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Should an Artist Title Their Artworks?

Should an Artist Title Their Artworks? post image

Every month we receive many “untitled” artworks for our online art competitions.  Because of this, we suggest that artists title all of their artworks.  As a judge, a title provides me with a better understanding of what the artist wanted me to see and feel. 

When an artist titles their artwork, their title also helps the viewer distinguish that particular piece of art from all other pieces of artwork.

There are additional reasons for titling an artwork.  Here are a few of them;

  1. A title provides an art judge or an art jury with a deeper insight into that piece of art. This also holds true for galleries and art buyers.
  2. A title guides and provides a hint to the viewer about what the artist was thinking when the work was created. An untitled piece leaves the viewer with only their own interpretation (which may be totally wrong).
  3. A title will help your art to be discovered when someone searches online for art. For SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, you should also have a description of the art since search engines cannot “see” the art. They only recognize descriptive words.

Here are a few helpful tips when titling your art;

  1. If you cannot come up with a title for a certain piece of art, have a friend or family member help you to decide. They will look at the art differently than you, its creator.  They can  provide you with ideas and help to stimulate your imagination for naming your art.
  2. For cataloguing and sales purposes (unless it is numbered as part of an edition), when titling a piece of art remember that it is a “forever” name and it should not be changed for the purposes stated above. Buyers of art want to know that this art is unique and a distinctive title for each piece will help confirm that.
  3. If you are not sure about the title, look for inspiration in titles from songs, poems, famous artists, colors etc.
  4. Keep your titles short and to the point. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms.
  5. Finally, if none of these ideas help you create a title, try an online title generator to get ideas about the title for your art. They ask for key words (describing the art) and then provide you with possible combinations of titles. Search the term Online Title Generator to find these sites.

Some artists title their art after the piece is completed and others title their art prior to creating it.  In the end, it really does not matter.  Have fun with this procedure on your own or try involving family, friends or other artists in the title making process. 

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