As many of you know...I was adopted at three days old by wonderful, older parents, who couldn't agree on what to name me. They had a natural son who was in college when I was born. He suggested Wyanne, pronounced Y-anne, because his name was Wayne. They decided to go with it, but then both grandmothers wanted me named after them. So, since they couldn't decide what to name me...I got 3 names. Sally Marie Wyanne. But, they decided to call me Wyanne. Do you know how confusing that is for a child growing up? Remember those standardized tests where you were given 3 blanks to write in your first, middle and last name. I never knew what to write first. Then, there was the whole issue of no one knowing how to pronounce my name. In the late 60's and 70's, the teacher would just assume that it was a misprint on the school roster, and call attendance for Wayne. I went to 7 different schools between elementary and high school. The schools would list Sally, my first name, instead of Wyanne. The kids would laugh, and tease me. I hated it.
In college, my friends started calling me Wy. I thought this was cool. No more teasing. No more...(imagine in the most drawn out country accent) "Wyanne...is that like Cheyanne". No...it's really Cheyenne...not Cheyanne. Grrr.... Or "Wyanne.....Why Anne?", and then an abundance of laughter followed, as they had cracked a joke. Ha, Ha...I only heard it a thousand times before. So, I kept "Wy", and insisted others use that name.
As I began my art career, I slowly began to think that the name "Wyanne" was pretty cool because it was unique. There were no other Wyanne's out there. It was a really good "Art Name". But, because of the long history of problems with the name. I still signed everything just "Wy". Sometimes I would put a little line behind the "Wy-" to symbolize "Wyanne" without having to actually sign it.
Then something happened...the Internet became bigger and bigger. I happened to be on eBay one day (my main selling arena for 10 years) and did a search for my name, just to try to bring up my auctions quickly. Well, a bunch of auctions showed up and they were not all mine. They were from another artist, named Wyanne. They were really good too. Nothing like my whimsical style, but tight realistic pencil drawings. I was horrified. There was another Wyanne! And worse yet...she was an artist too! The name...my name...was no longer reserved just for me. Further Google searches proved it....there was a Wyanne in Hawaii who was a real estate agent, another in Switzerland, etc.
My heart sunk.
For years, I took it for granted, never celebrated it...almost tried to hide it....and now it was no longer reserved just for me.
So, you see....you really don't know what you have until it's gone. So, I decided to start celebrating it. The way that I should have always celebrated it. Now, I know that even if I had embraced it long ago, there would still be other "Wyanne's" in the world. But, that's not entirely what it's all about...
How many times do we suppress our talents...the things that make us special...because we are worried about what others think? Because we think we're not good enough. How many times do we buy new supplies, new books, because we "think" we have to have those things before we can be a good at something. How many times do we put off trying something new, because we might fail...or worse...someone might laugh at us.
I've done this for 45 years of my life. I'm not doing it any longer. I had to study photography in college, because my father thought it was the only acceptable, somewhat profitable art form. I struggled for years after college, and didn't paint what I wanted to paint, because my college art instructors had ingrained in my head that whimsical was not what a "great artist" painted.
So, I will sign "Wyanne" to celebrate all that is me. All the roads I've been down, all the laughter endured, all the missed time by trying to please everyone else, all my quirkiness, all my faults, all my specialness, and all of my loves. I will know that...just because there are other Wyanne's out there....there will never be another "Wyanne" like me.
Trust that you are special. You have everything you need, and don't waste another minute.
and sometimes just "Wy" because that's who I am too. :)
Here's a new video for you. Enjoy.