People who know me and who know my name, have begun to ask me why I sign my work MB, when my initials are MA. I thought this would be a good topic for a first blog.
There are two answers to this, though i've not decided which one is true.
The first is that my name is Matt(hew) Benjamin Anderson. My father's name is Martin Benjamin Anderson. Our middle names are both based on our great grandfathers' name (Benjamin). This meant that both of our initials were MBA, and people tend to write to MB Anderson. For a while I did think about getting an MBA (masters of business administration) so that I could create a business card that just said "MBA, MBA", but that seemed like a lot of time, effort and money for a lousy pun that would probably guarantee a first impression that I was an absolute berk. In my household, letters would often arrive for MB Anderson, so my dad and I would always open each others mail. Bank statements, credit cards, speeding fine notifications etc. It means my dad always knew exactly how much of my student loan his son wasted on toys, booze and kebabs when his son should have been more mature and focusing on his studies. So, a part of me wanted to create a slight differentiation to help avoid any further confusion. Ironically it caused more confusion as it wasn't my name; even though no-one is confused by the fact that Jay-Z isn't his birth name (NB, his birth name is actually Jay-Y; his father was called Jay-Y too and they used to get their mail mixed up)
The second reason is that when I first started signing my paintings, I tried my actual signature, which ended up an incoherent mess (think of a drunk doctor drawing a map of Cyprus while sat on a washing machine). So I decided to do my initials, MBA. For some reason, I found it really hard to paint an A. M was ok, B was normally fine, but I would finish these detailed paintings and then find I just couldn't get the A right, and this happened on numerous pictures, even if i'd painted an A somewhere else in the painting perfectly competently. So I dropped it and just went with MB.
There you go. 2 reasons, both stupid. I think the second one is actually more the reason.