Saturday, September 26, 2015

FRESH START, NEW NAME, BRANDING

Fall has always seemed like a "fresh start" to me..
Oh sure, January 1st is New YEAR! New YOU!
and usually a BIRTHDAY date is another beginning.
Even a Monday can be a good day to start something different.
I suppose it goes back to being a kid and going back to school.
A FRESH start.
(Although it never really was.)
God, I hated school.
Every. Single. Moment.
Thank goodness that's long gone.
But the season itself.
That I LOVED.
The cool windy air.
Soft sweatshirts.
The autumn colors.
Halloween.
The new premiere TV shows! LOL!
Coming home and curling up on the sofa with dinner to watch.
Feeling comfy.

So, I've been thinking about a fresh start on my Art blog and opening my Etsy shop, finally.
I've changed the name over on the blog, although not the header is the same,
mainly because it could change again.
I'm going to make sure to start posting Art in a more timely fashion.
It's been more than a YEAR since I posted a thing! Jeez.

I've also been trying to change my "name" on my blogs, Facebook, Instagram etc.
My legal name is Cynthia.
I started using Cynthia, because I always use it for "official" stuff.
Cindi is my nickname but it's also who I really am.
The only people who called me Cynthia are people who don't know me.
Actually when I was small,

my nickname was spelled in the traditional way - Cindy.
Then my mom died and in that same year I made a friend whose nickname was also Cindy.
I was 14 turning 15, a lot of things seemed to be going on in my life....
I was going from Middle school to High school
My Dad had remarried....
I just had a lot going on.

So, I would hang out at my friend Cindy's house and we would listen to records or she would play the piano as I would draw.
We had lots of DEEP conversations, as girls that age do, but most importantly we both wanted to be someone else.
We had things going on in our home lives that we wished we could escape from, but couldn't.
Since high school was a different school with new different people and
we both wanted so badly to be NEW people but couldn't,
we both just changed the spelling of our names. LOL!
I became Cindi and she, Cinda.
And now, a million years later, those are still the nicknames, that we go by.

Not too long ago, someone was talking about someone named "Cynthia"
and immediately an image of a person with that name popped into my head.
Not an image of me.
I think that a name can have the ability to instantly form an opinion in your mind
Or at least it does in my mind and "Cynthia" wasn't me.
So I've been thinking about this and then the other day I went to pay for something with my debit card.
I was wearing my work scrub top that has my name "Cindi" embroidered on it. 
The man rang up my purchase, looked at my card and then said
"Thank you, "Sin- thee- a"
I just smiled and took my card back.
Yep, not really me.

Then just the other night I was watching a new show, the premiere,
and a lead character was named "Cynthia".
Without going into deep detail, I felt like the name fit her, but she was nothing like me.
I'm Cindi.

Google my full name, CYNTHIA MYERS and a famous playboy bunny pops up.
I remember her.
I remember being a little kid and being over at an older relative's house.
He was a car guy and he made specialized corvette parts and
the whole family was in the basement.
A basement from the 60's, with a full bar and a pool table and
beer lights and car photos and such
and I remember him holding me up and showing me a calendar on the wall
and he said "She's Cynthia Myers too!"
And everyone laughed.
Except my mom who grabbed me away.
Yeah. I don't want to have someone Google me and see her photo first.

So, I'm Cindi
Yep, changing my name on just about everything.
Sure, I'm Cynthia to the government and such but to my friends, I'm Cindi with an I.

Unfortunately someone else already owns that tag of "Cindi with an I"
or I'd be going by that! LOL!
Someone else also has Cindi with an Eye.

So...that's what I'm working on now, the idea of naming my Art Business.
and maybe it should be Cindi Myers Art
but then I got to thinking about how some of my favorite artists
with Etsy shops that have easy to remember names.
Like "Red Cheeks Factory". God, I LOVE that name.
I adore her illustrations 

and even at this moment I can't think of her actual name!
See what I mean!

or 3 crows, ok, I do know her name is Sara Pulver.

and her work is fabulous!
and 3 crows is so easy to remember!
I think about the fact that I actually have relatives, friends of relatives and
co-workers who spell my name Cyndi.
WRONG.
and I've gone to stores, libraries and such and spelled my last name out and
they STILL put an E between the M and the Y.
So I'm trying to think of a name that's not misspelled all the time.

I hesitate asking for suggestions, as people sometimes get offended
when I don't use their ideas.
I had a friend suggest that I name my booth space -
"A Bunch of Junk" and 
SHE was offended when I said no.
Sigh. anyway.
I know that I hate when people ask me for my opinion and then
after I've given it careful thought, they totally disregard it.
But I've actually done that recently myself.

I might be getting a new vehicle next Spring.
Maybe.
So, of course I've been researching it non-stop and asking opinions of everyone.
All the research and popular opinions have pretty much decided that it should be a
Toyota Rav4
Definitely the wise choice.
(but I think I'm going to get something entirely different and not tell anyone
until I buy it so that no one can talk me out of it, but that's for another post.)

Anyway.
If you leave me a suggestion in the comments
PLEASE, PLEASE don't get offended if I don't use it
even if it is truly the perfect name for me.

I want something short and simple
and something that won't box me in
or make me sad.
I was sure I was going to call it "Blue's Hilltop Farm"
because of Blue and that I live in the "Hilltop" area of my town and
that Beatrice Potter called her house, Hill Top.
And that I wished that I lived on a little Farm.
But what if I move? and I'm not in on the Hilltop?
or GULP, maybe some day I don't want everything to have Blue attached to it...
because it might hurt my heart too much???
Oh, I don't know.
Maybe this is all too silly to worry about but
everything is about BRANDING, they say.

So yep. just thinking for calling it something
different.

Even my boss, when he built the new clinic, thought about a name change.
The old practice name had a prior vet's name incorporated into the name. 
They thought about going with something new
except the original name had a good reputation built up and
everyone connected that name to my boss.
So he kept it, and it's easy to spell.

There's a little shop across the river and it's name is "Plaid Rabbit" and
another is called "Mint Green".
I love both of those names.
Easy to remember.
Maybe my name might even be called something Studio.
Oh, I'm over-thinking this.
Most likely, as with most of my dogs names. it will suddenly just pop into my head.
But I want to get an Etsy shop going soon.
I started to set one up in 2009, YES!
SIX years ago and then dropped it.
it was of course called Old Black Cat Boo.

This post is much too long.
Sorry.
I'm off to paint something now.
XOXOXO

26 comments:

sassypackrat said...

SO glad you are thinking seriously about branding. It's important but it can be overwhelming too. I'm sure you will come up with something animal related like "Spotted Dog Studio" or "Perky Ears Art Studio" or whatever. These aren't ideas just something cute that seems like you, at least to me it does.

Can't wait til you get your shop set up so I can favorite it and blog about it and if you offer customs, I totally want a portrait done of my girls.

Take the plunge and do it! If you need any help with your graphics, just let me know.

Cindi Myers said...

Oh Jen! Thank you!
I don't know what's held me back for so long
or why I procrastinate like I do but all my friends here in blog land have really helped me with their kind words of encouragement and gentle nudges.
I just have to do it NOW!
No more stalling, I'm putting it in motion.
I don't know too much computer wise, I'm just learning as I go, so I just might email you if I get stuck.
I LOVE your logo that you created! It's so you and absolutely perfect.
You definitely know what you are doing!
:)
Yep, Here I go!
Aaaaaaaaah! LOL!
Thanks for commenting!
xoxo

tammy j said...

ohmygosh.
this post is not too long at all.
you have been cindi to me since the very beginning!
i never think of you as anything else.
as a matter of fact it always throws me a little when i get an email that says cynthia myers. once i thought...
i don't know any cynthia myers! LOLOLOL!!!!
branding is very important. especially if you're an artist i think.
and for your little shoppe. and your etsy shop.
and if 'people who get offended' that easily . . . then they need to lighten up!
i can't wait to see what you come up with.
I LOVE CHANGE!!! and FRESH STARTS!!! this is SO EXCITING!!! :)
and i feel the same way you do. autumn is the PERFECT fresh start time!
and i hated school to.
i remember breathing such a sigh of relief ... knowing i didn't have to GO anymore when i graduated!
i love learning. i just hated school.
ok.
talk about a long comment. good grief.
XOXOXOXOXO♥
grinning here. big time.
and p.s.
it's a totally easy thing to do to change your legal name to cindi myers. and i don't think it costs all that much either.
you might consider it if you really wanted to do it someday.
that way you'd never have a guy like the one in your post say it that way again! :)

Vicki said...

OK, a long post with a question, requires a long answer, lol. I hope I have enough space to say all I want to :D

I’ve only ever known you as Cindi. I LOVE your name. It’s sweet and simple, with two “i”s. Perfect!

Speaking of “i”s – or, eyes – I really need to erase that image of the one eyed Cindi!!! I DON’T want to think of you as Cyclops Cindi - not now, not ever, lololol!

If only you knew how MUCH I’ve agonised over my brand identity. So, so, SO much over the past year!
I’ve imagined all sorts of catchy names, but after a day/week/month, they no longer seem “to fit”. Then I’d come up with another that seemed perfect, but again, I would cool on the idea.
Waiting for the lightning bolt out of the blue wouldn’t come either. Ugh, I was exhausted, mulling over it.

What I learnt was – that today, you might fall in love with a “cool, catchy name” and fall out of love with it in a year’s time.
Because..... catchy doesn’t last.

Once you have established yourself as a SERIOUS artist, and seriously get your art out there, you want to be taken seriously by those who buy your work, and those who publish your work. Everything should link to who you are – Your etsy shop etc. = your published name. Otherwise it is messy and confusing - especially for the public.
In a years time, you may decide you hate the catchy name you like so much now. And, importantly, your customers and fans of your artwork, will get confused with another name change.
Because, it – and please note that I’m speaking for myself here – smacks of unsurity of oneself and insecurity in who one is.

For example, my given name is Victoria.
I shied away from my – I considered, haughty and oh-too-regal – full name, and only wanted to be called Vicki – which I used everywhere. I didn't think I deserved such a queenly name. Not down-trodden lil' old me.
But, you know what? As I age – and thus mature – I’ve grown into my name, and maybe that is acceptance of who I am.
It’s classical, and (hopefully) without pretense.

When I began ceramics full time, I went for the catchy title of Purple Fig Pottery. Now, I no longer focus on ceramics and have turned to textile/fabric art, I’ve had to reconsider my brand name – yet again. Sigh.

The answer was there, right in front of me. Just stick with WHO I AM. Victoria.

So, my cards etc. will say Handmade by Victoria. Simple. To the point. And, truthful – what I create, IS handmade by me.
I can change up the look with styling and colour every couple of years, to keep it fresh, but the email/facebook/etsy/instagram name remains the same.
Someone who contacts me in two years can still reach me, because my brand name has been kept.
And, believe me, more than one account is a pain to manage and keep track of. Why not keep things simple? KISS principle.

So... personally, I think Cindi Myers Art, is a great name! Yes, really!
And, CMA makes a great monogram, should you wish to simplify to stylish initials - looks fabulous in a calligraphic style – with the C,M and A in a flourish. Or, draw up your name with your fur crew incorporated in it – I can send you examples of what I mean.
Your name is easy to remember – yes it is.
Who cares if people mis-spell your name? Even the easiest of names are mis-spelt. I always get Vikki or Vicci or Vicky. Used to bug me. Not now. Move on.

Cindi Myers Art has only five syllables – important for rolling off the tongue. Too many syllables gets laborious.
Remember, people have short attention spans (sorry to say – even I do, lol) and a shorter syllabled name, like yours, is easy to remember – that’s the point right? :)

You deserve the credit for what you do, not a catchy named, unidentifiable person/shop. Your brand is your identity. Don’t hide who YOU are.
You’re lovable, well loved, admired and dammit, I want to buy your cards/book/calendar! All Artwork by Cindi Myers.
Something to be proud of.
Just my humble opinion :)
XXX

Cindi Myers said...

Tammy,
Whoa! I never thought about changing it legally.
I mean I don't Hate HATE it but, yeah. it's just not me.
And suddenly, just this moment, it occurred to me that my Dad
ALWAYS went by his middle name. He even had us promise to not to use his first name in his obituary. Me and my sister thought it funny that he preferred to be called "Earl"! LOL.
Hmmm.

Yes, I'm finally serious!
After writing this post, an old post of mine popped up on the bottom of my blog and it was dated January 2013 and said a lot of the things I said here today. I was furious with myself. I mean, WTH is my problem?
Or I mean WAS my problem.
I REALLY going to do it. I am.
I'm ready.
Thanks for being you!
XOXOXOXOXO

Vicki said...

... oh god, I knew I couldn't stop at my previous comment - and they won't give me enough space to continue in one comment box, lol.

I also once considered putting "Jack" in my brand name. I was convinced it was right!
But then, I knew that one day, my darling boy will no longer be by my side. I will have lost my shadow. And, it will render me physically and mentally useless for some time.
So, I realised that any reference to his name in my brand would have me cringing with the painful memory of his loss each and every time I looked at my card, or had to write it somewhere - like art exhibitions.
There are other ways to honour him. But business needs to be kept separate.
And, as much as it seems traitorous right now, who knows if another fur baby will come along and steal my heart, just as Jack did? It is possible. And one needs to stay open to the reality of that.
Do I change the brand name to incorporate his/hers instead of Jack's? No.
That is NOT good for business. And, our art is our business. We need to keep things separate - if we want to be serious with what we do.

So many thoughts tumbling in my head. You'll be sick of me :)

Hugs xxx

Cindi Myers said...

Vicki,
Thank you for this comment.
You make a very good point.
Like you said, I have to be careful not to box myself in by a name.
I don't want to regret what I've chosen and I do tend to be very fickle in my choices... of almost everything! LOL!
But your suggestion of a monogram gave me an idea.
My first thought was of my actual monogram. CKM
Then I remembered how my Mom sometimes called me Cindy Kay.
(Sounds like an old beauty parlor name to me! LOL!)
but then I got to thinking how I, in the past, ALWAYS signed my Artwork
C K MYERS.
Sometimes I still do, out of habit.
The reason I first started with the initials was because I didn't want to be judged by whether I was a woman or a man.

I've Googled Cindi Myers before and a novelist has that dot.com
Just now I Googled Cindi K Myers and NOTHING came up!
I was very surprised.
Then it suggested that I try Cindy K Myers instead.
Hmmm.
MAYBE that's it!????
Cindi K Myers
OK, I'm super tired. Going to bed and sleeping on this.

But I must say, I do LOVE the name Victoria. It's very regal and classic.
The image that pops in my head is a good one.
:) :) :)
Also, I did notice that Sara is now going by Sara Pulver Art on Facebook rather than 3crows. She must have come to the same conclusion you are talking about.
Yep, taking credit with her name and owning it.
Truly, THANK YOU again.
I'm so lucky to have you as a friend.
:D
XOXOXOXOXOXO

Vicki said...

Well, Sara Pulver Art says who creates the artwork. 3 crows could mean anything - not necessarily art related either.
I think it's a wise choice, for she will be taken far more seriously and it sounds very professional. Again, that's the point.
Without stepping on toes, I feel that catchy names (and, I've been there) does box one in.
Our name means we mean business :)

Sleep on it, and see how you feel about it. It's your decision to make.
Just think on how you'll see yourself, and your brand, in one/two/three years time... and, how you want others to see you, and your work.

Hugs xxx

Cindi Myers said...

Vicki,
:)
I know too well what you are saying.
My blog, my Boo... she was so much more than just a cat.
My first rescue cat.
Never another like her and while I still have several cats, my Harry and Ghost are very special but I'm not going THERE again by using their names.
And Ruby. Her name is on both of my email addresses.
I think about her every time I have to say it.
My Maddie, my Golden, my soulmate dog. I never use her name because saying it even now, 12 years later, makes my eyes well up and my throat hurt.
And let's not talk about that damn dog Blue. He has such power over my heart.
I love all my critters and though I hate to admit it, I have a couple of favorites who I never really talk about much. (Ping and Poppy) who should, hopefully, be in my life for a very long time but like you said, I need to keep that separate. Just because my pets are my loves doesn't mean they should be part of my Art business.
Yep, you are so right.
xoxo

Cindi Myers said...

Vicki,
If I recall correctly, I think that I read in her bio somewhere that she was walking one day and saw 3 crows and thought at that moment that 3 crows sounded like an Indian name and then later she remembered that and used that name.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I read that, I mean, it's too bizarre to not to be true!
and while it's cute and funny, I do like her use of her name now.
But I really love Red Cheeks Factory! Maybe it's because I've forgotten her name again!!!! Yeah, love that name and for some reason, especially the Factory part of it too.
I get images in my head of her being busy at her Art work.
OK, goodnight now!
xoxoxoxo
Maybe I will dream about this all!
LOL!

CheerfulMonk said...

Yay, Cindi! I vote for Cindi's Studio.

Vicki said...

..."Just because my pets are my loves doesn't mean they should be part of my Art business."

Yes. You can honour them all in your art - incorporate them whenever and wherever you like, even with your (now) fur crew. If it wasn't too painful.
Your art is timeless, and thus, memories can meld with the now - in illustrations.

But yes, in your brand - best kept to who you are, for it is YOU who is the artist.

xxx

PS - I hope this doesn't seem macabre, but, one day, maybe a card illustrated with a dog/cat crossing the "rainbow bridge". I haven't seen anything like that here in card shops - and certainly not in your lovely art style.
This would be a beautiful sentiment for a friend to give another friend or family member when a loved fur baby passes.

Could maybe be part of a line of cards to be placed at the reception desk at the vets where you work, as well as stationers.
Again, just a thought :)

Lesley UK said...

Hi Cindi, you said you wanted to call it something different, so why not do that, call it 'Something Different?' Blessings

tammy j said...

i have LOVED all this dialogue between you and victoria!!!
it's just mesmerizing to me! and exciting!
and wise.
and wonderful.
i love you both. thank heaven we have artists and creative people in this world. it's what keeps us all sane.
and it's what makes the living of it worth living to me!
XOXO♥
you know how i love names. i have to name everywhere i live even!
i think you already have a gift for it ... by the names you choose just for your animal family!
it all will come around right.
maybe it will be like when you try on clothes. you just KNOW when it feels and looks right. you don't have to 'work' at liking it.
maybe that will be when you'll know. ya know? LOLOL.
XOXOXOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Jean,
Thanks!
I'm still thinking but most likely it will be my name.
xoxo

Cindi Myers said...

Vicki,
Yes, my Art will always be of animals.
That's all I want to do.
I do have an idea for a larger painting of an actual person!
But once again it would still include a pet.
:)
I have seen Sympathy cards at the store for the "Loss of your Pet" and at the clinic we have cards that when a pet passes, all of us who work there sign and sometimes write a small message.
But yes, that's a good idea.
I plan on making cards as part of my business.
Holiday cards, Birthday cards. Just because cards. Get Well Cards, and now I will add Sympathy to the mix.

I might not market the cards at work though because I have paintings/prints all over the place and I plan to bring in a handmade display of little hone-grown packages of catnip.
I don't want to push it too far at work as they have limited space.
(although I'm bringing in some painted dog/cat paper mache pumpkins! LOL!)
But I would have my business card attached to everything and to be handed out with my business website on it.
:D
xoxoxo

Cindi Myers said...

Lesley!
Thanks for commenting.
I do like that, it's very clever.
But I would worry that people who say that my Art isn't all that different.
But I do like it.
Thank you!
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Tammy!
:D :D :D
I'm so lucky to know Vicki!
I would never have known her if not for you!
I owe you so much and for so many things.
XOXOXO
I'm 90% sure I'll use my name but....
I am still thinking.
I want to choose once and wisely.
I've been thinking about how Martha had the tag "It's a Good Thing"
but she didn't name her business that.
Nope, not Martha Stewart.
Although I am in no way saying I want to be a Martha.
I want a much simpler life.
xoxo

Doreen@househoneys said...

I almost could have written this post Cindi, from the memories of school, to not liking our names. Though I love yours! Yes, I hear ya' about branding, misspellings, etc., so I don't blame you. And I so understand what you mean about a catchy name for your biz. For me, I like names that typically don't have names, but your name is pretty cool, so you could do a lot worse. I'm terrible about picking out names, and I also think it's something you have to come up with yourself. You're creative, so it will happen!

P.S. Looks like your blog design has changed and I'm having no issues now! Yippeeee!

Cindi Myers said...

Doreen,
I just found your comment!
You hated school too? LOL!
Here's something even funnier considering the name thing AND how much I hate school. When I got my yearbook, below my senior photo, they had put my name down as CYNTHIS! Double whammy, school AND my misspelling name in one punch.
Thank you about my name. I most likely will be using it.
:)
I'm so glad that you didn't have problems with my blog this time!
XOXO

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindi.

Now I feel bad for all those times I called you Cynthia. I like the new look of the blog! I haven't had much time to check in on any of the blogs I like lately. It sounds like you are contemplating some big changes. I like change -- it keeps life interesting. Reading everything you said about your name and how you've always felt about it, if I were you I think I would probably call my blog "Not the Bunny" so that people would know right away that you are not the Cynthia Myers who posed in Playboy. : )

It sounds like you have a LOT going on. Good luck with everything!

~Grace

tammy j said...

LOLOLOLOL!!!!!
hello cynthis!
this made me fall out of my chair. FOMAL? FOOMCL?
i'm so glad i came back by.
i do that here.
because i love reading everybody's comments.
now i know house honey hated school too!
we're in good company. LOLOLOL.

Cindi Myers said...

Tammy,
Yes. Cynthis.
It's funny NOW. LOL!
Not so much back then.
Here's another one.
I wasn't getting invites to class reunions.
Which was fine, I wasn't going to go anyway but apparently someone told my sister they couldn't find me.
I live 13 blocks from the high school and my last name hasn't changed.
But they found my sister though. When she lived in Vermont, not in a town but in an actual "village". Well, wait. She wasn't in the village, they were living in a cabin down by the lake in the woods.
So yeah, outside of a village and they found her.
I won't share her last name. I'm sure she would rather me not, but I will say that her married name is Chinese and it's very hard to spell.
(Her husband is half)
So yeah. Found her in the woods in Vermont and they could have hand delivered my invite.
:P God! I hate school!
and she REALLY loved it! Go figure.
Funny, Hahahahaha...................ha?
thanks for stopped back!
XOXO

Cindi Myers said...

Grace!
So happy to see a comment from you!
I have finally decided on a name!
but I will hold back on revealing it for now.
But I have to say that I laughed out loud at "Not the Bunny!"
OMG!
I'm so tempted. LOL!
I love it!
But I think I will stick with my choice.
Really, SO FUNNY though!
Thanks, I needed a good chuckle!
xoxo

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Girl, you're a long way past overthinking it! You make me chuckle every time i come to your blog. Your art work is fantastic, your dogs are so appealing, and you are so frank and forthright yet funny and vulnerable. You're going to be so successful, I can feel it. Good luck, the name will come when you stop focusing on it.

Cindi Myers said...

Sharon,
Thank you for the compliments!
XOXO
I'm going to be successful, I'm going to be successful,
I'm going keep repeating this sentence until it happens!
LOL!
I've got the name and I hope to post about it soon!
Thanks again!