what's in a name

last night i purchased something pretty big.

in doing so, i had to sign my name to a lot of papers. i joked with those whom i was signing for that my signature certainly didn't get better as i kept signing. but when you're buying a car, your signature is nothing more than saying that you are responsible for what is being signed.

i legally agree to specific terms and conditions. i agree to the consequences laid out if i fail to meet those terms and conditions. 

it doesn't really matter what it looks like.


a little later last night, i had the opportunity to go to my college alma mater and saw a painting of mine hung in the gallery there, amidst other paintings from my friends and heroes. 

it was interesting -- in that context an artist's signature is clout; if i were a famous artist, my signature would be worth a lot. here, aesthetics matter and signatures are more than agreeing to binding terms. 

but then i started thinking -- the signature hasn't changed; the context has. but don't they essentially mean similar things? 

i painted this. therefore i claim it to be mine. i will agree to the consequences of whatever comes from creating this piece and putting it into the world because it is mine. 


as scary as it was to sign for that car and its accompanying responsibilities, sometimes it's more daunting to sign a painting and claim it as my creation. 

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