how I name my artwork

North Wind I, abstraction of an autumn leaf ©Daniel Sroka
Purchase a print of 'North Wind 1'.

The names I choose for my art all follow a certain style: short names of no more than two or three words, that are metaphorical, not literal descriptions. This method wasn’t a conscious decision at first, it just happened — my art seemed to want to be named a certain way, so I followed its lead. Since my artwork is abstract, I try to avoid the literal descriptions. I try to provide a more interpretive name, one that evokes a sense of what I feel the photograph is emotionally about, without trying to force a specific meaning on the viewer. My goal is to have the name help people see past the literal subject of the photograph (its “leafiness”) and let their minds play with the imagery.

Sometimes the name will come to me immediately: the photograph will just suggest its own name. But other times, it takes thought and work. While I was working with the photographs in this post, I was struck by the sense of motion, the feeling of the autumn wind catching a cloak or a scarf. The name “Zephyr” popped into mind, but when I looked it up, I saw that the Zephyr was the Greek god of the west wind, the wind of spring and early summer. Wrong image for an autumn leaf! The north wind was more appropriate, being the bringer of winter. But the Greek god for the north wind is Boreas, a name that felt too obscure, and too associated with the northern lights — wrong imagery again. So I decided to stick with the more direct translation “North Wind”. I feels it conveys the right mood and spirit for these pieces.

North Wind II, abstraction of an autumn leaf ©Daniel Sroka
Purchase a print of 'North Wind 2'.

1 Comment