deny this?
    One takes True Insight from all angles.

    There are many Truths in this thread. Only Heavy Workers will extract the gems.

    I think we have made a Great Work of this topic.
  • Axle
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    Axle null
    I have a follow up question then, I've self published a few books under a pen name. Is it bad to get paypal commissions for work under alternate casual name?
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Ben, what's with the punctuation styling?
  • MBandurska
    I also have two follow up questions:
    1) My name and surname are long together, but my name has a short form. Which form should I use then? (long: Malgorzata, short: Gosia)
    2) I'm a girl and if I got married, my surname would change. Should I then change it on my portfolio and websites, or leave my maiden name? As you say when artist change their nickname they kinda "start from 0", it is different case but I still thought it's worth asking.
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    I also have two follow up questions:
    1) My name and surname are long together, but my name has a short form. Which form should I use then? (long: Malgorzata, short: Gosia)
    2) I'm a girl and if I got married, my surname would change. Should I then change it on my portfolio and websites, or leave my maiden name? As you say when artist change their nickname they kinda "start from 0", it is different case but I still thought it's worth asking.
    Yeah that's a tough question, I have heard of public people that have continued to use their old surname even when it changed after getting married, but if you know this might happen it might a good idea to use something that you know won't change, first name + something more etc.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Many professional women keep their original name, just for work, while changing their name everywhere else... home, legal, social, etc. Nothing wrong with this. My sister did this (marine biologist), my boss did this (creative director), my mother did this (writer). You will be in strong company!
  • rinz
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    rinz null
    Because of online bullying I'm thinking of going professional by my first and middle name. And explaining this to employers
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