Ever wonder how artists come up with names for their art?
I do too, sometimes. Many of my images remain untitled for a while; the colors and shapes in the photograph entice me, but the overall impact isn't always something I can articulate. Names elude me.
These days, nearly all of my art has one-word titles, which was a convention that stuck a few years back. A few names are literal, like Coast and Seaside.
Many are states or qualities to which you might aspire: Calm, Peace, Brave, Clarity.
Most of the time I create names by gathering the feelings or sense or place or season that an image evokes. For example, Celebrate feels like a dance party in the sky to me.
Naming art, for me, is usually a very unsexy process of looking up synonyms and related words to find the right cadence and feeling for the photograph. Usually they call to me once I find them, as the photograph nearly jumps up and down in excitement telling me that's her name. It takes time. Sometimes images will languish around for a while, waiting for a name before I release them into the world.
But you can't rush it.
Every so often, I misname an image and she gets renamed later. Most infamously (to me), I once called this poor baby Flow, which now feels a bit like naming your child Bambi or Delilah. Just don't. (Side note: I've now googled variations of "baby names for strippers" and the internet ad machines now think I'm pregnant. Swell.)
I mean, sure, Flow is a good state to achieve in life or yoga, but it's a little too reminiscent of a woman's least favorite days and even my male friends were making jokes. She screamed at me nonstop for weeks. Finally, I renamed her Breathe, mirroring what we were all able to do once that awful name was scratched off her birth certificate.