Today, I can confidently declare, "Hello, my name is Begoña Lafuente, and I happen to be an artist."
It may seem like a straightforward statement in both terms, but asserting it isn't always that simple.
I come from a lively family with five siblings—two brothers and three sisters. In practical terms, this often means you don't really have something that's truly your own; at times, you might not even possess sole ownership of your own first name.
Our school was so small that sometimes, the same teacher taught all of us siblings, at different times. you'd think it' would be easy to be just Begoña, right? Calling me Begoña was a rare occurrence; more often than not, they kept calling me by my sisters' names. My mother had a habit, or you could say a fashion, of dressing us identically; I wore the same outfit for what felt like a millennium, I wore my outfits and then the exact version hand-me-downs from both the older and younger sister. Being vertically challenged certainly had its moments ;)) Consequently, I endured periods when I was affectionately dubbed "the sister." Eventually, they gave up and called us by our last name, and we became "the clan Lafuente".
When I met my future husband I finally got to be 'Begoña' during our dating days, but once we tied the knot, I became “the wife of."' and when our adorable daughters arrived, I got promoted to 'mom.' That's when their teachers and the other moms started calling me by my girls' names.
In Spain, we proudly retain our maiden names upon marriage, a symbol of our individual identity. Nevertheless, when introducing myself, I invariably appended the tag of "the wife of" or "the mother of," perhaps out of convenience or sheer habit.
In the realm of university fine arts, egos are cultivated abundantly, and I mean, abundantly. Then I personally discovered I have one, just for myself Ego. It's quite the spectacle, especially from a sociological standpoint. But when you are out of university, that ego bubble bursts faster than a champagne cork at a celebration.
In the professional world, I've been 'part of the design squad,' 'the doodler,' 'the one at the comms department', my creations never where signed because I worked for a company.. You get the idea. But when that first pay-check came in with just my name, it felt like a victory lap.
Summoning the courage to autograph my very first artwork was no small feat. Today, I view it as a reclamation—an assertion of my existence. Being Begoña is difficult in a half-world with out ñ´s so you guys can call me Bego.
By the way, have you ever had the happy accident of signing a work more than once?
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