“Titles” may seem to us as artists to be either totally inconsequential (After all, “the work speaks for itself,” right?) or we may consider them as helping to enlighten the viewer/purchaser as to our intent of our creation/design. And we are right — both ways!
However, if we are interested in “connecting” with the viewer and/or making a sale, titles actually become VERY important! Purchases of art are made two basic ways — by head or by heart. Purchases by head are usually because a buyer believes in the financial value of the work (or because it matches the sofa!) while a purchase made by heart usually starts with a visceral connection with the piece itself. Sometimes, this immediate impulse is enough to close the sale. But, if the price of the piece causes wavering, the buyer will need additional support for their selection. Savvy gallery personnel can assist here, as can the opportunity to personally discuss the art with the artist. Unfortunately, we cannot always rely on someone else to help us make that sale, and many artists are uncomfortable discussing their art with a potential buyer. This is where the right title really comes into play! The title can be THE selling point of the piece when the right connection is made. It can also be a deal breaker if the words chosen for the title evoke a negative response in the viewer.
Bottom line: Let’s do everything we can, as artists, to make it easy (easier?) to make that connection.
– S. Renee Prasil