Eyes in Tail

3 Thoughts on Naming Art

I believe that one of the most difficult things to do, as an artist is to name your own work.  Sometimes this takes more effort and creativity than the average viewer can imagine.  I’ve come up with a short list of the thinking process that goes into the naming of a picture.

  1. Meaning- An artist generally wants to name their work with a name that will be meaningful and provide a connection to the artist. In the business world this is marketing.  While the name Img5437.cr2 may make sense as the name the camera and computer gave to the image, to the normal viewer it is just random meaningless numbers.  Img5437.cr2  does not have any descriptive value.  You can’t really know that it is a picture of a buffet table loaded with all sorts of sensual treats with that name.
  2.  Story- Every picture tells a story.  Sometimes the story is dramatic and rather upfront.  Other times there is a hidden story meant to inspire or give an emotional response to the viewer.  A good name will give the viewer a greater connection between the art and the patron.  Artists find the name for a work of art that tells or hints at the story that the art meant to portray.
  3.  Language- You want a name easy to see, easy to spell, and easy to say. We live in the age where people do a great deal of shopping online.  An artist today has a potential for thousands and even millions of people to see their work by placing copies of it online.  Over 48 countries visit this online blog.  I’m happy to say that one of my pictures hangs in a condo in Seoul, South Korea.  So, I want to pick names for my work that is not difficult and identifies what the viewer is seeing regardless of what culture or country they live in.
Feathers Falling
Feathers Falling


As you can see, the naming of a work of art is rather a daunting task.  You want creativity, but not crazy, be pronounceable but not without meaning, and be cross cultural and memorable while still telling it’s story.

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