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Artistic Baby Names

Artistic and creative baby names can be found by looking at the names of artists (and architects and designers). They’re a subset of hero names, which convey values and hopes for your child. A name connected to an artist, such as Raphael or Georgia, may inspire creative dreams within your son or daughter.

Along with Raphael and Georgia, other artistic baby names in the US Top 1000 include Armani, Diego, Florence, Jackson, Kenzo, Leonardo, Paloma, and Sullivan. Distinctive artist and designer surnames that could be worn as first names include Kahlo, Eames, Matisse, and McQueen.

These baby names capture the artists' creative spirit, give your child an international role model, and are cool all at the same time. The following list encompasses both first and last names, which have been drawn from all over the aesthetic map.

Artistic Baby Names
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JasperHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "bringer of treasure"
  • Description:

    Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning “bringer of treasure.” As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning “speckled stone.” Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.

ImogenHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    "maiden"
  • Description:

    Imogen seems to have originated as a Shakespearean printer's misspelling of the traditional Celtic name Innogen, used by him for a character in one of his last plays, Cymbeline. The Innogen of legend, who Shakespeare’s character was based on, was the wife of Brutus of Troy, the first king of Britain. Her name was derived from the Gaelic word inghean, meaning “daughter” or “maiden.”

FlorenceHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "flourishing, prosperous"
  • Description:

    Florence, which has been neglected for decades, has a lot going for it, both for its floral feel and as a place name connection to the lovely Italian city (after which Florence Nightingale was named—it was her birthplace). The association to the city seems to be helping Florence stir back to life, along with cousin Flora.

ValentinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Feminine variation of Valentine
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Valentina is a more exotic and artistic ballerina-type successor to Valerie; a pretty, recommended choice. Mexican-born actress Salma Hayek and husband Francois-Henri Pinault named their daughter Valentina Paloma.

ColeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "swarthy, coal black"
  • Description:

    Cole -- a short name that embodies a lot of richness and depth -- has long been associated with the great songwriter Cole Porter. It's quite popular in Scotland.
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RaphaelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God has healed"
  • Description:

    Raphael is a romantic archangel name that sounds both artistic and powerful. Raphael is also a great cross-cultural choice, with significance for people with both Latinate and Jewish roots, plus plenty of grounding in the English-speaking world.

GeorgiaHeart

  • Origin:

    English, feminine variation of George
  • Meaning:

    "farmer"
  • Description:

    Georgia is so rich, lush and luscious, it's almost irresistible. Georgia's now a rising star among the feminizations of George, helped by associations with the southern state (named for British King Geogre II) and painter Georgia O'Keeffe, with the Ray Charles song "Georgia On My Mind" or maybe "Sweet Georgia Brown" playing in the background.

DiegoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of James
  • Meaning:

    "supplanter"
  • Description:

    The energetic Diego is rising rapidly along with a lot of other authentically Spanish baby names that work perfectly well with surnames of any origin.

NeoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin or Tswana
  • Meaning:

    "new or gift"
  • Description:

    This nouveau name of Keanu Reeves's character in The Matrix has not enjoyed the same burst of popularity as its female counterpart, Trinity, but it definitely sounds, well, newer. Neo Rauch is an interesting contemporary German artist.

ElsaHeart

  • Origin:

    German diminutive of Elisabeth
  • Meaning:

    "pledged to God"
  • Description:

    Lost in limbo for decades and decades, Elsa now stands a good chance of following along in the progression from Emma to Ella to Etta, thanks to the ice queen heroine who "Let It Go" in the wildly popular Disney movie Frozen. The name shot all the up to Number 286 (its highest ranking since the 1890s) in the year after the release of the movie, though it's now dropped back down the list in the US.
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VivienneHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Vivian
  • Meaning:

    "life"
  • Description:

    Vivienne is an elaborated Gallic version of the name Vivian, chosen first by Rosie O'Donnell for her daughter and then catapulted to superstardom when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used it for their twin daughter. An adult namesake is the British designer Vivienne Westwood. Rosie O'Donnell also has a daughter named Vivienne, known as Vivi.

WestonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "from the western town"
  • Description:

    Weston has gone from being a Jane Austenish British surname to a first name with a relaxed American western cowboy feel. Along with other trendy 'n'-ending boys’ names, Weston is rising in popularity, and is now more popular than ever. Weston also has a glimmer of creative appeal via its connection to the great photographer Edward Weston. Nicolas Cage chose Weston for his son back in 1990, when it was much more unusual; The Office's Jenna Fischer used it for her baby more recently. Cousin name Easton is even more popular.

RyderHeart

  • Origin:

    British surname
  • Meaning:

    "cavalryman, messenger"
  • Description:

    Ryder, one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson and her rocker husband Chris Robinson chose it for their son in 2004. Very popular in several provinces of Canada, Ryder was chosen by John Leguzamo for his son and adorns Boy Meets World star Ryder Strong.

SullivanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish surname
  • Meaning:

    "black-eyed one"
  • Description:

    Sullivan is a jaunty Celtic three-syllable name, with a real twinkle in its eye. It was immortalized in the 1930s classic film Sullivan's Travels and was chosen for one of Patrick Dempsey's twin boys. Nickname Sully is equally jaunty.

CocoHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish and French pet name
  • Description:

    Coco came to prominence as the nickname of the legendary French designer Chanel (born Gabrielle) and has lately become a starbaby favorite, initially chosen by Courteney Cox for her daughter Coco Riley in 2004. At first it was the kind of name that the press loves to ridicule, but we predict Coco's heading for more broad acceptance and even popularity.
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LeonardoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian and Spanish variation of Leonard, German
  • Meaning:

    "brave lion"
  • Description:

    For centuries this name was associated primarily with the towering figure of Italian Renaissance painter-scientist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci, and was scarcely used outside the Latin culture. But then along came Leonardo DiCaprio, who was supposedly given the name because his pregnant mother felt her first kick while looking at a da Vinci painting in the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, and who would make the name young and handsome and multi-cultural.

    Leonardo is a popular choice among other attractive Italian and Spanish names for boys, and its cousin Leo is popular as well.

AnselHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "with divine protection"
  • Description:

    Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.

JacksonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of Jack"
  • Description:

    Cool name Jackson is one of the celebrisphere's top favorite boy names, having been chosen by, among others, Spike Lee, Poppy Montgomery, Carson Daly, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Scott Wolf, Maya Rudolph, and Katey Sagal. After a spectacular rise, this stylish presidential name has been in the Top 25 since 2010, overtaking John as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.

ValentinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    A dashing, dramatic and romantic Italian surname, associated with early movie heartthrob Rudolph, and later with Italian fashion designer Valentino (Garavani). Also the name of an early Roman saint, whose feast day marks the beginning of spring. Ricky Martin chose it for one of his twin boys.

KenzoHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "strong and healthy"
  • Description:

    Kenzo is a common Japanese name with several creative bearers: the single-named fashion designer, prizewinning architect Kenzo Takada, and painter Kenzo Okada, which makes it internationally recognizable.
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RemingtonHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "place on a riverbank"
  • Description:

    Remington Steele was the perfect name for an upper-crust action hero on 1980s television. Now, Remington is catching fire along with a new generation of predatory baby boy names such as Hunter, Gunner, and Colt. Or you might consider it a unisex namewith a buttoned-up British feel and the friendly short form Rem or Remy.

InigoHeart

  • Origin:

    Basque, medieval Spanish variation of Ignatius
  • Meaning:

    "fiery"
  • Description:

    Inigo, almost unknown in the U.S., is an intriguing choice, with its strong beat, creative and evocative sound, and associations with the great early British architect and stage designer Inigo Jones. The sixteenth-seventeenth century Jones shared his name with his father, a London clockmaker, who received it when Spanish names for boys were fashionable in England, especially among devout Roman Catholics.

PalomaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish
  • Meaning:

    "dove"
  • Description:

    Paloma is vibrant and ruby-lipped a la jewelry designer Paloma Picasso, but it also suggests peace, as symbolized by the dove. Paloma is a highly recommended striking but soft name, one of the best of the names that mean peace and girls' names starting with P.

BlakeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "fair-haired, dark"
  • Description:

    The unisex Blake, which indeed has two conflicting meanings, has a briskly efficient image when used for a girl.

YvesHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "yew wood"
  • Description:

    On paper, with its stylish ties to fashion legend Yves Saint-Laurent (born Henri), Yves looks great, but the pronunciation--EVE-- could lead to gender confusion. German variation Ivo might be cooler and clear up the issue.
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KikiHeart

  • Origin:

    French nickname and Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "double happiness"
  • Description:

    Kiki is one of the Coco-Gigi-Fifi-Lulu bohemian-type French nickname names from the turn of the last century, which have endless energy and sparkle. Artist Kiki Smith is its most well-known contemporary representative, and Kiki was the inspiring heroine of Zadie Smith's On Beauty. Kiki can be a nickname for any name beginning with the K sound, from Katherine to Christina to Kayla.

FordHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "dweller at the ford"
  • Description:

    The long association to the Ford Motor Company doesn't stand in the way of this being a strong, independent, single-syllable name.

MarisolHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, contracted form of Maria de la Soledad
  • Meaning:

    "Mary of Solitude"
  • Description:

    Marisol is a favorite Spanish name for girls, and an excellent candidate to cross the culture line, a la Soledad and Paz.

MarinHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, of the sea"
  • Description:

    Marin is a lovely county north of San Francisco, and a lovely baby name on the rise, one which sounds more refreshing than the more familiar Marina.

EllisHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "benevolent"
  • Description:

    Ellis, a surname used sparingly as a first in the Wallace/Morris period, sounds new now for girls, as an ambisexual alternative to Ella. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2015.
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IvesHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Yves
  • Meaning:

    "yew wood"
  • Description:

    Smooth and sleek one-syllable name, sometimes suggested for Sagittarius boys.

AdlerHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "eagle"
  • Description:

    Adler is a German surname that is beginning to be used occasionally as a first and is among the stylish new German names for boys. Among the distinguished bearers of Adler as a last name are Freud colleague Alfred Adler, actress and influential acting teacher Stella Adler and Guns N' Roses drummer Steve Adler.

CalderHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "rocky water"
  • Description:

    Artistic associations with the sculptor who invented the mobile make this one of the more creative surname choices.

ElielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "my God is God"
  • Description:

    This Eli relative may get more play given the fashion for Double-L names.

FridaHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "peaceful"
  • Description:

    The dynamic personality and paintings of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo have inspired growing numbers of parents to resurrect this form of the name. It does much better in certain European countries, especially in Denmark and Norway.
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HermesHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Meaning:

    "the messenger god"
  • Description:

    These days, more people will relate to Hermes -- pronounced ayr-MEZ -- as an upscale brand name like Chanel and Porsche than as a Greek god. Actress Kelly Rutherford took on the challenge when she bestowed the name on her son. Hermes is the god of travel, writing, athletics, and thievery, among many other things.

PabloHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish variation of Paul
  • Description:

    Pablo, the commonly used Spanish version of Paul, has the added bonus of some fantastic artistic bearers: painter Picasso, cellist Casals, and poet Neruda.

PennHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "enclosure"
  • Description:

    This simple, elegant name offers something for many kinds of parents, from writers and history buffs to photographers to Pennsylvania dwellers. Most famous bearers are comedian Penn Jillette and Gossip Girl hottie Penn Badgley, both of whom were given this distinctive name at birth. Long obscure, Penn seems destined for greater usage.

EeroHeart

  • Origin:

    Finnish variation of Eric
  • Meaning:

    "eternal ruler"
  • Description:

    Creative gem perfect for an architect's son, in tribute to modern Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen.

ArmaniHeart

  • Origin:

    Persian
  • Meaning:

    "freeman"
  • Description:

    Although this is catching on along with other brand names, we think it's better to use a personal family name than to appropriate Giorgio's.
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ChanelHeart

  • Origin:

    French
  • Meaning:

    "dweller near the canal"
  • Description:

    Fans of the classic French designer would now more fashionably choose Coco.

AlaïaHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "sublime"
  • Description:

    Fashion designer surname could make exotic first.

AnselmHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "with divine protection"
  • Description:

    A somewhat solemn appellation, Anselm is a saint's name, connected to the twelfth century archbishop of Canterbury, and in modern times tied to the German neo-expressionist painter Anselm Kiefer.

EamesHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "son of the uncle"
  • Description:

    An upscale surname with a nice modern design connection to the creators of the Eames chair and other midcentury furniture classics, Charles and Ray Eames.

KieferHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "barrel maker; pine"
  • Description:

    Kiefer is a strong occupational surname associated with "24" star Kiefer Sutherland, but one that could well join the other 'er' surnames currently in favor. Keifer is a German surname transferred to first name use, derived from two old Germanic words, kien and forhe, both of which mean "pine tree."
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JuddHeart

  • Origin:

    Medieval short form of Jordan
  • Meaning:

    "flowing down"
  • Description:

    Judd is a strong but sensitive short form that can easily stand on its own, the second 'd' giving it a lot more substance, and it would also be a good middle name choice. Two recent actors have given it credence--Judd Nelson and Judd Hirsch, and now it's most noticeably represented by comedy director Judd Apatow.

WillemHeart

  • Origin:

    Dutch variation of William
  • Meaning:

    "resolute protector"
  • Description:

    Common in Holland, the appealing Willem (as in de Kooning and Dafoe) makes William fresh and distinctive.

MonetHeart

  • Origin:

    French artist name, from diminutive of Simon
  • Description:

    A new favorite of the bohemian set, brought to light by actress Monet Mazur, daughter of the artist who designed the Rolling Stones' mouth logo.

IndianaHeart

  • Origin:

    American place-name
  • Meaning:

    "land of the Indians"
  • Description:

    Indiana is one of those place-names (think Camden and Trenton) that sounds cooler than the place that inspired it. Its fashionable -ana ending certainly sounds eminently name-like, and Indie/Indy/Indi is one of the hottest nickname names for girls right now.

CyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Cyrus
  • Description:

    Where Sam, Max, and Gus may be leading us.
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