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“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet,” writes William Shakespeare in his tragic romance Romeo & Juliet.
What is in a name? That which we wish to convey; this can be applied directly to art, as artists want the title of their artworks to convey a message relating to their artworks as a whole, especially if they wish to engage art lovers and potential buyers in the arts community.
What inspired you to create the artwork?
Is it a landscape painting based on a real place? What drew you there? What season is depicted in your artwork?
Is it a portrait of someone real or imaginary? Why did you choose them?
Does another work of art inspire it? A piece of literature? A song? A religious or spiritual passage?
Did any events occur that triggered you to create the art piece?
Think of what you created and why; do you want to convey a particular message to the arts community with your artwork?
What did you feel when creating your artwork?
Is it a landscape painting depicting a storm, full of anger and sadness, or a calm, peaceful day?
If it’s a portrait, what is the expression of the model? Is there one at all?
If it’s an abstract painting, what emotions do the colours bring? Did you choose those colours intentionally?
What emotions do you want the arts community to feel when they see your work?
Colours & Shapes
Is the painting a study of a certain object or still life?
Were you testing out a new colour or colour palette?
If it’s an abstract painting, are there certain colours or shapes that stand out?
Think of why you chose that colour palette, or why you painted that shape; do they have meaning? What do they represent?
If they are creating a series of paintings under the same theme or style, some artists choose to number their artworks in order to group them together.
If the paintings are showcased together, this can be appealing to art lovers, who may then wish to purchase multiple pieces.
If you are still undecided, there is always the option of leaving your artwork untitled.
This can create a feeling of mystery regarding your artwork, especially if it’s an abstract painting, which may be something you wish to do to increase the appeal to art lovers and potential buyers.
All in all, the naming of your artwork should be what you want it to be, and should best resemble what you feel your painting represents. Have fun with it!