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Art Marketing: What's in a Title?

© 2007, Artist Career Training

The ability to name things is a wonderfully creative act.

Naming your art work is more than an afterthought.
(In fact, some artists begin with a title in mind.)
A title is an added vehicle to communicate with your audience.

The right name can bring out the full essence of your artistic voice. The right words can guide the viewer's search for personal meaning in your art. The right title reaches beyond the visual realms and into the viewer's emotions.

According to collage artist and creativity coach, Sarah Kahn, "A powerful piece can certainly stand alone, title-less. To some people, 'Untitled #99' is far from captivating. For others, even 'Untitled' is an invitation into the artist's internal world."

Titling your work, your shows and your media announcements is every bit as important as making your art to your highest standards.

If a title doesn't knock you on the head and say "hello!" then there's a limit to what happens next. But when the title is well-suited for the piece, all kinds of wonderful magic can occur.

With the knowledge and support you get from Artist Career Training
you'll save time, effort and money.  We gather all the information you
need to market your art and build your art career so that you can make
money and get back to doing what you love - making more art.

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Reader Comments (8)

There is a broken link in the newsletter version of this article.
October 4, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
re:Titling - I name my paintings with what I am thinking about the subjects during the painting process. It is easy, but maybe I need to contemplate more before deciding on the title. I will give it a try with the next painting and see if I can come up something or decide I prefer to continue the current method. Updates on my progress forthcoming.
October 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Barnett
Hi Aletta, came across your site and saw this article and having just published "Create Effective Titles" - - thought you and your readers may find this of use.
October 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJoel Falconer
It is wonderful to title one's work based on the thoughts that are in your mind as you are engaged in your art process. This is then highlighted beautifully if you have the chance to TELL a potential buyer about this- it studs your piece with meaning for the buyer.
I think this is contemplation enough. If you are curious though about constructing your title from a different "route", make it an exercise in loosening-up your model of titling.
I appreciate your response!

Sarah Kahn.
October 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Kahn
I really appreciated you sending the title article along on the Artist Career Training Blog!
It is a well-researched and conceptualized piece. I am aware however that titling ahead of time (as you talk about favorably) is not always possible for the visual artist. It is often (though not always) the PROCESS of the piece which calls up for the artist a "catchy" or appropo title.
Sarah Kahn
October 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Kahn
Sarah Kahn: Thanks for the encouragement on titling my work. I think I will stick with my present method of titling, BUT . . . I like your idea of relating this to the buyer.
I could do this in my thank you letter if I am not the person making the sale.
November 3, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia
I've often wondered about this titling thing. Quite frankly, right or wrong, I've always felt that the lack of a title was because the artist was too lazy to carry the creative process to the next step or that they just weren't connected to their work.

Now, I know that, in most cases, this probably isn't true, but if I think that, what does the average viewer think? I want to communicate with the viewer in every way I can and I think a title does that.
November 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBruce K. Haley, Jr.
December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJack W. Phillips

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