Don’t waste another naming opportunity!
It’s been a busy start to the year, nevertheless, I did manage to start and sell a couple of paintings. I also dusted off my old graphic design skills to finally get my ‘self designed’ business cards and stickers printed.
Anyway, so I guess it’s about time for my second blog. I thought I would build upon my first post and share my thoughts about naming artwork and so, Don’t waste another naming opportunity!
What is a name?
In a profound and philosophical sense, I often stop to think why something or someone ends up with a certain name. From inanimate objects to joyful parents naming their newborn DNA output.
For me, the title of If Six Was Nine by The Jimi Hendrix Experience; off their second album Axis: Bold as Love (1967), sums this thought up.
Simply put a name is a term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is called its referent. A personal name identifies, not necessarily uniquely, a specific individual human.
Reasons for naming Art, or FFS why did you name it that?
I’ve sometimes looked at an artwork, and felt that the experience obtained from visuals alone doesn’t move me as much as the title does. The naming or concept of a piece of artwork can be just as important as the visuals.
Make a statement
Although advertising uses psychological techniques in various ways, like appealing to your admiration of celebrities, or tactically through emotional appeal, convincing you that products can change your emotions or life. Or attempting to interest you in the exclusivity of owning a product or service directly from Ren Creative Works, for instance.
Equally artwork can imply important thought provoking messages, but with a purer soul, intent and purpose, or at least make you feel.
My online journey so far has taught me the importance of naming conventions, in the context of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Image Optimisation for SEO not only deals with reducing file sizes, but also naming. An image uploaded to the ‘interweb’ as untitled.img is going to be quickly lost out there, anyway I have lots to learn in terms of best practices.
How to title artwork?
So here’s a few starting points to help provide context to when you view or come to name an artwork?
- Factual: Maybe the artwork is a representation of a historical event, political/socio-economic commentary or documenting something purely because it is what it is.
- Abstract: Intellectual, or perhaps just from the deep subconscious or mood of the Artist at a given time.
- Numerical: Common with limited edition prints or a series of artworks. ‘A still life of ten  red roses’, or the binary version, ‘A bunch of zero’s [0’s] and one’s [1’s]’.
- Mysterious: Enigmatic – difficult to interpret or understand or FFS why did you name it that?
- Sentimental: Prompted by feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia. A reliance on feelings as a guide to truth, reliance on shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense of reason. (Ye soppy auld pup ya!)
As I discussed in my first blog, an artwork may aid to initiate conversation with either friends or strangers, or at the very least the name of an artwork might prompt you to think.
Avoid cliché, unless used for irony, but will the audience understand the irony? For example: ‘A marriage counsellor files for divorce – No. 1’, perhaps…
Be appropriate to the scale and spirit of the piece, and avoid being pretentious by attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.
Give your viewer information without stating the obvious. Make them think at least, and if the title is expansive then there is room for the viewer to have their own interpretation. Whatever you do, if you have to state the obvious to identify the piece try not to make it boring!
A shorter title is generally better. Unless you’re from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch of course.
Let the art do the talking, and be receptive to the fact, that there is always the distinct possibility that apathetically, no-one actually gives a shit what it’s called.
If Six Was Nine!
Maybe you have an idea in mind, that Ren Creative Works will be able to apply creative skill and imagination too. Once complete, you can trust me not to waste another naming opportunity!
I invite you to follow my blog and contact me with any comments, thoughts or suggestions.