Thursday, September 26, 2013

Does the title go first or last?

Here's a link to the artist's (Joe Reimer) website I spoke about, where he details his creative process from start to finish.

What I found particularly interesting about him is that he waits to name the work and decide its meaning at the very end, after all the physical painting and drawing and touching up is done. He says it's no different than any other viewer of the work deciding what the meaning is, and although he sees more symbolism and meaning in it, he won't say what they are to anyone else, because it's up to each individual viewer what they see in it.
Now whether this indicates a subconscious meaning leaking out of him obliviously during the painting process, or if he's just an artist that makes up a questionable "meaning" where there is none, is not for me to decide. However, I also never title anything I write until the very end. When I have to write for school, I often just jump in, type out the whole thing in one sitting, and am not even sure of where I'm going with it until it's over. Once I've written everything out and realized exactly what point I made, I revise the introductory paragraph and the thesis statement to work around it, and finally pick an appropriate title. Although this might seem like a very risky way to write a terrible paper, this method has actually worked quite well for me throughout high school and college.
This all goes back to the creative processes we went over in class on Monday, including the point that the product is more important than the process. As long as the product is worthwhile in the end, it doesn't really matter how it got there.


  1. Usually when I write stuff for school I think of a title before I start writing, because I can’t have anything incomplete before I start writing. I do the same thing Emma does. I write my whole paper in one sitting and then edit my title if I feel the need and edit what I need to. I find that when I start writing, my thesis becomes more in focus and what I want to say usually comes toward the end of me finishing my paper.

  2. What a great question! Naming works tend to be pretty important for me; I don't like to start until I know what to call it. Usually it's something really snappy and short; one word if I can help it. I can't remember too many larger projects that take on long titles. Along the same lines, I know that a character isn't ready to go out and play until they have a name, because it has to fit with their past, their personality, and their purpose in the story. Until I've done the research for those three aspects of someone, they take on a hazy cloud of existence in my head.

    But recently, this method of titling has actually gotten in my way. It ties me to a certain theme or idea, and sometimes the story doesn't quite line up to that once it's written. So changing the title can act as a liberating force. Once I do that, I feel like I have a clearer focus on the piece as a whole.


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