I've not really thought too much about my trading name from an outside perspective. For me it just sort of happened and made sense. Bamboo Bandit had been my online alias for years before I started sharing my art- back in the days of MSN messenger and internet chat rooms. I have been asked quite a few times about where the name came from, so now I share with you the origin of the Bamboo Bandit.
I feel I have a lot in common with the Giant Panda. They don't really like people, eat the wrong food, have a reluctance to breed, prefer to be solitary and can be a bit clumsy. Despite the fact they appear to be a bit of an evolutionary dead-end, pandas just keep plodding on. I feel like I am quite well practiced in the art of plodding on.
I'd had a silly idea at school, for a panda character that was angry at humans for the stupid, destructive things they do and was out for revenge; a sort of eco-vigilante who just happened to be a panda. I think I might have drawn it at some point. When I started sharing some of my art online I didn't feel I wanted to do so under my own name. So as a little nod to my innate pandaness I started using the Bamboo Bandit name.
For New Year celebrations in 2009 I was invited to a heroes and villains themed party. A few of us thought it would be fun to invent new characters and I decided to unleash the Bamboo Bandit on the world! I've appeared as a panda at several festivals since then and I continued sharing art using my alias.
When I decided to make art my business a few months ago, it just made sense to me to keep the name. I think it's a bit more memorable than my actual name and it does get people talking. I do feel like perhaps I should draw more pandas- I have had a few people asking for them now. I think maybe they get lured in by the name and my panda labels! Muahaha!