the girl with eight names. // choosing my name and experiments in collage.

Hi, it’s nice to meet you
you call me… well… it’s a little complicated I was born as 陳欣怡/陈欣怡 (chénxīnyí)
and for those of you not familiar with Mandarin, this name is kind of the
Chinese equivalent of Emily Smith. Thanks Dad for all that originality right there… When I was about 5 years old my family relocated from Malaysia to America and let me tell you that transition wasn’t easy. It had helped that my parents
refused to give me an English name because they prided themselves in our
heritage and you don’t want me to lose my roots. At least they didn’t make me take the direct romanization of my name (“xin yi”), but being known as Shin Yi made
elementary school pretty rough. None of the teachers could ever pronounce my
name right the first time and there was a lot of confusion about whether “Yi” was
my middle name or not. I was bullied for being Asian and the language barrier
certainly didn’t help me make any friends. Needless to say, I hated being Chinese. It’s perhaps the reason why at a very young age I began searching for
alternatives. I remembered that my mom told me about my uncle who informally dubbed me as Cindy just for fun. I didn’t think it sounded half bad
and my heart automatically latched on to it. There was this girl named Joyce
whom I met in orchestra. I highly admired her for her natural academic talent and violin skills. And, because my name also denotes joy, I began to grow an affinity for her name
as well. I was determined to find an English name which I could eventually
legally adopt on my 18th birthday. At the end of elementary school, one of my friends told me a
story about her friend named Nomi. I don’t remember much of
anything about the story itself, but the name struck something inside me. I just love the sound of that name — Nomi. It’s light on the tongue and has a really
nice ring. It was also around this time that I started becoming involved in
online art and gaming communities. That was back in around 2005 and I remember
it was also the height of Internet horror stories. We were warned to never share any
personal information online, so, heeding everyone’s advice, I chose to adopt
Nomi as my brush name, or the name that I would create art under. In eighth grade I started taking French classes. In order to help us connect with the
language, we were asked to adopt a French name, and just like that I also became
Yasmina. I loved French so much that I began to fall head-over-heels for their
culture, too. Thinking back on it… that’s probably
one my desire to travel first sparked and along with it, my interest in
learning about all sorts of different cultures including… yes, the one I had so
wholeheartedly rejected in my youth. In a funny way, learning French made me
proud of being Chinese and by high schooI, I was starting to
lose interest in finding a new name. But despite the fact that my own
perception of the name Shin Yi improved it didn’t mitigate any of the confusion
it continued to cause for everyone else. For example, when college applications came around I saw no end to the variations of my name
from schools vying for my money. from Shin to Shin-Yi and Shiny, I was growing more and more concerned about the legal
implications of my name in adulthood. And, of course, the struggles
also impacted my everyday life. Like, whenever I ordered coffee, it was this whole stressful ordeal. I’d tell the cashier my name but between me speaking it
and them writing it down who knew what they’d actually
heard and how they’d spelt it. To make things worse, the barista calling
the names for the ready-to-go orders aren’t typically the same person as
the cashier whom I told my name to. I’d have to have her close to the pickup bar and anxiously check every order that gets
called just in case they couldn’t pronounce my name. After one too many awkward
situations, I adopted a Starbucks named… Emily. Because I figured no one could
ever screw that up, right? (apparently I was wrong) So, yes. I did get my name legally changed at eighteen… to Shin Yi! Without the space, everyone knew that Yi was in my middle name and all the weird variations we saw
from all those college letters ceased. Objectively speaking, the change was quite minute, but, to me, it was definitely a distinctly new
name. After all, I’d spelled the original name with a space for almost two decades and it wasn’t until recently
that I finally became comfortable identifying myself without the space. But… I still do refer to myself as
Shin Yi about half the time As 欣怡 (“xīnyí”), if I’m out with my Chinese friends As Emily, if I’m at a coffee shop And as Nomi online. The point is, while names are very important because
they’re the first layer of recognition as well as the way we identify ourselves
from others… if you’re not happy with your name,
don’t sweat it! You have the power to create your own
names and the stories behind them. In a way, me coming to terms my birth name is sort of an allegory of what happened
with this channel and the name Piquetures. To be quite honest, I
was never completely happy with the name but instead of changing it, which I’ve
considered on numerous occasions, I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on
working on developing its identity. Up until now, Piquetures
was a conglomeration of lookbooks, travel vlogs, lifestyles, you-name-
it I-probably-tried-it-then-deleted-it videos. But from now on, Piquetures
will be a catalog of videoscapes inspired by art and travel. So, remember, as we step into the new year or heck even just into a new day, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot (AKA. Mary Anne Evans) Happy New Years and New Beginnings

77 thoughts on “the girl with eight names. // choosing my name and experiments in collage.

  • Wow I loved hearing about your story Nomi (I am used to calling you that now!). Thank you for sharing this with us and I am so glad that today, you finally can identify yourself with the name you were given – even though you had to make a little change. You're right, it's never too late to be what you might have been! Here's to 2018, filled with new inspiration and many more (creative) adventures ✨

  • So beautiful visually and in narrative. I loved all the animations. It's been a joy to see how your channel has evolved over the years, just like your names! Thanks for sharing this personal story and your creativity with us <3

  • I was looking for this video a few hours ago hahaπŸ™ˆ i knew It would be different as you said. But I love It. How you mix it all together. Digital art, videos and the story behind.
    I do have two names and as a kid i hate them. But now I feel it was mean to be. I like them.

  • ahhh what a beautiful video, thank you for sharing your story. the way you merge digital drawing with video is mesmerising and intriguing to watch, and I'm so glad you're finding purpose and meaning for your channel. πŸ€— I can imagine how frustrating it must've been to try and explain your name to people…πŸ˜“ couldn't help but laugh at 3:30 with the variations of "Emily", but I'm hoping the servers weren't very familiar with English and weren't just trying to be annoying? πŸ˜” also, I loved the ending of this video with the glowing lanterns and your cityscape drawing with your names! so pretty πŸ’žπŸ’ž can I ask what you'd prefer to be called now then? should I still call you Nomi? πŸ˜„πŸ’“

  • I'm sorry that you were bullied as a kid πŸ™ I think that's a great idea to focus on developing your channel's identity. Videoscapes inspired by art and travel sounds awesome, looking forward to seeing this focused new direction πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  • I'm completely astounded with how beautiful this video is. From the art, editing, and the story. Everything is just so mindblowingly good. Happy new year, Nomi (I can't seem to call you anything else haha) – I really am looking forward to seeing more beautiful work coming from you. <3

  • I have a lingering feeling of a Fable after watching and listenning to this video…. Aaaaannnnnd i love it! I don't know your channel, but i'm happy to be here for its new beginning because if it's follow what i just watched, oh my, i'm down for it!

    NB: love your creativity in your editing…. really awesome….

  • It feels like it has been a forever since I last talked to you! Way too long!<3 So lovely to see your videos again. I'm trying to catch up on YT to see what's going on with everyone nowadays while I figure out what my own channel is trying to be anymore. :') It's great to see you figuring out what kind of work you want to create and where you're heading with your channel. It gives me hope as I have personally never known what on earth I'm doing and what I want haha! My goal for the future is to worry less about the fact that "I don't know" and just try new things. -I'm absolutely loving your illustrations and the editing and the voiceover in this video! Everything works so well together; telling your story while being so nice to watch. It's clear how much work was put into this and the end result is stunning! You're doing such a great job, can't wait to see more. I'm excited for what you have planned for 2018. Happy New Year .xx

  • This is such a beautiful video! What a way to start the new year. Thank you for sharing, and I wish you and your loved ones all the best in the new year. May it be filled it joy and laughter πŸ™‚ <3

  • I can relate so much to this video!! My birth name is Chin Ping, but I hated it with a passion when I was younger. All of my friends had English names, and not everyone could spell, read or remember my name. When I was 7/8, I watched high school musical for the first time, and my friend decided to give me the English name Gabriella. Most of my friends still call me Chin Ping, but the internet and a few of the people who have trouble with my name know me as Gabi.

  • Omg this is sooOoooO beautiful! Like everything about it. From the art, writing and message <3 I would get a lot of anxiety about my name too, because people would constantly mispronounce it or spell it wrong. I can’t imagine it negatively impacting the way I felt about my culture though :/ I’m so happy you embraced it ^_^

  • This was absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen anyone with the same style of video as you – mixing your graphic design skills with classes filming.

    I keep telling people about your art, and every time they ask your name, I've honestly gotten stuck hahaha – this this video has answered a lot of my questions!

    Actually, I initially felt drawn to you because of the name Nomi. That is because it is a common nickname given to me! Many of my school-friends throughout the years have named me Nomi.

    Happy New Year! Here is to making new things!

  • Wowwwwwwwwwwwww, I'm speechless. I'm so inspired and in awe of your talent and hard work! I cannot imagine all the individual hours and maybe cups of coffee and hand breaks that you took during the process of this. This is incredible! I'm so surprised about your journey with your name. I just wrote Yasmina into my "baby names list" of names that I want to name my children, it sounds so beautiful. Fun fact, my real name is Eliz and not Elizabeth. It rooted from that name as I was born on Queen Elizabeth's public holiday birthday. It's awesome hearing other people's stories, especially visually through art direction. I hope this year you take your time and take off the pressure and struggles with art blocks, but allow your creative juices to flourish and to produce what you will be proud of. Keep it up!! 😍❀️

  • wow I can relate so much, especially with the name. Also the way this was edited was so cool! Thank you so much for sharing your personal story!

  • woaH i clicked on your channel from your comment on my video and im glad i did! the editing is amAZING!! im amazed!

  • NOMI!!!!! This video is AHHHMAZING. πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ’– I love that I got to learn even more about you in such an interesting way. Having gone through a few variations of usernames/personas and/or "versions" of who I can comfortably be in front of friends/family/online, I can totally relate to your story! Your editing just never cease to amaze me. The amount of effort you always put into your work is super inspiring.πŸ‘ŒπŸ»βœ¨ sorry I only just watched this.. Finally have some free time to catch up on videos and yours is the first one I had to watch!! We definitely have to skype date soon, babe! Love you!!

  • What an inspiring story, and beautiful illustrations! I’m glad you found peace and a solution with your name troubles. It can be hard having a different sounding name. Even now people mispronounce my name or spell it incorrectly, and I have an alias that I use when I order out. So I totally get the struggle. So excited to see everything that you’re gonna produce on this space Nomi, and happy new year!! ❀️

  • HOW AM I JUST DISCOVERING YOUR VIDEOS????????? aaahhh this is all wonderful content i can't wait to watch more of your vids!!! the way you edit puts everything together in such a soothing way when I watch it. I'm so in love!

  • ShinYi! This is one of the most well executed youtube videos I've ever seen. The design and animation added such a special touch! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Thanks for sharing your story!! I can't believe you stuck with the Starbucks name! I gave a fake name once & forgot to respond to my order. For the legal name change, did you have to format your IDs? Happy New Year!!

  • Omg, you never cease to surprise me. As you see my change, too, I finally embraced my real name for my radio career. I can very well relate to the Starbucks name. Remember my vlog, since which I started a Starbucks name of SUNSHINE, inspired from the Irish guy who called him so, at Starbucks.

  • I. ADORE. THIS! the narrative style mixed with the graphic design, color coordination, film skills! YOU are so talented! I loooooovvvvveee this so much oh my goodness!

  • you have no idea how much i ADORE THIS VIDEO;;; this is so amazing i wish i was eloquent enough to tell you HOW GOOD THIS IS ;; i am in complete awe with how this video was made;; Also, I love this story about you ;; I've lived in HK my entire life but I'm not Chinese and I have such an ethnic name so half the time teachers/locals can't pronounce it and they expect me to adopt an "english" name but really, i never understood why i //had// to ;; im 19 now and still with my very ethnic name and well accustomed to variations of which my name can be pronounced in

  • So, I wanted to tell you that I subscribed to your channel and really loved this video. ❀️ All of it! The idea of telling your story, your search for identity maybe, the difficulty to fit in a culture, in a place, the tricky thing that is finding our place, in a very interesting way. The style of the video is amazing!!!! I never watched a similar video before so I was very impressed by its originality (creativity forever!!! πŸ˜›πŸ˜ƒ).Β 
    I am sure it was a huge work for you but it was worth it. πŸ‘πŸ˜€ I was thinking… if you want your video to be found more easily, your work to stand out, maybe adding a few things in the title and in the tag (like "Chinese" or "Identity") could help?! This video definitely deserves more views! 😊 Keep the good work coming, see you soon! 😌

  • To be honest.. Shiny is such an adorable name for a human bean. Haha!
    Such a creative way of sharing us your history. I think it's cool that you decided to go with your original name in the end. I loved all your little illustrations and your voiceover too! Hope you're doing well!!!

  • I am so impressed by your editing! So unique and aesthetic. Thank you for taking us through your journey through this beautiful video. Can’t wait for more videos!

  • Very interesting
    Video and love your channel. Thank you for stopping by my channel.
    You’re beautiful. Let’s stay connected and support each other. I subscribed πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

  • i know this is my second comment in one night but i can't help it bc i am scrEAMING at your incredible content and creativity. This was wonderful, and it was super interesting hearing the stories behind your names. I'm seriously blown away by your editing talent. thank you for producing this art!! 🌟 x

  • The fact that this video only has 711 views is absurd. This is such a beautifully told, inspiring, and reflective video. Thank you for sharing your story and showcasing your creativity. Liked & subscribed, but appreciated it so much that I had to comment, too.

  • I saw one of your comments on Rowena Tsai's videos and I LOOKED AT YOUR THUMBNAILS AND HOLY SHIT THEYRE SO GOOD. This is inspiring me to working harder on my videos.

  • I love your story and your artwork is very Beautiful and unique!!!!πŸ˜πŸ€©πŸ˜ŽπŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ I hope one day my art work can be as amazing as yours!!!!

  • I just discovered your channel because you commented on Lavendaire's last video and this is soooooo cool, I'm really happy I clicked on your username. (And that I didn't keep my promise to myself to only watch one video and then go to bed.)

  • This was really well-done. I got a lot of inspo from this video and even some chills at the end haha. I loved it <3

  • My heart stopped when you said yasmina as my name is actually yasmin! Also i share the last part of your chinese name yi. I think in mandarin it is xin yi .

  • I have no words. This is absolutely amazing. The editing, the message, the art– UGH. You gained a new internet admirer in me, Shinyi ❀️

  • You are such an inspiring content creator. I love how meaningful your vids are. Ya'know, travelling as much as I can is my goal and I am looking for someone I can do that withπŸ˜‰πŸ¦‹

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