Howdy! If you've been to my site before, you've probably noticed I introduce myself by my full name—first, middle, and last. Seems excessive, right? Why not just first and last, or even just my first name? Like who do I think I am? Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains?! Not quite.
See, what happened was, back in college, I had to make a professional website to show off as a graphic designer. Thinking of myself as a brand, I took an objective look at my name. Jessica Lynn Nacovsky. First name is too common, right off the bat. I wouldn't have been surprised to learn somebody tried to trademark it for their business. Then there's Nacovsky. I'm biased, but I feel it's easy to pronounce, spelled exactly like it sounds. Doesn't matter. I've heard, "Nacorsky," "Nacovitsky," "Nacowsky," etc. Just a mish-mash of consonants. While I don't care (I learned this was my last name at eight years old, and mishearing my dad, pronounced in Nacopsky until I saw it written. Prior, I thought my last name was Nilsson. So I've never been very attached to it.), an unpronounceable name doesn't make for a memorable brand. As far as middle names go, Lynn is actually more popular than Jessica as a first name, if you can believe it. Naturally, a quick google found that Jessica Lynn and Jess Lynn were already in use as part of the personal branding of other visual creatives.
Well, I wasn't the only designer with an inconvenient name. What were the others doing? After some research, I found most were adding some combination of the words graphic design/er studio to their names. Voila. Searching for JessLynnStudio and Jess Lynn Studio didn't pull up any other creatives so I claimed it, purchasing a domain name and designing a logo. While the logo has since been updated, and I eventually did away with my original website, I've kept the brand name, to the extent where people who've met me online, think I go by Jess Lynn in real life. I don't. Friends call me Jess, coworkers call me Jess or Jessica, and family calls my Jessie.
However, I don't sign my paintings "JessLynnStudio." I sign them "Jessica Nacovsky." When a person buys a hand crafted piece of art, they don't want to feel like they're purchasing something produced by a brand. They want the connection that comes with owning, and displaying, a piece of a fellow human's soul. After my now-husband proposed, we discussed if I would be taking his last name. This was a situation where my taking on his last name meant more to him than me keeping my last name meant to me. Again, I thought it was Nilsson until I was eight, on top of most folks mispronouncing it. My only hang up (aside from the cost and headache of updating all of my identifying documents), regarding the potential name change, was wouldn't that be confusing for collectors? For the sake of consistency and simplicity, I have continued to sign my paintings, "Jessica Nacovsky."
Meanwhile, my debut novel is being published post-marriage, so I'm using my married name for that and any future writing projects. Is it weird being Jessica Nacovsky, the artist, and Jessica Ferrara, the author? Yeah, probably, but it's the only step forward that makes sense to me. That I am using two different last names, as well as my middle name in all of my branding, is why I've gone the unusual route of introducing myself with my full name, wherever necessary, on this site, and in my any biographies I send out.
Every day I wake up and try not to act in a manner that will later require explanation. Yet I persist. Sorry my name is a mouthful. You're welcome to call me Jess, Jessica, Jess Lynn, or even Jessie. It's all the same. Anyway, thanks for stopping by. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Toodles!
P.S. I wanted to change my name to Alice Riel Terrez because Alice is my favorite name and my mom went by Terry, plus my initials would've been A.R.T., but I didn't want to draw more attention to myself. That would've been a conversation with literally anyone who knows me. It also would've been an ordeal, what with all the paperwork, needing a new logo, brand name, etc, and it would've caused confusion among collectors. So.