I’ve had this piece finished for a little while but I’m still a little bit unsure what title I want for this piece. So I thought I’d take you guys into my process of finding a title! (And showing a little bit of vulnerability since this is always locked away in my private note book!)


A title of an art piece can be really important – as it can either strengthen the piece or sadly undermine it. I always try to get the viewers mind into the direction of what was my intention of painting this specific piece, but I also want to leave it open for interpretation because one of the beautiful things about art is that every single one of us can have a different connection to an artwork. So I don’t want to take that away by black on white saying it is about “this” or “that”.

I always start the process with writing little notes about what is in the painting and if I have any specific topics I am raising. In other words: time to brainstorm! In this painting, I am going for harmony, peace, friendship and playfulness. So how can I express those words in other words if I don’t want to use these specifically? Scanning the internet for synonyms always helps my brain to get into the right zone. A website I can really recommend is!

Obviously, other words I’ll be writing down is what is actually painted on the canvas – in this case: A Giant Panda and a couple of African Penguins, as well as water, clouds, etc. So what I do from here is actually reading a lot of facts about each animal. I always read a lot about the animals I paint even before I start to get an idea of what I want to say, but here I am mostly looking for words!

Panda: What is typical for pandas? What do they physically look like? What environment do they live in? Are they endangered? Do they represent anything in a cultural, historical or spiritual way? Then I go through the same procedure for the African Penguin.

But, what do I want to say? I don’t want to say “bamboo” or “flappy feet”. As mentioned, I wanted to express a harmonic but unexpected friendship. Considering that these animals naturally cannot be found in the same geographical area, it states that they have been crossing borders to sit in these waters together. Naturally, considering my starting point themes, my thoughts go to international friendships and worldwide connections. Another thought that pops into my head is the part of having similar appearances despite living in completely different continents – as do we as humans. We’re all so similar yet so different, and isn’t that just a beautiful thing?

So, what more words can I take from this?

By now I have a whole list of words related to my painting! Generally, when I do this I end up with a few words that speak to me. Sometimes it’s really just that “Aha!” moment when I know right away that that’s the title I want, but sometimes I also need to let it marinade for a little bit. This time what caught my attention was "connecting". This made me think of "connect the dots", which I thought was suitable for the resembling appearance of the two species. "Connecting dots" it is!