What’s in a Name

One of the things I have struggled with over the past few years is coming up with a good, solid, consistent way to represent myself – most notably, what should I use as my artist name? My legal name(s) aren’t really much to write home about, or particularly memorable or striking, not to mention not any more personally identifying than their intrinsic value. I want something that suits me, that feels right when I say it, when I see it written, that I can adapt (as I do with all nicknames and monikers, and words in general) but still always return to. It has to describe or at least have the feel, the temperament, the mood of me and thus, my art (which is very much an extension of myself in that almost all of it is self initiated and influenced and driven only by my impulses and interests).

For a long time I have played with variations on them (from Holly I got Hollibel, which I used for a bit, but it just doesn’t seem quite right. Not the right tone. Too light perhaps?) and developed initials, signatures, all sorts of things but nothing sticks or feels like…”aha this is it”. Then I experimented with “Hollow” (Holly + W from one last name) or Holloh (said the same, but also a palindrome) but the word itself just wasn’t a proper fit for always. So for now I’ve got Holly Zezu, a shortening of my legal name, which is at least functional in that it won’t go obsolete, is unique enough, and mildly fun while still identifying and accurate. But the endeavor will persist, I’m sure, until I find something that really fits, something that can embody and represent my creative talents and who I am and can be as an artist, without the failings and/or shortcomings of the rest of my identity necessarily included.

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