Changing Digital Names

I don’t normally feel compelled to make a note of any changes I make to my personal website, but I wanted to make a few notes about this one. And this post is going to be pretty self-indulgent, so I fully expect this to not make great reading material. For starters I’ve changed my name, kind of. The idea of having a pseudonym, for me, has always been an exciting part of being on the internet. Early on I was conditioned to believe that the internet was a dangerous place and that your identity & information always needed protecting. That, combined with the at-the-time real distinction between an online and offline personalities (as decreed by internet-specific speech patterns, and niche online social-groups) gave me reason to constantly be inventing new identities online as my preadolescent brain developed. Little did I know that this was an exercise in branding that would become a staple of my professional career, and that over time this would change from a default behaviour of the internet to a societally-determined practice that changes more-or-less at random depending on the person and the platform they are using (half the people I follow on social media are using monikers and username, the other half are much more upfront, I wonder if the pseudonym-users are just as nostalgic as I am, or if there’s another reason).

When I started working under the name Low Earth, I was following in the digital tradition of creating an moniker and then living up to it. A little further down the road, I also started a house-brand called Inside Voice that I wanted to grow into a much more expansive brand. I was initially excited about these two names because as a graphic designer first and foremost I was in love with the branding opportunities that came with them. However over time my priorities have shifted, and I’ve relented to the fact that I am not committed enough to these names and grow them in a way that would actually justify my use of either. So I am conceding that my nostalgic, Hackers-esque approach to publishing on the internet is outmoded and ultimately a hindrance, and that people will have a much easier time finding me if I actually let them know where to look. Another part of this is also shifting what I want to do with Inside Voice. I haven’t retired that name, but I am keeping it for just one line of personal illustration projects. Furthermore I’ll be culling some of my old work to make room for future, better work, because I have a bad habit of keeping things longer than I need to, especially online.