I'm Molly Wu and I am an artist, designer, and foodie. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and I attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Since my name is somewhat uncommon, especially because my first name is Irish and last name is distinctly chinese, it is generally easy to discover some of my content with a quick query of my name. Since I was a high schooler, my most significant online presence has been my art. I ran a successful online shop selling meme-related stickers. Over the years, I've had several art accounts on various platforms to sell, share, and promote my work. My art is the easiest thing to find about me online, but it is not the only thing I am. These projects are my passions, but it is not my career and it is not my personal life.
When adding my name to a quick google search, my art instagram account appears as the second result. I have no paid promotions on this account. Here, I post some of my most recent artworks, and other updates about my career in art and design. The fourth search result shows 90+ Linkedin profiles related to the name, Molly Wu. When one searches through these first 90 results, my profile does not show up. The sixth search result for Molly Wu on facebook shows my personal account, which I’ve had for ten years. My account is private, so others can see my profile photo and the schools I've attended.
The 7th search result on google, is a page where the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design posted my work as a part of their recent exhibition in the Stamps Gallery.
Towards the end of the first page of google search results, is my github repository, featuring 6 homework assignments for a class I took in the fall of 2020.
On the second and third page, is another somewhat inactive art account I have on fineart america.
When searching for “molly wu art”, almost all the search results are about me, including all the top related images. My personal instagram also appears as a top result. Results for “Molly wu design” bring my art instagram and my portfolio website as the first 2 results. Searching for “molly wu michigan” showed results that were also mostly mine. My personal instagram and facebook were a top result in addition to a michigan related instagram post on my art account, and my exhibition information at the university of michigan stamps gallery. Beyond the common results of my social and art profiles, the michigan query brought up my old address in Ann Arbor, where I am registered to vote. I clicked on this page and discovered that my age, birthday, and address from 2019 were displayed on the michigan residents database. I have since changed my address twice, in order to receive my voter information at my new mail address, but this has not been updated in this particular database. Since I am a California resident who has only been living in Michigan for the last three and a half years, I also searched my name with california. This brought my personal instagram account and personal facebook, but none of my professional identity.
My Most Common Search Results
I made this account to share my work with friends and connect with other artists. I have around 500 followers and post somewhat regularly. The account is about 3 years old, but I have grown it significantly in the last year. In July, I shared a series I created about colorism and fetishization. I shared this on facebook and it went viral among an asian american facebook group. Because of this post, I gained many followers that created more activity in my art instagram. Every now and then, I’ll create a design or artwork that gets shared across social media and attracts more followers to my account. Most of my following is made up of my peers, friends, and other young adults who appreciate my style.
Stamps Exhibition: This page contains a short description of my artwork about colorism and fetishization and an image of the art itself. There are no additional links or details about myself on this page.
Personal Facebook: My private facebook account is only accessible to those who are friends with me. Others can see the schools I’ve attended and my profile picture. Ive had this account for ten years.
Portfolio Website: My portfolio website contains all my professional design projects, a biography about myself, my linkedin and my resume.
This is an art account I created to passively sell my art when I was in high school. I have not checked on this account in years, and I do not make any sales.
@mollyyywu Private Instagram: My private instagram account reveals my personal aesthetic style, my political views, and who my close friends are. This information is not publicly available.
Other accounts I use that didn't show up as much
RedBubble Shop: Where I sell most of my artwork online. I update it regularly and have made over 3,000 sales. I was surprised to discover that this site was not very high up in my search results.
Linkedin Profile: Where my professional information and profile is.
Twitter: I have a personal Twitter account that is public and I do not use it often.
In all of my queries related to my name, my most prominent identity online is my artist identity. I perceive my artist identity as something separate from my personal life and my professional life. While I do use my art in professional settings, such as commissioned work or online marketplace activity, I have other digital profiles that are more centered around my professional career. Since my art identity lies somewhere in between my public professional identity and my social identity, I allow myself to be candid and authentic, but I do not overshare personal details. This makes this identity of mine the most popular search result when looking for my data. Since I have more activity on my art instagram than my professional linkedin profile, my art is therefore easier to find.
My identity outside of the digital world:
My identities can be organized into three categories: my personal social identity, my art identity, and my professional design identity. My social identity includes who I am to my friends and family. I have a private instagram account, with 1,000 followers, where I share content about my social life to those who follow me. My personal facebook account is also a private space for me to share with my friends and family. I do not use facebook as much as I use my private instagram. Although I've had both accounts for about a decade, my facebook, which I use much less, appears in a media search, whereas my personal instagram doesn't appear unless one searches with additional words. I use my personal instagram and facebook the most out of any of my online profiles, to share experiences with friends and consume social media content. My private account details much more of my identity aside from my career.
Overall, my public data identity is more or less accurate to my authentic identity. My art and professional profile is more public than my private social profiles, which is my intention. The information about my art and professional identity is accurate. The only part of my online identity that was inaccurate was an out of date address from my house two year ago for my voting registration.
Among the most popular search results in my name are my art instagram, my personal instagram, my personal facebook, my portfolio website, and my linkedin profile. Ideally, my most publicly available identity would be my professional identity so I can be discovered by recruiters. This would include my linkedin profile and portfolio website. My art instagram, while related to my professional career, is more of a supplemental page in my professional identity. If a recruiter were looking for me, searching for my name and the word design would yield my professional portfolio.
I run my art instagram and shops with the intention to share it publicly. I would hope that my shops and instagram would be easily discoverable by potential patrons. My RedBubble shop, which is where I sell most of my art, is currently not very discoverable when searching for my name, but my art instagram, which is very easy to find, is linked to my shop. Since these accounts are so public, it makes sense that they are easiest to discover. I am glad that my art accounts are easier to find than my personal accounts, since I would prefer the world to see my artwork instead of my social photos. I am glad that my art identity is more popular, but I wish my professional identity was also convenient to discover to recruiters. Since I am a job-seeking college graduate, I would hope any professional recruiters would be able to see my professional identity. While my art identity isn't quite the same as my professional identity, it is still a formal part of my identity that authentically represents me. My art identity is still valuable information that I want recruiters and the world to discover about me. Thus, my most popular and most unique online identity, my artist identity, is one I am proud to share with the world.