Picking a Name for an Art Brand
I am back for another art post. It has been a while but hopefully not too long. Today I will be talking about the name I picked for my art brand. Now, this is somewhat of a long story but I’ll try to keep it as short as I can. The simple explanation as to why I picked “Seldom” for my art brand is because it is my name: Seleena (Sel) and Dominguez (Dom). I thought it was short and to the point and had an interesting tone about it. The longer explanation comes with a story of self-doubt and identity issues.
You see picking a name for oneself is incredibly difficult. It has to sound like you and fit your style. However, a name is just a word until you give it meaning, which requires figuring out what meaning you want to give. I have been trying to think of a name for my business for many many years. I have had a few options that for one reason or another have since been abandoned.
I started with my name but my name isn’t exactly unique and I wanted to be. So I took the one unique thing about my name, the fact that it has two Es, and ran with it. First coming up with SelDoubleEna. I liked this well enough and contemplated shortening it down Double E but ended up not liking that.
Then as some time passed I started to think that it wasn’t cool enough. I wanted it to be mysterious, and pretty, and above all else unique. Always unique. I think that’s something we all strive to be and more than anything something we all want to feel. Is that we are unique and that we matter in a way that is different than everyone else. So after some time I came up with the name “Catching Dreamfuls” I thought this name was really interesting especially because I made up the word dreamfuls. It was a play on a dream catcher. A symbol that I have always really loved. The idea of catching dreams was a concept that could lead to fascinating art concepts, and if I wanted to venture dark I could go into nightmares which are technically dreams. I saw the word dreamful as a handful of dreams. I loved this name really thought I was going to keep it.
This is where the self-doubt started to kick in. I had shown people the name to lukewarm reactions and confusion. I didn’t know if this was something I should do. I am Mexican, not Native American wouldn’t that be cultural appropriation. I didn’t know what to do so I figured I’ll keep the name and make a subsection of my art brand later. (Which I still want to do.) So now I was back at square one.
Well, luckily this time I was going to Pima Community College and in a portfolio class where we had an assignment to create a logo. So after going through pages of random designs I settled in on one drawing I made using random shapes. My teacher also approved of the design and said that it drew him in. Thus the Craft God Logo was formed. The three dots in the middle represented an S in morse code. I called it a craft god because my cousin and I had an inside joke about me being a craft god because I could make anything. So the new name was formed from there, but “Craft God” sounded too conceded and made me feel uncomfortable because I didn’t see myself as highly as a Craft God. So I added Creations at the end of it. Craft God Creations, my cousin was happy with the name but I got more doubt from the people around me and myself as well because, in the end, it didn’t feel like me, not to mention it was rather long.
I didn’t just want to use my name. My self-confidence has always been low so I wanted something that sounded like it could represent me but wasn’t just my name. Then I got married. One of the best things I have ever done because not only did it change my name but it made a very loving and supportive relationship official. My initials went from SAG to SAD. I started telling people the joke that I was so happy before I got married then I became SAD. I also realized that I was also Sel Dom. So I warped the joke to I became SAD and Seldom. I realized though with a change of perspective the real and true statement was that when I got married I became seldom sad.
I started thinking about Seldom and its potential for use as my brand name, my artist name. It was close enough to my name to still feel like me. Those who are closest to me do call me Sel. The word Seldom was short and concise but also had a mysterious air about it.
My husband had proposed to me under an eclipse. To me Seldom was like an eclipse of our names coming together, but in more ways than one. Seleena is a name that means goddess of the moon and Dominguez derives from the word Domingo which means Sunday. Goddess of the MOON, SUNday. Do you see it? I loved the hidden meanings I kept finding. It finally felt like something to represent me.
So I presented this name to mixed reviews by my family members and I started to feel the creeping monster of self-doubt back again. The automatic thoughts came flooding in,
“It’s bad to keep changing a business name.”
“They won’t get it.”
“Dom sounds like Dumb.”
“Seldom, isn’t that a negative word?”
On and on and on they wouldn’t stop. But as I had learned earlier a change of perspective was in order. It doesn't matter if no one else gets it. It doesn't matter if that meant I was changing my brand name again and essentially starting over. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the best choice. All that mattered was that I liked it. It felt like me. This word suddenly had a meaning to me. I didn’t need to explain my choice (although I just did throughout this post.) What I did need to do is stick to my guns and that’s what I did. Or am doing?
I hope if you read this and you are struggling with self-doubt that this helps you work through the choices in your brand and in life. Sometimes all that matters is that your choice has meaning to you. I don’t know how this will turn out for me in the long run but I do know that I am happy with my choice. If you would like to follow along with my art journey come stop by every now and then I will try to be better about posting more often.
Seleena a.k.a Seldom
Here are some logos for Seldom.