Day 9 of #MarchMeetTheMaker is Story behind your name

I do both my design and art work under the name Nikki D. May Art + Design. But this hasn’t always been the case.

When I first started doing freelance design and illustration in 1996, I chose the name Blue Frog Designs. At that time, it wasn’t so cool to be a freelancer – everyone wanted to seem like they were a bigger agency. I never pretended like I was bigger, but I did feel like I needed a business name. I looked around my office at the time at all the illustration work I had done, and settled on a t-shirt that I illustrated for National Audubon Society with six frogs in different colors. And thus Blue Frog Designs was born.

Blue Frog DesignsI used that name for my design and illustration work for almost 20 years. I had two websites, one for my art and one for design. I’ve always struggled with whether I should combine the two or separate them. Occasionally there’s some overlap in work and audience/clients, but most of the time they feel pretty separate.

But in 2015 (I think?) I made the decision to stop using the name Blue Frog Designs and do both my art and design under my own name. I have no intention of ever growing into an agency with other designers, and times have changed in terms of how we present ourselves to potential clients. These days people want to know the person behind the work more than they used to. I want people to know and recognize my name, not an arbitrarily chosen business name.

I still struggle with whether to combine or separate the design work from the art work, but I plan to stick with my own name either way!

Any other artist/designers or people with more than one focus have the same struggle? What do you do about it?



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