Giving Your Artwork a Creative Title

Growing Old Together

Growing Old Together

Do you stress out over giving your artwork a creative title?  I guess I never really gave it a lot of thought until today. But, today I read an article in an art magazine discussing this subject.  I was surprised to find that there is a patent pending invention to help you title your artwork.  “Oh Brother!” was my first response.  I mean no disrespect. I am not making fun of the invention, but come on!!  How hard is it to title your work?

Okay, I realize that giving your artwork a title can sometimes be a challenge.  Sometimes it takes a lot of thought to come up with just the right name.  But, sometimes the title jumps out at you and is a no-brainer.  I usually don’t worry about titling my work unless it is going to be in an art show or exhibit.

When I taught art and hosted a school art show I did require my students to title their work.   To read more about school art shows, click here.  Each year I had one or two students that absolutely could not come up with a name for their work. They spent class time in excruciating suffering trying to come up with just the right title.

Some of those students could not come up with anything. They asked me to label their work, “Untitled”.  I hated that. To me it seemed sad to see artwork without a name.  If you can take the time to draw, paint or sculpt artwork, it seems that you can take the time to name your work.

I tried to help give those students ideas. We spent class time brainstorming, speaking any title that came to mind.  No idea was considered stupid.  Sometimes I allowed the class to get involved.  It became a game.

The patent pending invention is actually two spinners with titles on them. You combine the names the spinners land on  to come up with your title.

So, do you really need a spinner to title your work?  I think not.  Make naming your work a joyful experience by doing a few of the following:

  • First of all try not to stress out over the process.
  • Get other people to help you with their input.
  • Place the work to be titled in a spot you walk past during the day and forget about it. Usually when you are doing something else, a title will come to mind.  Take a shower.  Go for a walk.  Wash the dog.  Taking a break will often inspire the most creative titles.
  • Make a list of possibilities.
  • Remember if your work is a landscape, use the place in the title such as Near the Pecos.
  • If the work is a figure painting by all means use the models name.
  • If the artwork evokes an emotion, describe the feeling in the title such as Growing Old Together.
  • Use a Color or describe a texture in your title.
  • Don’t expect a title to come to you immediately. Be patient.

How do you give your artwork a creative title?  I would love to hear some tips from my readers. Talk to you soon.

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2 Responses to Giving Your Artwork a Creative Title

  1. Lara says:

    I am not an artist; however, I do have to title my articles. I usually try to be creative and not just state the main idea. My favorite titles are “Having a Berry Good Time” and “The New Kids on the Block.” The former was about picking berries and the latter was about the birth of our goat kids. They are not perfect titles, but I think they create interest.
    .-= Lara´s last blog ..Lacto-Fermented Goodness =-.

  2. Pingback: Un-Titled Ocarina « "M" is for MugPhlute - Ceramic Musical Instruments - MugPhlutes - Ocarinas - Whistles

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