Personal Updates

to use my name

Hi, my name is not June.

woman standing near body of water
Photo by Min An on
Let’s start at the beginning. (excuse the length…) Since becoming more present in the online community, there has never been a time where I introduced myself as I would in the real world. I grew up with the internet and the idea that it is not at all safe. It’s filled with pedophiles, trolls, bullies, and the list goes on (as do the real world). Along with my fears also came the researches about what to do with my art and writing that are essentially from opposite spectrums. Most people gave the advice of creating two different personalities due to their experiences. It definitely made a lot of sense to separate my more cutesy, lighthearted art from my dark, often heavy, writing. At the time, there was a lot of logic to keeping the two sides of me separate. I’m now 26, less than half a year from 27. And guess what? I am starting to wonder if it was smart to have separated my passions that I now wish to combine. I also developed a nonchalant perspective on the types of people that lurk the internet world (much more so than I have their real-world counterparts but when do we ever really develop a thick enough skin for that). I’ve since also learned to open up, giving people the chance to get to know what makes me the person that I am today which happens to be a combination of my bright and dark side. Granted, my younger-self had very reasonable doubts and for the longest time, the method of semi-anonymity worked. I was Aira Isane who blogged about the dramas of an angsty teen. I was Vela June or June here documenting my struggles with mental illnesses and also in the world of art. And sometime over a year and a half ago, I became Phil Anne for my more gritty, dark, real-world- everyday life pieces of writing that I one day wanted to publish and felt didn’t coincide well with the artist “JuneSketches”. But overall, these names all belong to one me. Hi, my name isn’t June nor is it Philomena Anne. Simply put, I’m becoming more convinced in embracing that one entire me. I feel that I don’t need to break myself into pieces to fit into niches that probably were never meant for me. Possibly this is growth in self-love or a simple realization, either way, I am going to take a step towards vulnerability, exposure, and honesty. Hello there. I’m a struggling artist and writer. I am most active in my imaginations and translator of my own dreams whether by interconnecting lines or by strings of words. My name is Roxanne. Why is my name so important? Well, here’s the gist about where the thought originated. My sisters and I wanted to collaborate on a project. Many times, they would unreasonably complain about calling me “June”. I obviously thought, it’s no big deal- there are multiple ways to avoid calling me by my real name and by the name I’ve been going by such as simply calling me “hey”. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. And I really didn’t like to use “Roxanne” to label my art because I’ve never quite had a good experience with that name. Often, the first thing I get asked is, “do you know the song Roxanne?” It’s basically a song by The Police about a prostitute. I didn’t know it until around middle school when a teacher started singing it after meeting me. *insert annoyed face* This would continue to happen over the course of the years. For me, the image of that song wasn’t the sort of image I wanted people to connect with my art nor my writing. The reference was only ever relevant to older people but the thing is, I am surrounded by people who understand that reference. The art community also understands that reference and it just didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t want the first thing about me to become that. So, I went for “June” which entails many more innocent or lovable references. It was also a name very close to my heart, having been the name to a couple original characters I became attached to. I eventually dropped the “Vela” and become “JuneSketches”. I’ve definitely built a brand and personality around it that feels almost difficult to incorporate the grittier side of me. It may not make sense to most people, this dilemma, and I did try to create a metaphor for it but it’s a really tough explain.  It’s got a lot to do with identity and what I want to be perceived as compared to the experiences I’ve had with my birth name. It’s almost like-but not completely the same- as getting dressed for work formally and looking professional compared to how I would look at home. They’re drastically different and I wouldn’t just suddenly go to the office looking like a tornado hit me. Everyone would be confused or worried which isn’t what I intended at all. I didn’t mean to be perceived as troubled. Everything needs a healthy balance but it almost feels as if my real name isn’t that balance. Combining June or Phil Anne doesn’t mean just using Roxanne. It’s not the same. It’s a lot like coming to work after being tossed around. You’re not particularly seeing June or Phil. You’re seeing only Roxanne. Does that make sense? I want to still look professional but comfortable. I want you to see June the artist and Phil the writer. To use my name or not to use? That is the question. I have to admit, when I started this post, I initially wanted to do it- use my real name. Not so much anymore. This is important to figure out now for future work and also because I’m looking to purchase a domain where I can do both art (my portfolio and shop) and writing (my novels) and needed a name for it- preferably the name people will be calling me from now on. I’m quite adamant in sharing both sides of me. I think it will help people relate with my art more if I actually showed my personality. And I think, my art benefits quite a lot in my decision to be more vulnerable and honest. I want to be someone who isn’t just a set of pictures. I’d like to be human. lol. And I’d like to show people my passion for self-love, self-healing, etc. I want to be able to share the side of me most people would be ashamed to show (ie my family). What do you think? I still really like June but I’ve fallen for Phil Anne. It’s just so elegant and relates to me on a more deeper level. Both are very personal. I’m definitely not tempted by my real name. Points to think about, I do sign as “J. Adupe” which is true to my name still. My full name does have a J. The J isn’t pulled out from imagination. As for Phil Anne, Filomena is my grandmother’s name. And obviously, Anne is part of my name. Phil Anne is also based off of a couple characters I love. Philippa from Anne of Green Gables- more of the Philippa from the Green Gables Fables which can be found on YouTube and Anne Elliot from Persuasion. My sister did suggest just Anne. I am hesitant to take it because I knew someone named Anne. I also have a character in Listening to Georgiana named Anne. And it just feels very strange to take on that name. I’ve also thought of just Rox. I do go by “darumarox” on my personal/writing twitter. Don’t get me wrong. I love my name. I love “Roxanne” but just the experiences I have had jaded me. I have every intention of keeping “junesketches”. So, again, what do you think?

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  1. Love Junesketches, the videos are mesmerizing, and your voice reassuring to budding artists. I need to share them with my Granddaughter. Being an engineer ( of sorts) I always related Vela with vellum, what we used to print drawings on years ago. The art connection made sense for me. My pen name is Peter Anthony because I like the meaning of the two together, and grandfathersky was from my love for Lakota wisdom. Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain (a riverboat term) Norma Jean Baker we all know became Marilyn Monroe … I’m not a pumpkin eater, and you’re certainly not “that” Roxanne. Names give form to thought the way colors dazzle our eyes. I like all of your pseudonyms, it shows your creative mind! Don’t box yourself in … enjoy your work as well as your play … be happy!

    1. (Really looking forward doing more of the poetry ones.) I’m really grateful that you think my voice is reassuring. I’m actually thinking of doing basic art tutorials because growing up I’ve always enjoyed trying to get others to draw. It was always fun for me to encourage non artists to express themselves through it.

      I love looking for names and meanings behind them. I find that I’m really interested in that. I would’ve not chosen my name but after some thought, like you said, I’m not “that” Roxanne and I shouldn’t focus on that reference. (I really love the other names though. I am still thinking of using Phil Anne for my novel as it is very gritty and for anyone who doesn’t know the artist me, they can find the book and not have images of my art popping here and there. Lol if that makes sense.)

      1. It all makes sense … as McLuhan said “the meaning of meaning, is meaning” 😉

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