Have you become lazy when it comes to naming your art?
Are you stuck on Untitled or a lame numbering system for a series (Green Mountain #1, Green Mountain #2, etc.)?
It’s time for better titles for your art! Here are five reasons why.
1. Titles help you distinguish among numerous works.
Titled works are easier to find and to file in organizing systems. They’re also easier for you to talk about and refer people to. The more unique each title is, the better. If you have a series of numbers, you might forget how Green Mountain #1 is different from Green Mountain #5.
2. Titles make it easier for reviewers and critics to write about your art.
It’s difficult to write about untitled art because readers have to be clear about which artwork is being discussed. When faced with untitled art, the writer must spend hunks of text describing which untitled work she’s referring to.
3. Intriguing titles are cause for contemplation.
Untitled or loosely titled works allow the viewer more freedom to interpret, but most people need and want guidance. An interesting title might be enough for a viewer to stop, think, and look back at the art.
4. Titles look great in books.
Imagine all of the titled artwork in the index of a book about your art.
5. Search engines find titles.
If you Google “dumb campers,” the second item that comes up (after video results) is my About page. Do I have anything on ArtBizCoach.com about people who aren’t so savvy in the wilderness? Nope. But I do own a painting with that title, which appears in my online bio. Google found it.
[Caveat: You have to make sure the title appears with the art in order for this to work with search engines. This advice may seem obvious, but I find non-credited art on artists’ websites and blogs all of the time.]
FINAL WORD: There are no guidelines for titling your art. You can select any title you choose. Just remember that your work will have to live with the title for the rest of its life.
Are your titles working for you? Do they help people relate to your art? Do they at least cause viewers to stop and think, “Hmmm . . . I wonder what that means”?
Titles don’t have to say everything, but they should say something. Have fun with them!