How to Pick the Perfect Art Business Name for Your Craft Business

Here’s a little story… Many years ago I had a food blog because I love to cook. At the time I was reading Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, an absolutely beautiful novel that was later turned into a film. I had read and watched both and fell in love with the passion for cooking, family tradition and courage in her story. 

In our own home though, my dad did a lot of the cooking because my mom worked a lot running an out of home business. My father was a minimalist, which also meant he didn’t believe in making fancy, overly complex meals. We would joke at the dinner table that if you couldn’t taste the water used to boil the potatoes, it was too complicated. 

After these two moments or memories in my life, I named my blog LikeWATER in honour of my dad’s very simple, ingredient-focused approach to cooking but also my love of cooking that really exploded when I read Like Water for Chocolate. 

We all start somewhere, and today, I’m going to help you get started picking your creative brand’s name! Your name can set the tone for your entire business. And, you want to be taken seriously by your target audience and collectors, right? 

yellow mug besides laptop

Just a side note – there are a few affiliate links in this post. They not only help you find resources faster but they’re also curated as the best of, because if it’s linked here then you know it’s something I support and use myself!

Art Business Names – How to Pick the Perfect Name for Your Art Brand

Ok, so does the following sound like you? You’re a small creative business and you’ve got a lot on your plate already. But branding and marketing is a little beyond your expertise…I get it. You also want to get it right the first time because no small business gains from constant rebranding. To help, I want to unpack the following three things to consider to help you get there on your own and pick the perfect business name for your art and brand’s identity. 

  • The three name TYPES for creative businesses or studios.
  • Brainstorming techniques you can use to help figure out what to name your creative business if you’re stuck.
  • A quick list of the questions that will come up along the way, pre-answered so you know exactly how to answer them when they pop up along the way! 

So, let’s get right into it! 

The 3 Art Name TYPES For Your Business. 

1. Name

 Jennifer Riley, Abby Francis Art

There are a few different reasons why using your own name might not only be the obvious choice but also the best option, with the first being: it’s original. And, what could be a better way to convey that your art is original, too?

PRO:  It’s all about branding. One of your biggest selling points as a fine artist is that your art isn’t mass-produced, so going with your own name illustrates the unique value of your art and directly links YOU (the person behind the art) instantly to your art. In this way, your greatest selling feature is that you can easily tell your personal story and connect it to your artwork. We can’t say enough about the importance of building an emotional connection with your buyers. 

CON: The only time you may not want to go this way is if you think you may want to sell your business one day down the pipeline or if your business is less about YOU and more about OTHERS.

2. Combo

Riley Photo Co., Francis Paper Studio. 

I think a combo approach could work really well if you want to be remembered as the founder or owner but would like to grow your business into a collaborative business, perhaps more focused on creating a studio or a company that is grown on your principles or teaching but is now operating as a team or a larger idea / foundation. 

PRO: This option continues to allow you to have a direct, personal connection to your business with opportunities to share and engage with your audience using your name, your personal life and how it all started for example, but really leans into growth and expansion

CON: A little less focused and individualized, it might be hard to find a domain name or handle that isn’t already taken. It’ll take a bit more work here to find the personal connection and what exactly you choose to share. 

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3. Abstract/Creative

 Splash, Smudge, Canvas, Blend, Earthed Art Studio

Here is where all the creativity lies. But, not so fast. With this approach it’s extremely important to do your due diligence, research and really consider all the options before choosing an abstract name. This route works really well if you haven’t quite niched down in your business and still exploring various avenues… Perhaps you want to paint but also want to grow a business blog… (guilty!) and want to create some division between the two. 

PRO: Opportunity, galore! You can have fun with creating words that relate to your business but can attract the right customer. For example, you wouldn’t name your business The Earthy Brush if you paint in neon colours and create bold pieces. Your name can also represent different things so it grants you the chance to tie things together with word play.

CON: If you’re not careful, consistent and clear, you run the risk of becoming vague and confusing. What one thing means to one person could be entirely different to someone else. By nature, abstraction is just that. A good name, or a memorable name is 100% clear, so be sure if you take this route you’re not inadvertently creating too much subjection. It’ll also take a lot more work for potential customers to connect with your personal story so be sure to outline how you’ll do that at the onset, regardless really of what name type you go with. 

Essential Tips For Creative Business Name Brainstorming

Old-school, but just pull out your pen and WRITE. A word and memory dump in a way. Write out all the words that come to mind without judgement. Don’t let anything hold you back. Later, you’ll go back and remove the ones that don’t resonate with you. But don’t self-edit during the brainstorm.

Be creative in this moment – reflecting on the things you love – places, art, food, music.. Sometimes the best names come from a personal connection to us. 

Like the example I gave at the beginning of this post, the memory of my dad’s cooking for the family in a very simple but lovely way inspired the name of my blog. It’s my WHY and that is a powerful thing to have to fuel the hard work that will follow in your business. 

While at first, no one would make this connection if they were to scan my website or instagram profile, the connection is there and it grants you the opportunity to share the WHY, and to tell people your unique story. If they connect with it, they’re more likely to be loyal to your brand. 

Make Odd Combos That Inspire You

Something *may* have come up in the last exercise, but if not, try making fun combinations to inspire creativity. You may not use the combo itself but it’ll give way to something else, perhaps. 

Let’s say I’m naming my watercolour company:

water // well // splatter // brush // grace // blot // drop // paper // cotton // soft // dab // flourish // bloom // wet // swell // bleed 

And then I start juxtaposing words, like “Graceful Bloom” or something. That’s a bit much, I think. Let’s try again. Water & Grace. Ok, better! 

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Obvious

Make it easy for people to understand what you do and to find you online by adding a descriptive keyword to your business name, like “art,” “artist,” “fine art,” or “studio.” If you have a specific medium you love working in, you can include that too. Just be careful not to get too specific, like adding “oil painting” or “pastels,” which might limit you if you want to explore other mediums later on.

If your name is hard to say or very common, try some alternatives. You could use your full name with an initial, just your last name with “art,” or something else that feels right to you.

Keep your business name short and sweet so it’s easy to remember, especially since you’ll use it for your website and social media. And make sure any abbreviations or initials you use fit well with your brand.

Measure Twice…

Regardless of what you choose, make sure to some some thorough research to verify, particularly before printing any promotional materials, that the name isn’t already claimed. Dealing with legal conflicts is undoubtedly something you’d prefer to avoid. You have enough going on, I’m sure! 

Moreover, having a website and social media accounts that match is also very important. Therefore, check for availability on social media platforms as well even if the domain name is available. 

Commonly Asked Questions and How To

Here are some of the questions that will come up along the way, pre-answered so you know exactly how to answer them before they even come up! 

1. Where do I check for domain name availability? 

Most host providers have a domain availability search tool, but the best one to use is BlueHost. You can use my affiliate link here and receive a small discount as well as a free domain for one year. 

2. What if there is another artist out there with my name?

Well, not much we can do there. Can you add an initial or add a word at the end that would differentiate your name or domain? If so, that’s one way. But, also consider the other options and while you may really want to use your name, would doing so create confusion? redundancy? or make things harder for you to accomplish? ?

3. My name is really hard to pronounce or spell. Should I not use it

No clear answer to this except to say, some of us to this day can’t spell Picasso or Michelangelo properly… If you have a unique spelling to a common name, say instead of Elizabeth you spell your name Elisabethe or something like that (which I actually love as well!), you may find people will struggle to find you. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because it also create a unique opportunity for you but be sure to have some way to inform or share your contact info with people beyond just saying your name. If you meet people in say an art market, have a QR code handy where they can follow you in on instagram when they meet you, so they’re not trying to find you later on and missing your spelling! 

4. Art, Art Studio, Studio, Fine Art… What’s the difference?

Is this like a potato, potato thing? In a way, they are somewhat the same but there is some meaning behind each one. “Art” generally encompasses all creative expression and can be anything.  “Art Studio” or “Studio” implies a physical space for creation or services, so perhaps this is a good option if you want to share your space, or have a physical location for customers to come and visit. “Fine Art” suggests high-quality, aesthetic-focused work. Usually implies a higher cost… 

Each term carries nuances about the artistic endeavour. 

5. Does my name reflect my brand identity?

The best way to test this theory is to come up with a short list, maybe even with some font options and send it off to your family and friends and as they to comment on what they feel, see or associate with with each option. You can also create a little focus group and meet with them in person to get their feedback. You’ll see that you’ll get comments like, “it feels flirty”, “has a very elegant quality”… In this way, you’ll be able to reflect on whether your brand identity (the thing that others see or first impression of your branding) aligns with your artistic vision, creative process and core values. Is your art flirty? Elegant? Raw? Soft? An impactful name (be it through the name itself or the stylistic elements (typography, graphics, etc) will communicate that successfully without you having to explain it. It can also help with making sure you’re creating a memorable brand in the eyes of others. 

6. Should I trademark my name? 

Deciding whether to trademark your small business name depends on various factors. Trademarking can offer legal protection, preventing others from using your name for similar goods or services. It’s particularly valuable if your business operates in a competitive market or if your name holds significant brand value. That would come with time. However, trademarking involves a process and fees, which might not be necessary for every small business starting out. Evaluate factors like your budget, the uniqueness of your name, and your long-term business goals before deciding whether trademarking is right for you. Consulting with a legal professional can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances. Also, the requirements vary province to province, or state to state so it’s a good idea to check your local trademark office for requirements before making a decision. 

Getting Started and A Few Additional Resources

Just to wrap things up, a good business name is a bit of personality, a bit of creativity and whole lot of research. Don’t rush into picking something until you’ve considered all the options, because you owe it to yourself to have the options before making a decision. The last thing you want to do is start changing things because you think of something better. You also don’t want to be changing your website url or social media profiles because consistency is power and often, changes can appear as uncertainty, which won’t help sales. A good art business name allows for growth, evolution as an artist and a personal connection. Whether it’s a single word or a string of words with a distinct identity, it hold a lot of power when it comes to your online presence and creating a lasting impression on potential clients. 

If you need some help, we love creating brands people fall in love with, so we’ve created The Customer and Branding Kit  that does just that all in a neat and tidy package. 

Also, if you want some help growing your business, we have a free guide that will help you get things under control and organized! It’s helped over 1000+ other artists grow their businesses! 

Thanks for reading!

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