I’d sent some new illustrations to my agent to get feedback on the entirely different technique I’ve been immersing myself in (i.e. doesn’t look anything like my existing work), and she came back with words I’d been secretly fantasising about hearing.
“Yes! Please do more like this...” she said, which was lovely, but it was this bit that got me bouncing: “...so we can upload them to the website under another name”.
Another name! Haha, if I can pull this off then I have, you know, proper permission to create a whole new alter ego. Sadly, this thrills me far more than it’s probably wise to admit. Like an adolescent who’s invented their band’s name and album title before learning their first guitar chord, I’ve already decided on a pseudonym. (Just have to make a lot more work before I can use it, but what an incentive.) I'll be looking at wigs next. Maybe coloured contact lenses?
The different persona thing is quite common in illustration so clients don’t get all confused, they like to see a name and know what they’re getting, not get befuddled by the crazy notion that an artist may have more than one style. Like authors, of course, when they use different pen names.
This got me thinking about all those musical aliases as well; I totally get why bands and musicians might want to work on spin-off projects without affecting identities they’ve already established. XTC did it (exceedingly well), and the Damned, Elvis Costello... I'm sure you can think of many more.
Because, don’t we all want an alter ego from time to time?!
(XTC as) The Dukes Of Stratosphear: Vanishing Girl