Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nom de Plume

Short version: I called my mom, and like usual, she was right.

Long version:

Tangles and Mud just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Plus, it didn't MEAN anything. Which
bothered me even more, its just a few clever words that sounded nice together. And
I was happy with that for a good long while. But it had no story, no soul, no oomph!

So there I was, tossing and pondering and worrying about what I should title this chapter
in my life as a proud artist. And I was coming up with zilch, nada, rien. Do you know
how scary that was? VERY! How could I present my art in a clever, clear, happy manner,
if I couldn’t even name it? So I did what anyone should do given the situation. I called
my mother. And she luckily remembered a conversation we had when she was deciding
what to change her name to after her & dad were officially divorced. Mom had done
something that made me so proud and happy for her. Instead of reverting back to her
maiden name, she moved forward. She went back into the family tree, and found a name
that fit her best. On my grandfather’s side of the tree she found and chose Woolls. As
we were discussing this; I apparently told her that the only time I would ever want to go
by my middle name, Rose, would be if I changed my last name to Woolls too.

Rose Woolls.

It has such a lovely, comfortable ring to it. So there it is. It's me, but the name is
friendlier than the cut and dry Cat Babbie Designs, and now I don't have to worry about
if I should choose Catherine over Cat b/c what sounds better.. I have this strange aversion
to using my name directly on top of my art. I'm ok with Nanny-boo-boo designs by
Cat Babbie (now THERE's a name! ha!) But to put my name right on top of art, it's a
bit supercilious to me. (but it really doesn’t bother me when other people do it, hence
the strangeness.) I like having a design name, it feels better. I feel less constrained
somehow. I can only slightly liken it to how many cultures give their children two
names, a social name, and a privet name, given only to those most cared about. I want to
be able to jump into a bar and be Cat. I don’t want to jump and be Cat who designs things
and makes them pretty all the time. Some days, even though I will never escape my artist
self, nor would want to, I just want to be a girl. And this is my way of doing just that.

What about you? Do you ever wish for another name to give to people? Do you have a nickname that only certain dear ones can use? Names are terribly important!


  1. Great post...
    I believe names are very important in how one turns out.
    Of course there is a lot science supporting that thought too...

    Thanks for sharing Cat.
    Does your choice still feel good these years later?
    {Cool about your great great grandmother.}

    I am Andrea {public} and Dee {since a wee kid with family and close friends}...I have tried to get Dee the standard, for many reasons, but it just doesn't stick. Ah well....I'm thinking one day I'll change the whole bit, to something I choose.

    1. Names are strong things... I do feel good about my choice, though I also feel like I'm in a bit of an awkward phase... it'll come. Or it won't. It's more of a title of this chapter some days. Others, well, I don't know. :)

      In my own life I have many names... Cat (public) Catie/Catherine (family) and the slew of nicknames my mom comes up with. Recently people have taken to calling me by fist and last, all in one word (Catbabbie) I like it.

      I think of you as Andee...