Why we use pseudonyms as creatives

What’s in a name? ArtsHub talks to users in the sector to ask why a pseudonym can be helpful in your arts career.
hand holding theatrical mask against a black background

A pseudonym is a name that will ‘stand in’ or ‘de-identify’ a person, to allow them to mask their true identity. In a broader environment, pseudonyms are often used in data and research to protect an identity and encourage honesty – not to mention today’s rising use of pseudonyms as social media handles to either create an alternative persona or brand, or to protect personal details in an environment rife with hacks and trolls. But how popular are pseudonyms in the arts?

Some creatives will have ‘stage names’ in performing arts circles as a way to help separate their private lives from their public image. In the visual arts, it is most common for a street or urban artist to adopt a pseudonym to create an identity and protect their activities. The most famous would be the British street artist Banksy.

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