How to Set Up a Pseudonym

As I wrote in my last post (“Why I Use a Pseudonym”), as both a professional and an artist, there are two distinct parts of me.  The outer part, which is focused on the external, and the inner part, which is focused on the deeply internal. My fulltime profession, which involves bringing families together and helping children to have more stable environments, is my outer world and requires practicality, logistics, research, bookkeeping, etc.  It’s very rewarding, but I don’t want this outer, linear world to cross over into my inner, artistic world.

My personal life, though more personal than my professional life, is still outwardly focused.  Family, friends, pets, exercise, chores, daily living.  They don’t allow for introspective mind space and creative exploration. 

I wanted a clean, bright line between my outer and inner worlds.  I felt using a pseudonym would accomplish this.  As I suspected, my research found it’s not uncommon for artists of all kinds to use pseudonyms.  They’ve done it since forever.  Some famous examples are Agatha Christie, Marc Chagall, Donatello, and J.K. Rowling.  Some artists, such as Prince and Michael Crichton, have used several pseudonyms to distinguish identities between genres.

But how to construct the clean, bright line?  I would need to create a business entity for my art.  There were a few ways to accomplish this in my home state of Florida. I could register as a small corporation or a limited-liability-corporation, or I could operate as a sole proprietorship doing business as Yugen Finity.  I chose the latter option because I found it to be less expensive, and I didn’t foresee any liability issues.  I went online to the Division of Corporations and registered Yugen Finity as a fictitious name.  (Every state in the country has a similar procedure, and different legal ramifications will apply depending upon what type of business entity you choose.  If you’re unsure, consult with a business attorney in your state.)   After registering my fictitious name, I published a legal notice in the local newspaper and voila! Ready for business.  Sort of.  There’s still the marketing, search-engine-optimization, social media, and taxes (sad face).

I think if I intended to transition completely from my fulltime profession to art alone, I wouldn’t need the pseudonym, but I enjoy both my inner and outer worlds:  I may never give up my full-time profession.  I believe it is the pseudonym that allows these two worlds to coexist—and to thrive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *