Studio Visit Book Vol. 1

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How to decide your artwork’s title

Artwork by Stephanie Danforth

Whenever we look at an artwork, we appreciate the artist’s attention to detail, and their choices, and ponder on why or how they came to choose that particular subject matter for their art. I, for once, am always intrigued by the name of an artwork. As your eyes slide over an artwork’s title, have you ever thought how long it took for the artist to come up with it?

For artists, the work begins the moment they conceive an idea, and it goes on until they are satisfied with their creation. A lot of time and effort goes into each and every piece of art. From choosing the right strokes to deciding on the colors to finally being able to say ‘This is it’, an artist goes through a lot of emotions during the entire process. However, a very crucial part of creating any artwork is deciding a name for it.

This time, for our weekly community article, we are back with another very interesting topic of discussion: deciding the title of an artwork. On our Instagram page, @artstoheartsproject, we asked our followers about naming their artworks. How do they do it? Is it before they start painting when they choose a name? Or do they come up with a name afterward? Our followers came up with the most elaborate responses, where they expressed their process and how they were able to do it.

Artwork's title

So, let’s look at these comments and see what our artists’ community had to share!

Deciding on an artwork’s title before

Not many people seem to have a title in mind before they start a painting, and that’s understandable. However, there are some artists who feel confident enough in their ideas and titles that they do the deed before they even start. We are truly in awe of their talent!

Deciding on an artwork’s title after

A lot of artists talked about choosing a title after finishing up. They mention how the painting can often ‘speak’ to them.

Artwork's title

When you wait for the painting to finish, you are allowing yourself the space where you are letting your creation dictate its mood, and there is nothing wrong with it. The final product is often like the one that you initially begin to work on, and deciding on a name for your artwork after it’s done seems like a natural process for many!

Some artists even talk about waiting a few days before deciding their artwork’s title, and that is also completely fine! @millerhouse_art shares a fun idea of celebrating with her favorite music and waiting for the idea to come to her, and honestly, we love that!

Deciding on an artwork’s title while creating it

Some artists like @michelleheslop and @j.hintzy are able to choose their artwork’s title during the painting process. For these artists, a title can pop up in their mind as they are creating their masterpiece, and that is what works for them!

For some, it varies

For most of our followers, choosing an artwork’s title varies. Sometimes they are able to come up with a name before they begin working and sometimes it pops up after they have finished. It all depends on the artwork. Other times, the title keeps changing through the process until the artist feels satisfied with it.

@saravossart shares her very interesting process, where she has a notebook full of names, and either she picks up a title from there or writes on the edge of her canvas as she works.

This is such a brilliant idea for other artists who find it hard to name their paintings. It’s okay if you cannot come up with a name even after getting the painting done, so what you can do is jot down each and every idea/name that comes to you, even if you don’t know what to do with it at the time. Chances are that they will soon come in handy!

It’s indeed a challenging task!

@kellyjeanartwork may not be the only artist who finds naming their painting a tough task, and that’s okay too. As artists, we all need to lift each other up, validate other artists’ struggles, and let them know that they are not alone in it. We would like to tell @kellyjeanartwork that contrary to what she thinks, naming a painting is hard, and it’s not uncanny for her to dislike this particular part about creating an artwork. What matters is that one keeps going despite the challenges!

Choosing your artwork’s title is not an easy task, and you should do what feels right to you. In the end, we would like to remind every artist out there, that there is no right way to do something. What truly matters is that what works out for you. All the responses we have shared in this piece are for our community of artists, so they feel seen and can relate to others. We hope that in addition to that, you were also able to find some innovative ideas on how to choose your title for your next artwork!

You can always read more articles where our ATH community comes together to engage with each other!

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