The easiest way to do it is to have a native speaker help you look up the phonetic sounds that make up your name (either first or last, I don't think it matters since you will most likely have a unique name) or pick one or two characters that you like that work well together.
I'm not positive exactly what I will do for my hanko if I return to Japan but I did have a fun experience in my Japanese calligraphy class during which the teacher helped me pick out a kanji character to represent my name so I could sign my projects. My name is Kristi which is spelled ku-ri-su-te-i クリステイin Japanese but I go by Ke– ケー (pronounced Kay in English). I took on this nickname because in my Japanese classes both my husband and I have the same last name so he was called B– and I was called K–. Anyway, the teacher found that the character 恵 megumi (which means blessing) can also be pronounced Ke like my nickname.
|My teacher's example of how my kanji character can be written. |
The first character is essentially the Japanese version of cursive.
I'm still trying to decide if I want to stick with just the one character (I can buy pre-made stamps with that character on it easily) or if I want to do something else, maybe with a second character that both my husband and I have? I love the idea of having control over my own name and how it is represented, it isn't often that a person has an opportunity like that so I'm going to make the most of it.