On changing my name.

lost-wallpaper
“it feels good to be lost in the right direction.” iPad Wallpaper by Breanna Rose

Welcome to my new blog! As you probably noticed, I’ve retired LeahCreates.com and the LeahCreates username across the board. I’m in the process of legally changing my name to Evan Leah Quinn, and to answer a question I’ve been asked a lot the last few days: yes, it would be lovely if you called me Evan going forward.

Why the name change? Well, the short answer is that I’m on the run from the law.

… Kidding.

The short answer is that there isn’t a short answer, and the long answer is pretty boring/anticlimactic. I’ve been rolling around the idea of changing my name for as long as I can remember. I never consciously realized my dissatisfaction with my given first name, but looking back now, it seems pretty obvious. For awhile, as a kid, I wanted to change my name to Heather. As a teen, I was always on a quiet quest to find a nickname that fit me. I remember falling in love with the name Evan (as a feminine name) when I was about fifteen. I’ve used it as an online moniker off and on throughout the years. A few years back, I started toying with the idea of actually changing my name to Evan, but I’d branded myself as LeahCreates and the name change seemed too risky.

When I changed my studio name to SixteenJuly last year, I didn’t intend for that to be a segue to changing my first name, but here on the other side of that, I do feel like I have enough space between my personhood and my business to make the switch. Is it totally without risk? Of course not. Some folks might not be on board. They might have their own judgements about it. That’s ultimately not my business.

R.T. and I knew a couple of years ago that we would eventually choose our own surname. We intended to do it when we got married, but we hadn’t settled on a name by the time that rolled around. It was (perhaps a little too) important to me that we have the same last name, so I took his name right away. In retrospect, I wish I’d been a little more patient so that I didn’t have to do the name change thing twice, but… hindsight blah blah. (Fact is, I tend to jump in with both feet.)

When we started considering Quinn a few months ago, I really loved the name. I was fine with ignoring all of the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman references folks would certainly make as a result. I hesitated because I didn’t really think Leah Cedar Quinn sounded all that interesting. It was a little flat. Also, as someone with synesthesia, I just didn’t dig the colors. We kept rolling around other ideas. Then, one day last week I woke up and realized that Quinn wasn’t the problem. I knew as clear as anything that I didn’t want to go by Leah anymore. I was ready to be Evan (with both feet). Evan Leah Quinn just felt so perfect. I really love the juxtaposition of the strength of Evan paired with the softness of Leah. It’s a good combo. It suits me.

That’s really the whole story. This name change is not about shunning where I came from or reinventing myself or outrunning anything. It’s about being comfortable where I am, as this tiny warrior who gives herself permission to take big risks. Who is okay with letting people think she’s a little bit crazy if it means showing up and living out loud.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

– Evan

11 thoughts on “On changing my name.”

  1. I love love love this + I am so excited for you for having the courage to do this! I can relate. My legal name is Maegan Joann [pronounced may-gan]. My whole life people would call me Megan or Meg + that wasn’t my name at all. My name felt like a nuisance at times. One day a friend in high school said he’d call me Mae from then on because he couldn’t help but say Megan out of habit. The nickname stuck + it felt more like the real me, there was no messing it up. I personally [not legally] got rid of my middle name Joann and replaced it with Jane, because Joann was originally after my godmother who was married into then divorced out of the family, who I never saw. Joann didn’t fit me either. It also didn’t flow with Mae. My dad raised me to be a bit of an old soul + I’ve always loved the classic beauty of Jane, so I swapped. Plus I’ve used Mae Jane as my art identity for so long. I’ve toyed with the reality of legally changing my name to Mae Jane as I’ve gone by it for over 10 years now. I’m just afraid to hurt my father’s feelings. It’s a big change that unfortunately can affect others more than we like. I am so happy for you. There is nothing more rewarding than being true to yourself + identity. You took time to create who you are today, I think it’s only fair you get a part in what you’re called. I’m with you on this Evan! xxo

  2. Stumbled upon this post on Facebook. I can relate. After my divorce I didn’t want to go backwards and take my maiden name back. I had been using a pen name Nicole Tilde. So I changed my last name legally to Tilde. It feels good to be my own person.

  3. I was confused because I saw your profile picture on the new name … until I stumbled upon this … I really like it! It’s a very nice name. I changed mine too, but the first name was so long ago that no one remembers, and the middle/last happened when I got married so no one thought much about it. πŸ™‚

  4. This is awesome – thanks for sharing it. And for having the courage to do it in the first place, despite what other people may or may not think. I like the name and think it suits you just beautifully!

  5. Hello Evan Leah,
    Getting lost is part of the adventure.
    Love your new name and the new design here.
    Hope all is swell.
    Happy Spring.
    pve

  6. One of my best friends changed her name when our girls (who are also best friends) were 4. My friend had gone through a divorce and embracing her Welsh roots, changed not only her last name but her first name as well. One day your name is Deborah and then on the next day it’s Gwynn. Our girls thought that was the most natural thing in the world. My daughter was going to change her name to Chrysanthemum. This was 22 years ago. My daughter never did change her first name but it was a great idea for my friend. The name she chose fits her perfectly and I can’t even remember her being called anything else.
    Bravo Evan Leah!

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