August 6, 2014


949_How to Title Your Art So it Sells“Tomboy” by Nicholas Wilton.


When someone is about to purchase your art they always look at it for a long time. They also look at the small white tag on the wall next to the art to see the title. They are looking for connection with your art. How the work looks offers the primary point of connection for the buyer. The title of the work, however, can also provide another point of connection for a buyer who is undecided, to then go ahead and purchase your work.

Here are 3 key ideas to remember when creating titles that can help sell your art.

1 Don’t be redundant.

Do not try to restate exactly what the painting is already communicating. Think of the title as an additional part of the art that provides something new. For example if you paint a picture of a dog growling at a passerby and you call it “The Mean Dog” then basically both the art and the title are saying the same thing. Instead, choose a title that is more different than your art, not less. You want the title of your artwork to offer a new experience that is refreshingly different.

2 Connect the feeling of the Art to the title

Instead of a title that is a literal retelling of your art, identify the key feeling you experience or want to convey. Then choose words or phrases for a title that conjure up those same feelings in you. For example if your art is showing green grass against a blue sky, instead of the title being “grass” it could be “breeze” which could relate to the feeling of lying in tall grass on a spring day and how that feels. “Breeze” gives the viewer something new in addition to green grass. You just doubled the chance that someone will connect with your art.

3 Make your Title Expansive.

You want the title of your artwork, whether it is literal or abstract, to be as encompassing and expansive as possible. If the title is expansive then there is room for the viewer to have their own interpretation. For example, if your painting is a series of red shapes, instead of titling it “Red Shapes” you called it “Crimson Storm” then most likely there will be more room for interpretation in the second name. Allowing others to find their own meaning in your work is not just generous, but also increases the likelihood that someone will personally interpret and then, as a result, purchase your Art.


Have you found that great titles help sell your Art? Please leave your comments below.

With encouragement, Nicholas


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Nicholas Wilton

Hi! I’m
Nicholas Wilton
the founder of Art2Life.

With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.

Join me and artists from all over the world in our Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group or learn more here about Art2Life.

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