The Art of Artwork Titles


The Art of Artwork Titles


art titles, coming up with art titles, art title ideas, art title list, Mark Taylor,
The Art of Artwork Titles

Each week, I write a brand new article for members of our four wonderful groups on Facebook, The Artists Exchange, The Artists Directory, The Artist Hangout, and the Artists Lounge. This week we take a look at the power of the artwork title and ask if there is any magical formula to crafting killer titles that sell art. I have also included more than 400-titles in a list that has been created over many years and which might come in really handy the next time you need to upload a piece of art online and realise you still haven’t given it a title!

Titles are changing…

There are so many markets within the art world, print on demand, art collectables, Giclee’s, Limited Editions, printing on other mediums, the list is endless but each of those niches has their own markets. For the majority of working artists today, getting work displayed in a gallery in the traditional sense is just one of the many ways that art can be sold.

The traditional art markets for hundreds of years have been markets where artists have titled artworks in a way that made perfect sense, but then the internet came along and people started to do things differently. Suddenly the once niche markets started to become less niche and today we are just as likely to find the next Matisse lurking somewhere on Insta or any of other social media platforms. The way we consume art has changed, now we follow hashtags, trends and brands, and it is easier than it ever has been to publish a work and start to get it seen more quickly than we ever could before. What a time to be alive, and to be an artist.

But with these changes, there are some things that seem to not have the focus on them that they once had. The way we publish online has changed significantly over the past few years and today it is all about things like ROI and CPC, and SEO. Alien sounding acronyms for some, for others these acronyms are just the way the world now works. These changes have changed the way we look at things, buy things, and how we see things and I do wonder if what we thought of as once being the traditional art market is now very much the niche that the other markets once were.

I have started to notice probably more so over the past eighteen months that the way art is presented online has begun to change too. I’m not talking about mediums or artistic styles although those have gone through phases of change as they constantly do, even things like the titles that we give to our artworks have gone through similar changes. Everything is still the same, an artist creates the art and then the artist hopefully sells the art, but the huge swathe of work that has to happen in the middle is just so very different now, as are the channels that we buy art from.  

The downside of being an artist…

There really isn’t anything I very much dislike about being an artist. I get to create art and sometimes I even manage to sell it and I still get the very same buzz from a sale that I did when I first started out, in fact, I get a bigger buzz now than I did back then. I get to meet really interesting people, and just occasionally and by that I mean not very often, I get wheeled out to arty events where my evening might be spent sipping Prosecco and talking about art. It sounds like the magical image that non-artists associate with artists all of the time.

Sorry for bursting that romantic bubble though folks, there are some albeit only a very few aspects of the business of art that equally drive me insane. Firstly, I don’t really like Prosecco and I have never seen the point in canapes. They are just half edible calories that serve no dietary purpose, bring me the main course instead and stop with the teasing. But canapes and Prosecco are at least, for the most part, social experiences.

There is something beyond this that makes life as an artist more challenging. Now, this might surprise some people but because I write at least one article a week for this website you might be forgiven for thinking that I don’t mind writing at all. I don’t usually, but there are certain things that I am just not very good at when it comes to writing. Because I am an artist first and not some poet laureate, my typing skills are simply skills of necessity. Hey, I’m not even keen on typing text messages on my phone.

There are times when what I need to write is essential but at the same time, having to write certain things brings with it a sense of dread. I don’t like writing grant applications for art funding and despite cutting off my nose to spite my face I gave up on that whole, get a grant idea years ago. I’m so not into singing the praises of me or writing down what I think people judging these things will want to hear. I am the complete opposite of how and what an artist needs to be to make the really big-time via grants because I am my own worst critic and I fall to pieces when it comes to writing down my own glowing reference.  Case in point, I was once asked on one of these grant forms where I would like to be in five years and the answer I wrote down was simply, “still alive.” Ask me to write your grant application though and I can do that all day.

On my last application, I would have loved to have been able to write down something along the lines of I wanted a solo exhibition in Tate or that my work would be at Basel when they asked what’s my plan, but neither of those is really me and although that might sound like I lack ambition, I am a realist. I wouldn’t mind both of those things happening, I love both Tate and Basel, but I know that my work is better suited in other places and those are not places where I can reach my market.

But even filling in grant applications are nowhere close to some of the other quite important things that artists have to do every time they create a new piece of art especially when those things are documenting your work and coming up with a title. To be fair, I have gotten to be much better at documenting my work. Everything I produce is now carefully written up, the mediums used, size, subject, file sizes for digital art, who buys it, where from and when, and I can tell you at any time when I published work and where it was published or exhibited. I am really proud that it only took me a couple of decades to get as good as I am at doing this documenting thing. 

Documenting your art is vital, it really helps you to set the direction of travel for the future and it significantly helps you to justify whatever you charge. In fact, I think I might even have started to over-document everything more recently and I wrote an entire article about it not too long ago which you can read right here. My thinking is that you can never have enough evidence and provenance and especially when it comes to marketing and selling online.

Documentation aside, that still leaves the task of coming up with a title and that along with writing a description are the things I really struggle with. When you create art you spend hours, months, or in some cases even years on a single piece of work yet more often than not the title is the very last thing we think of, although sometimes it is also the first thing we think of and by the time we have finished painting, the title needs to change.

For my work, I take inspiration from many sources. Maybe a walk in the countryside, watching the news, visiting a gallery, and sometimes I can become inspired by just being alone and shutting my eyes and allowing my mind to wonder. That bit’s not very hard to do especially as I grow older. But coming up with a title, well, my mind just draws a blank no matter how inspired I am.

Live colourfully, Mark Taylor, Beechhouse Media, art advice,
Live Colourfully

So the inevitable happens and about a couple of hours before I am ready to show my work to the world I find myself scrabbling around for words that will describe what I have created. I know just how important these words need to be and the last thing I want to do is title a work untitled, because to me that sounds very much like the phrase, “I don’t really care.”

Titles are a personal thing and not every artist feels the same way about them. Jackson Pollock transitioned from titles to numbers so that the viewer could determine what the art meant to them, so there is a healthy precedent to leave a title out of the mix altogether. For some works, leaving them untitled might even have a better fit. But for me, the title just seems so important and more so when you market your work online.

First, we need to consider that everyone searches for things that they are looking for in many different ways. Some people will want a red painting with white dots and will probably use that as the search term to find it. Others might want to find hand-painted vases with blue hues, but others might be searching for untitled #101 and that’s a real problem because there is a real disconnect between what you are searching for and what the search engines can see. When I carried out a search for untitled #101, more than 647,000 results came back on Google, when I searched for just ‘untitled’ about 503-million results came back. Now you are probably getting a sense of why that could be an issue.

The title can be a personal reminder for me of the entire process behind any particular painting, or it could remind me of the place I was in at the time. It can remind me of whether or not I have created similar works before, and that might sound strange but over the past thirty-something years you would be staggered at how many times I have started painting away and suddenly realised that I have painted this exact same picture before. But a title also helps buyers to pick out an artwork sometimes even before they have seen it, and this is why selecting a title that resonates with the audience becomes really important.

Create a new series and it’s safe to say that giving each work in that series a different title will help with the marketing and it might just make more sense to the viewer. The series needs a title too and that is especially difficult because it needs to embody every single work within it. Titles can help to begin the story that the art conveys, they are like the “once upon a time” kind of introduction that encourages the viewer to want to find out what the rest of the story is about. 

Titles are like the first ten minutes of a Hollywood blockbuster, the time when you start to ponder whether or not the ticket price was worth it.

Titles do a lot more than making the introduction, they are used in the marketing or it could be that the title references some historical event and can be used to date the work. Paint a scene from one of the World Wars and if you were to leave it without a title it could be almost any war. Titles link the subject and let people know what to expect, or they can start to get people thinking more about what the art means. Titles are in themselves, the metadata that can tell us so many different things.

Titles are also useful when you exhibit and especially when it is a juried show. They can save confusion for you and the event organisers and also for buyers too. Titles can help you to describe your art, something which becomes vital when you are marketing and selling the work online. Buyers need to know exactly what they are buying and if you have works all with the title of untitled, buyers and viewers can become confused with the process and order the wrong one or even worse, move on without placing an order.

Online, titles become even more crucial. Search engines work better when they also have a wordy context to help them. The description of the art will add to the overall context, and the title is a reference point with which the search engines are able to determine better what you might be looking for. Search engines will scan titles as they do with any other text and they will be picking up keywords from the artist's description, both massively important factors when you want to get your work seen online.

Some titles will be seen as more relevant by the search engines and there is some merit in carrying out research around search engine optimisation before you fully commit to a title. Think of any title, Google it, and see what comes back in the search results, or use something like Google keyword planner and see how much competition a title already has as a search term, and then do this with the artist's description too. It is worth remembering that anything written online about the art whether it is a description or anything else is an opportunity to optimise the artworks reach by using carefully selected words and descriptions.  The title and description can surprisingly make or break how visible a work becomes online, although the issue is lessened if you are already a household name.

Yet this kind of research is something that we forget to do and if we do, we might leave it to the last minute and not give either the title or the description the focus or the time they really need. Instead, we think of something that sounds perfect for what we have in our minds or maybe something that will do depending on the time we have available, but the moment you upload the work with whatever title, you might find out that the same title has already been used millions of times before and then your work will be lost amongst everything else that carries that same title but has much better overall SEO and becomes inevitably more popular.

Search engines are all about relevancy, so getting to grips with how things like SEO work can propel work sometimes even more than the creative ability of the artist. Often, results are displayed based on the uploader’s ability to comprehend SEO and the quality of their written copy. Search engines are smart, but they have a lot of content and websites to deal with so they don’t always get it right. The more you can do to make sure that the search engines see your work as being relevant to the searcher, the better.  Your sole job at the point of upload is to make a search engines life easier.

A good title can create interest in work even before someone sees it. Whenever I visit a show I will always look through the catalogue before making my way to any piece of work. If a title or an artist’s name stands out then I am more likely to head across to that piece first. Like I said earlier, titles really are the “once upon a time.”

I don’t know about you but I find that choosing a title starts to become even more difficult when you paint abstracts and non-representational works. The title can be the biggest clue about where the artist was heading at the time of creating the work and with abstract work the title can be even more than only the once upon a time, it can give the viewer the entire story about the work and your thinking behind it.

The Long and Short of It…

The other conundrum we face is whether or not we give a work a long or short title. Personally, I have never had much luck with titles that are too long and unwieldy and titles that are too short can be forgotten. Something in the middle where the title isn’t either too long or too short might mean that the viewer doesn’t exactly remember it but they are more likely to remember the art. Having a longer title might make searching for the work more of a chore and especially if the viewer only has a few of the titles words, but one of the things I have noticed more and more often lately is that some artists are using phrases to title their works, phrases that are more likely perhaps to be entered within a search engine and phrases are easier to remember than titles.  

We do have to consider that as the world becomes increasingly ever more reliant on the internet, so too do the buyers who once might have shopped for new pieces in galleries. Many galleries have shuttered their doors over the past decade and the ones that remain are increasingly moving towards having an online presence too and many already do.

So it starts to make sense that we begin to look at titles as something that not only provide some context of our work to the viewer but also describe what the work is to the search engines and I’m not just talking about Google here. Search engines on whatever platform be it social media or from one of the web-giants such as Microsoft or others, will have an algorithm that works out what results it needs to display based on your input query, there is even an algorithm at play when you search this website.

Whilst the algorithms of the internet giants are closely guarded secrets, we do know that they will mostly all be looking at relevance and they will be basing the results on lots and lots of indicators such as quality, and overall search rankings which themselves will be based on positive metrics and engagement. They will also be looking at what people have found to be useful before or even what people have purchased before in some cases. This goes for print on demand search engines too, although I do suspect that those engines and algorithms are perhaps slightly more weighted to display some specific results more often than others and the same will be true for the likes of any website that needs to promote its safe sellers first, safe sellers being the ones with products that generate constant revenue and attract buyers.

Brainstorming SEO…

Once the correlation between SEO and art titles began to resonate with me it started to become easier to come up with new titles. Admittedly, I’m still not great with titles but what I have begun to realise more and more is that they can be, especially online, just as important as the work itself. I now research every title and spend sometimes a few hours carrying that research out, sometimes even longer. Just on the odd occasion, a title might appear in my head and I will run with it regardless of what the research comes back with and sometimes I have a title in mind months before I even lay down the first brush strokes. But at other times when I am really struggling to think of anything, I will grab a notepad and brainstorm ideas. This helps when I start to construct the art description too. The important thing is that now I make time to plan titles and descriptions and it has become as much a part of the process as picking up the brush or stylus.

I tend to stick rigidly to a process whenever I am working out keywords and SEO for this website and I have begun to use the same processes when it comes to choosing titles and descriptions for my artwork. I do exactly the same every week for the articles I publish here on this website but it took me years to work out that the process for art titles was very close to being almost the same process I needed for my art, yet it has always been easier to do SEO on the website than for a piece of art.

On the website, I might ask myself what kind of content am I publishing, is it a tutorial, some practical advice, musings from my chaotic mind  or is it to focus on a piece of artwork either I created or someone else did, and when it comes to doing the same with my art the question becomes about what type of artwork it is. Is it a painting using traditional tools, or a digitally created work, or is it video.

I then write down where the inspiration came from, whether it was inspired by a need or a place I visited or even by a conversation and this starts to build up a lot of information that I can use to begin to bring those ideas together. With my artwork, I will start to think about the medium, the subject, and then I will break the subject down even more. What is in the painting, what palette am I using, who is the audience, where will the art hang. A lot of the thinking is visual, how do I describe what is going on within the work, how is the story told, and I find that this works much better than trying to describe everything using symbolic references. I do the same with keywords, the tags we need to upload that tell the search engines what query’s the work answers and for art, visual keywords seem to work better than anything that is too symbolic or cryptic.

If you have more than one work in a series it becomes tempting to use similar or even the same keywords for every painting in the series. That’s great if you are categorically certain of who the market is, but using the same words to describe different things or in this case, different artworks, also carry a risk of only attracting only one type of buyer, the buyer who those keywords resonate with more or search engines who find those keywords more relevant. Ideally what you need to do with similar works are to take the original titles and descriptions you have come up with and then start to think about using synonyms to give each a slightly different flavour.

The list of keywords and titles at this point makes it somewhat easier to construct the description in a search engine and viewer-friendly way. The same words can be used when you add data to images using Alt-Text which is how search engines figure out what the image is and which can be used by text to speech engines to verbally describe what is going on, on-screen.

art titles, once upon a time, Mark Taylor, Beechhouse media, titling your art,
A title is the Once Upon a Time!

Untitled…

Over the years I have found time and time again that a title can make or break a piece of art and particularly when it is being sold online or in a gallery. When I last exhibited, my gallery wouldn’t allow the use of untitled for anything they had on display. Their reasoning was that they felt that the buyer would want the title to become part of the narrative when they discussed the art, and the gallery wanted to use the title as part of their narrative to sell the art too. There were even times when I would be asked to change the title of a piece of artwork completely so that it had a better fit with the narrative they wanted to use to sell it.

Titles can not only introduce the story of the artwork, but they can also provide an insight into the process and the inspiration behind it and at the same time, a good title will leave just enough room for the viewer to bring in their own interpretation and meaning to the art. Titles need to be memorable, and unless you purposely create cheesy art (apparently there is a huge market for this kind of work), then it is best to avoid clichés and anything that has been used a bazillion times before. That last point is what also makes coming up with a title so difficult in the first place. It can sometimes feel like you are picking out your playground soccer team and find that the only name remaining isn’t a very good player but it is the only name you can pick.

As artists we are by our very nature, creative people but that doesn’t mean that we are born poets or wordsmiths. Georgia O’Keefe used progressive naming conventions such as Black Iris III, but she also used titles interchangeably. O'Keeffe began painting the centres of flowers in 1924. The first show of her enlarged flowers was at the Anderson Galleries in 1926. The black irises were a recurring subject: She painted another oil called The Black Iris, also known as The Dark Iris No. II and Dark Iris, a small (9x7") oil in 1926. In 1927, she also created Dark Iris No. III, pastel on paper. Iris, from 1929 is a 32x12" and this is displayed in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. She returned to the black iris in 1936, with Black Iris II [Black Iris VI, 1936] (36x24"), demonstrating that even then, titles were important but the struggle to come up with them was probably as real as it is today.

Sometimes we don’t even have to stick with the language we speak. A landscape of Spain might be better suited having a Spanish language title, but the risk here is that your title becomes a hen or stag weekend tattoo where you think you had your loved one's name imprinted forever on your skin only to find out when you get home or many years later that it translates to a donkey.

There are other risks too, some words have other meanings entirely in other languages. What sounds innocent in English might not be so innocent in Portuguese, or Italian, or French, and saying something like I need to kiss her in Sweden sounds very much like you want a (Kissa) pee. Because so many artists of today work in a global market, we can sometimes forget that not everyone speaks English as a first language or even at all. Hyper-localised marketing particularly when you run online ads is full of pitfalls, Pepsi, Bloomingdales, Ford, and even Dunkin Donuts have all had experiences they would rather forget. The same thing can happen with art titles.

Like I said earlier, I really, really struggle more with titling abstract works and I know a few abstract artists who tell me the same thing. The paintings come from deep within and at that level, it’s not always easy to express exactly what or why, or how, in words, because words come from our intellect and that’s a very different place to emotion. People search using visual descriptions, they tend to describe what they want the search engines to find using words that describe it or with words that indicate certain feelings or emotions.

It isn’t going to always be possible that your title alone will make a difference in the number of people seeing the work. There is a symbiotic relationship with the artist’s description of the work where the process, the thinking, and the title can be described in much more detail. So when Google sees your red painting and it is linked to a description, Google or any other search engine gets a little more context around what that painting really is.

If you read my article on starting a blog a few weeks back, this is another good reason for doing so because it gives Google or any of the others an alternative page to crawl to link the context together with the painting and the title. If you have a Pixels website through Fine Art America, the one tool you probably hardly if ever use is the blog tool, yet this is where you can start forging those all-important backlinks that provide a context to your work. Even better if the blog is separate to your Pixels site but you should take advantage of any options that you have.

If you do have a Pixels site then give it a go and see if there is any more engagement as a result of writing a full art description in the blog. If you missed my article on blogging, you can read it here

Ultimately you might lose twenty-minutes sharing the description on the blog and adding in some words to give it some additional context, but that twenty-minutes could potentially start saving you a heap of extra marketing and maybe even bring you a sale. You could even start writing a blog using many of the free blogging platforms, at which point you then have a platform away from social media where you have slightly more control over how far the organic reach will go, don't worry too much about the volume of traffic when you start out,  the important thing is that you now have a backlink.

There is a downside with titles in that once works have a title and unless you go on to change it, the works meaning can become more limited. A title can constrain how and where that work is seen. Banksy changed the name of The Girl with Balloon to, Love is in the Bin, after the shredding incident but generally once a piece of artwork has a title, that’s it but not always. The Mona Lisa was only called The Mona Lisa after Leonardo Da Vinci’s death, Frans Hals, “The Laughing Cavalier” the subject was neither laughing nor a cavalier, and there are so many more scattered throughout art history.

Titles are like giving your work a tattoo, they are kind of forever unless the work goes through some life-changing event and you decide to re-ink over the title, and there are times when they can be quite difficult to ink over at all. 

Is there a way to make coming up with a title easier?

Nothing about art is truly easy or rather, nothing about the business of art is truly easy. There are some art title generators across the internet but the problem is that they’re really just sets of words that are randomly (or not so randomly) displayed together. When I tried them out the results on some gave a couple of possible titles, but this was after clicking through literally hundreds of duds. Titles generated included such titles as, Uplifting Context, Scene with a Modest Scar, Mystic Limitation, The Structure of Fear, and as for the real duds, Repressed Fountain in Retrospect, and there were hundreds of others. If you needed a name for an exhibition but the outlook was a little brighter with the use of The Random Exhibition Title Generator, from MIT which you can find here

Generally, there are no short cuts to tilting your work because the title just like the art should be a reflection of you, your process, and your work. You could find snippets of inspiration through poetry or short stories and I know a number of artists who always title their works with lines from poems with either permission from the poet or by giving attribution.

If we fail to get the title nailed at the time we make our work public then we do run a risk of it falling over at the first hurdle. Art is art to a lot of people but to a search engine, art is just another picture, it is the metadata and context that really drive results. Sometimes a title doesn’t give an artwork the justice it needs to succeed and despite what they say about the art being able to speak for itself, well, there might be an element of truth in that sometimes, but when it goes online, metadata and SEO do all of the talking. That’s also a problem when we choose deeply cryptic titles, humans might eventually work out any links but computers will struggle to see the context in the same way.

There is one more thing that we do need to cover and that is to make sure that you spell your titles correctly. With auto-correct often a little too eager to make suggestions that make very little to no sense, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had to quickly salvage the title before pressing upload. The problem online is that the first title you give work is the one that will be used to define the web address and having a misspelt title might become a forever problem. Even if you go back and change the title later the problem might still persist as the URL might not reflect the change and by the time you do change it, you might have had 5,000 hits and given 4,999 viewers a good laugh or offended a few at least.

The Big List…

Sometimes the inspiration for a piece of artwork can come from thinking of the title before you have even considered the painting or the subject, other times we just need words to make us start to think about combining words together. So with this in mind, I have pulled together the list of potential titles I have been putting together for a few years and summarised it because it is maybe twice as long in reality. 

I haven’t carried out any keyword research on any of these titles/words and some of them I have either remembered from long ago, thought of words in the past and written them down, listened to song lyrics and read many books, and some of them I have been given the ideas for over the years. There are more than four hundred titles and many can be interchanged with others. If you are about to press the upload button in the next five minutes, this list could save the day, so here we go!

A Beautiful Day
A Break in Reality
A Break in the Clouds
A Certain Romance
A Chance of Rain
A Copper Pot
A Dance of Light
A Delicate Moment
A Desert Shore
A Diamond in a Coalmine
A Distortion of Reality
A Fire in My Heart
A Forest Mist
A Great Day
A Lone Voice
A Moment in Time
A New Beginning
A New day
A Passing Glimpse
A Passing Stranger
A Perfect Day to Kiss
A Place to Rest
A Place to Wait
A Second Chance
A Second Tomorrow
A Slow Train
A Thin Line
A Voice in the Crowd
A Walk in the Park
Above and Below
Above the Waterline
Across the Waves
Adrift
Adrift Again
After the Night
After the Rain
After the Sunset
Afterglow
All I have found
All I have lost
All Jazzed Up
All of Us
All Roads Lead to…
An Acceptable Time
An Empty Land
An Ending Fitting for a Start
Ancient Fire
Ancient Worlds
And So a Star Is Born
Are We There Yet
As The Winter Fades
At the Beach
Aura of autumn
Autumnal Rose
Autumns Aura
Autumns Gold
Awakened
Awakened from My Slumber
Awakening
Balanced
Balanced by Light
Bare My Soul
Be My Protector
Be Still
Beating Heart
Beautiful Mess
Behold the Man
Best Friends
Best You
Big Skies
Birth of the Innocent
Blind but Now I See
Blissful Light
Blossoms of spring
Blue Rain
Blush Beauty
Blushing Sun
Breathless
Brewing Up a Storm
Bridging the Gap
Brighter Than I Remember
Bringing Down the Clouds
Broken
Broken Chains
Burning Embers
Burning Fields
Buried in the Grass
Cabin by the Lake
Calling for winter
Capture the Light
Captured
Capturing the Light
Cedar Woods
Celestial Symphony
Celestial Tide
Chaotic Mess
Chaotic Minds
Chasing a Storm
Circle of Fire
Circle of Light
Clementine
Cold Summer Heat
Configuration
Consciousness
Convergence
Cooling Flame
Cosmic Love
Crackling Flames and Smouldering Wick
Daffodil Dance
Dancing Under a Star
Dancing Up Dust
Dare to Dream
Dark Life
Dawns Silent Echo
Deep Waters
Delicate Sky
Desert Bloom
Desert Morning
Desert Rose
Desolate Hillside
Dimensional Shift
Dirty Ice
Despair
Divided Earth
Drifting Shadows
Drifting Skies
Drifting Sands
Driftwood Tales
Dusty Day
Dying Light
Echoes of Night
Edge of Instinct
Elegant Flight
Enter Here
Epsilon
Escape to Serenity
Eternal Love
Eternity
Euphoria
Euphoria
Euphoric Gaze
Everything is illuminated
Eye of the Storm
Face in the Wind
Failing Elements
Fair Stood the Wind
Falling Water
Far from Home
Far from the One I Love
Finally Home
Finding Harmony
Finding My Way Home
First Rains of spring
Floral Abundance
Fly with Me
Follow the Treeline
Following the Path
Forbidden from your Heart
Fossil Creek
Foundations
Fractured Symphony
Garlands of Stars
Gathered shadows
Ghosts Riding the Wind
Give Me Space
Glass Like Shores
Go Gentle into That Good Night
Gods Eye
Hand In Glove
Hear My Cry
Heart of Darkness
Heavenly Anthem
Heaven’s Door
Here I Am
Here to Eternity
Here with Me
Heroes or Ghosts
Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in the Dark
Hiding My Emotions
How the Sun Loves
Hugging Your Dreams
I AM
I Am Not Your Guru
I AM the Night
I Found You
I Never Cry in the Rain
I Sink, I Fall, I Love,
I Want To Be
I want to Stay Right Here
Ice fall
Ice Flow
Illuminated
In A Kingdom Full of Moonscapes
In Search of Lost Time
In The News
Inevitable
Inside A Raindrop
Insistent Memories
Into The Clearing
Invisible Expression
It Was All a Dream
It's Only Make Believe
Jagged Little Pills
Just Before Summer
Just Beneath the Surface
Just You Wait
Justified
Kinetic
Kissing the Sand
Landslide
Last Flickering Light
Last Light of the Year
Last Stand
Lavenders Mist
Leave the Cold Outside
Let's Not Think About Tomorrow
Let's Soar
Life Again
Light of Burning Embers
Lights Everlasting Reflection
Like A Mirror
Linear Sentiments
Lips of Love
Little Fox
Long Forgotten Summer
Look Around
Looking Beyond the Now
Looking Through the Glass
Love Endures
Love is not a Victory March
Love Torn Apart
Making Promises to Stars
Marble Seas
Mining Camp
Missing My Heart
Mists of the Old Forest
Morning Choir
Morning Whisper
Mountain Spirit
Mountain Whisper
Moving Mountains
My Mind’s Eye
My Perfect Place
My Sleepless Solitude
My Spirit Child
My Story Begins
Natures Song
Nightfall
No Borders
No Highway Left to Roam
No Matter What I say
No More Borders
No More Boundaries
No Place to Go
No Place to Rest
No Walls, We Are One
No Way Out
North Winds
Not All Wounds Are Superficial
Notes from a Chaotic Mind
North and South
Nowhere to Go
Nowhere to Sit
Ocean Morning
Ocean of Hearts
Off the Grid
Offline
Old Wind
Old Wood
Omicron
On My Way to Wonder
On the Water’s Edge
On the Wings of Eagles
Once Upon a Midnight
Once Upon a Midnight Silent
One Final Moment
One Full Life
Only the Stars Remember
Organic Emotions
Our Native Lands
Out in the Wild
Outside My Window
Paradise Lost
Party Favors
Party Girl
Passing Ships
Perfectly Quiet
Picking up The Pieces
Picking Up the Pieces of Me
Pink Cosmos
Pink Surge
Please Don't Let it Fade
Primal Waters
Protecting the Dream
Purple Sand
Pushing Through
Pushing Through
Quiet Beginning
Quiet Deception
Quiet Mornings
Quiet Radiance
Ray of Hope
Reflections
Reflections of my Heart
Revived
Rise and fall
Rise of the Phoenix
Roots of my Ancestors
Running Amok
Running Wild
Sacred Stone
Sail On By
Sanctum
Sandcastles
Sands of Time
Seeking Shelter
Sentinels of the Soul
Sequoia Lodge
Serenity’s Song
Shadows Dance
Shifting Sands
Shifting Shadows
Shimmering Seas
Silent and Still
Snow Covered Dreams
So Deep
Solitary Flight
Solitude
Something Bigger
Soul Brothers
Soul Sisters
Sparks In the Sky
Spirit Animal
Spirits of My Mind
Splashes of autumn
Splashes of Light
Splashes of spring
Splashes of summer
Splashes of winter
Spring Breeze
Standing on a Beach
Step into Anther Land
Still of winter
Stolen Moments
Storm Bringer
Storms Riding In
Stranger in a Crowd
Strangers Meet
Strangers on the Shore
Strength of Our Land
Strength of Together
Stronger
Succulent Garden
Summers Breeze
Symbiosis
Synaptic Dreams
Tarnished Elegance
Tears of a Goddess
The Apex
The Audience
The Big Calm
The Boy
The Chalice
The Cold Season
The Creation of a Beautiful Mind
The Cries of Nightfall
The Days Dying Light
The Dusts of a Memory
The Edge of Infinity
The End of the Day
The End of the Road
The Expanse
The Fire in my Heart Burns Hot
The Gatekeepers Rest
The Girl
The Guard
The Heart of My Heart
The Light I Cannot Find
The Mariners Rest
The Midnight Sun
The Millstone
The Morning Monsoon
The Odyssey
The One That Got Away
The Perfect Circle
The Prettiest Thing
The Rush
The Sentinel
The Sentinel
The Significance of Dreams
The Sound and the Fury
Thinking of You
This Too shall pass
Three Steps East
Through The Wilderness
Tickling the Shore
Time
Time Passing By
Time Passing By
To the Lighthouse
Together
Together We Are One
Together We Will See What We Can Find
Togetherness
Togetherness
Timeless
Tokyo Nights
Tokyo Storefront
Totem
Trade Winds Blow
Tranquil Earth
Tranquillity Base
Trust the Process
Trying to be Like You
Tumbledown Farm
Two are one
Ulysses
Under A Blood Moon
Under A Waterfall
Until We Meet Again
Uplifting Hope
Voyager
Waiting for You
Weaving Sunbeams
When I Fall I Fly
Whisper to Me
Whispers in the Dark
Wind of Change
Wings of a Dove

Strategies for Creating Titles…

When we think about titles we often try to find titles that reflect what the painting is about and most of us know, describing our art in just one or two words can be really challenging. But a title can also be the introduction to the story, or it can be something extra that underpins the subject, it doesn’t categorically have to restate what the painting is already saying.

Coming up with ideas for titles is the really difficult part, it is a task that certainly for many of my artist friends and I included, is frequently, outside of selling our work, one of the most challenging tasks that we face. A title can hold so much importance when the work is being marketed online that there is an inherent risk that sub-consciously this will make it harder to come up with one at all. It will initially be difficult maybe even character building, but in time and assuming you put enough time aside to come up with the title, it will eventually become part of your everyday process which like anything else will become easier the more you do it.

Inspiration can strike at any moment and for this very reason alone I always carry either a notebook or my phone with me. It might be words on the side of a bus or something someone says, we need to stand ready to collect titles as we do when we see visual images. Our instinct as an artist might be to take a camera out with us in case we see something interesting and we can then go back to our studios and use the photo as a reference, yet our instincts rarely extend to doing the same thing with words. But reference words and reference titles are no less important than a reference photo.

If you are selling online and want to get better at creating titles then you do need to take a little time away from creating art to research what is being uploaded to online platforms from other artists around the world. What you might be surprised to find is that there are many artworks especially over the first few results pages of Print on Demand websites where the title of the artwork is given over to a phrase. The Blue Mountains in Watercolour, Inspirational Poster with Earthy Tones, in short, the titles are phrases that can be used to find those results. Check a number of the online art suppliers and most of them will bear similar results, especially places like Etsy and Society6. Titles are a little different and more traditional on the likes of Fine Art America but perhaps this is a reflection of the audience. Each Print on Demand platform has a very different market in the main.

There is some thought perhaps that this more generic search-term-friendly approach to titling a work takes away some of the heart and soul of the art but the simple fact remains that in order to sell  your work, you might have to make changes and especially if you are selling online. The title and descriptions and the metadata tags are some of the key things that determine how well your work performs and leaving any of them blank is completely pointless no matter what the platform is. While you want your title and descriptions to be as original as possible you might have to focus more on the description to provide the context and the title and use a more generic title in the title box instead.

Sometimes we might find that we are just too close to the artwork to see it objectively so it might be a wise move to ask a friend or a family member how they would search for it. More often than not people have similar vocabulary when it comes to search engines, hence why so many people get the same results, but change the language slightly and different results will show up. The problem with being an artist is that we search for things online as artists but what we need to do when we carry out any market research is to start searching for things as a buyer.

My only other advice is to get yourself a good Synonym dictionary or use a service such as Thesaurus.com which you can find right here.  When writing art descriptions then a service such as Grammarly, even if you choose the free plan, will do more for your writing and your spelling than any built-in mobile spell-checker can ever do. You can find out more about Grammarly right here. If you decide to go down the blogging route after reading my previous article, I can definitely say that Grammarly is worth having, I use it every week and it even lets me know how many words I have typed, and by the last count it was more than a few long books!

The only other thing to look out for is the use of titles that may have copyright of some description attached to them. It might be inadvertently that you decide on a name that also happens to be a brand name that someone or some organisation holds all the rights too. There are stories of artists who have innocently used brand names in marketing thinking that the name was out of copyright or that there was no way that the name of the product could be attributed to any organisation, or even more likely because they didn’t even realise that the name was related to any brand. This can cause a number of headaches and often results in the issuing of a take-down notice.  

The problem is that it’s not always the big organisations who are the ones who are most bothered but there are plenty of copyright trolls out there who actively look for infringement of titles and names and who enforce the copyright for the sole purpose of making money, often in a manner that is unduly aggressive and opportunistic and in some cases, they don’t even own the copyright at all. There is a great paper explaining the Defense Against the Dark Arts of Copyright Trolling that came out of the Iowa Law Review which you can read right here

Ultimately however you handle or don’t handle titles is very much down to the artist. Whilst some will continue to work with the titles of untitled and untitled #101, others will painstakingly spend hours or minutes, working out what might resonate with their audience and connect them with the art. The reality though is that artwork titling is a bit of an art in itself and it is ever-changing. The internet, search engines, the many different ways people buy art today, have all had a major and significant impact on how well a work does or doesn’t do. If you were selling your work at one time but not now, it could be that the economy has tanked, but equally, it could be that you are just not getting seen like you did in the past. Like I have said many, many, times before, even bad art sells with the right marketing but maybe bad art with great SEO is all that people can suddenly find!

If you have any great tips to share about titling your work, leave a comment below. Equally, if you struggle with titles, what is your process?

My latest creations!

It has been a busy few weeks as I have focussed on rediscovering my passion for landscapes, and my latest series is starting to become quite a collection and I still have more to create. I have a feeling that this could grow into my biggest series of landscapes yet!

The titles for each work in some cases took longer to come up with than the works, which seems to be every artist’s story of titling work at times, but each title provides my version of ‘Once Upon a Time’. The series as a whole is yet to be named and the focus, for now, is to expand on the palettes I have chosen in the principle works. Purples, blues, greens, and some bright contrasts to provide reflection. If you have any ideas at all for a title for the collection, I would be so grateful if you could share in the comments!

While only one work in this series is of anywhere specific, the remaining titles have all been inspired by my visits to a number of locations around the UK and the USA. From the estuaries of North and South Wales to the Scottish Highlands, and on to the flat warm, humid swampy areas of the State of Florida. Some more of Florida’s inspiration will no doubt show up in my works as I progress through the series.

All proceeds from my works sold on Fine Art America and through my Pixels Store go towards the upkeep of this website, ensuring that I can share regular independent practical tips and advice with you that I have picked up over the years of working as an independent artist. Supporting other independent artists in just this small way is a way for me to say thank you for bringing your art to the world and to give you the encouragement to continue doing what you do in the hope that you to edge closer to the success you deserve.

First up, here is a collage of some of the works in my new series. All are available from my Pixels Store which you can find right here

Mark Taylor, artist, new art collection, beechhouse media, landscape art,
My New Art Collection!

Upon the Breathing Tide…

Upon the Breathing Tide, is probably one of my personal favourites and I now have the proof print hanging on the wall in my studio. The inspiration for this one came from the time I spent on both the coasts of Dorset and Cornwall here in the UK.

upon the breathing tide, landscape art, Mark Taylor, Pixels, Fine Art America
Upon the Breathing Tide, Art by Mark Taylor


Beneath a Florida Sky…

Did I ever mention just how much I love the USA? At some point, Florida is where I want to retire to, not just because I am a huge Disney fan and a Disney art collector, but because of the State’s phenomenal landscape. There’s nothing quite like a day at a theme park and then relaxing on the Gulf Coast the next day. Those warm evenings strolling along white sandy beaches, maybe grabbing a cocktail or two and taking in those Floridian sunsets and maybe a rocket launch from Kennedy Space Center. 

Beneath a Florida Sky is really about those big skies that seem to occur all the time in the Sunshine State, punctuated by those huge clouds with them one moment breaking into torrential downpours, the next moment everywhere has dried out. Let me out on one of those airboats through the swamplands, I am in my element.

Beneath a Florida Sky, art by Mark Taylor, Florida art, landscape art,
Beneath a Florida Sky by Mark Taylor

 Big Thanks!

Thanks for taking the time to read my articles and taking a look at my latest releases. In the meantime, until next time, best wishes and happy creating!

Mark xx

PS: There's a bonus article this week which you can find right here!

About Mark…

I am an artist and blogger and live in Staffordshire, England. You can purchase my art through my Fine Art America store or my Pixels site here: https://10-mark-taylor.pixels.com  
Any art sold through Fine Art America and Pixels contributes to the ongoing costs of running and developing this website. You can also view my portfolio website at https://beechhousemedia.com

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://facebook.com/beechhousemedia where you will also find regular free reference photos of interesting subjects and places I visit. You can also follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart and on Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/beechhousemedia

If you would like to support the upkeep of this site or maybe just buy me a coffee, you can do so right here. By doing so you will be supporting an independent artist and ensuring that I can keep this site unbiased and independent and importantly, not hiding behind a paywall! 

Comments

  1. Well there is a lot to take in Mark, I am only up to Untitled…and I am already seeing stars (intoxicated)...will continue next day.........;)

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    Replies
    1. Lol! That’s so funny Jane! Thank you and enjoy that wine! Still here tomorrow! Xx

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    2. How did you guess:)?
      Thanks Mark! What an awesome work. Never cease to amaze me although I do it quite an opposite way.
      As for the title of your collection, how about "As I See" or "The Return of..."(referring your state of rediscovering your passion., something like that).

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    3. Thanks Jane, how does As I Sea! Sound?! Xx

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