Art makes the world go ’round. The music, movies, television shows and works of art we love are often important reflections of our personality and values. So why shouldn’t art that moves us serve as inspiration for creative baby names?
Of course, creative baby names inspired by famous artists of all genres are nothing new. Billie became a popular name for baby girls in the heyday of the great singer Billie Holiday, as did Shirley in the earliest days of actor Shirley Temple’s fame.
But there are many more under-appreciated artistic name choices out there. Read about these 25 creative names for boys and girls.
Creative baby names inspired by art
Mexican artist Diego Rivera is the husband of Frida Kahlo, and his first name is the Spanish version of James. It’s becoming increasingly popular in the U.S. but is less common than Spanish boys’ names like José and Mateo.Frida
Still beloved decades after her death, Frida Kahlo is an inspiration for many people for her often-autobiographical art. Her name, which is of German origin, is relatively popular in some European countries but not widely used in Canada.
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, this underused girls’ moniker also fits well with two current naming trends: It’s short, and it has an “A” ending.
An African name with Nigerian or Yoruba origins, the name Kehinde came into public consciousness when American artist Kehinde Wiley was chosen to paint the official presidential portrait of Barack Obama.
Artistic and artsy baby names
A creative baby name with obvious associations but not one that’s widely used, this is a pretty and unexpected choice for a girl that recalls popular names like Naomi and Poppy.
Inspired by the popularity of colour names like Ruby and Scarlett, Indigo is growing in popularity in the US, where the unisex name entered the top 1,000 for the first time in 2017.
Your age and interests might give away your associations with this Greek name. Does it make you think of the song by Simon & Garfunkel or The Lumineers? Or maybe you think of the Shakespeare character? Either way, this is a pretty name with multiple artistic associations that fits the growing trend for girls’ names that begin with “O.”
Gray or Grey
Whether it has a Canadian spelling or not, this is a stylish choice for parents who like the name Grayson but want something less commonly used (and unisex).
This dramatic flower inspired one of Vincent van Gogh’s most famous works. It’s also a great fit for parents who like shorter girls’ names—an alternative to Isla perhaps—and flower names like Daisy.
Creative baby names inspired by musicians
Naming your child Beyoncé might be a bit too on the nose, but you could go with the middle name of her daughter, Blue Ivy. This is a great name to consider if you like botanical names, like Rose and Daisy, but also want a shorter baby name.
This English name, which dates back to the 16th century, is associated with American folk singer Arlo Guthrie, the son of Woody Guthrie and a popular protest singer in his own right.
A choice that works in English or French (as Édith), this name honours French singer Édith Piaf. Once a very popular choice for baby girls, Edith—or its short form, Edie—now seems fresh for parents who are looking for old-fashioned names.
Once popular for its association with singer Billie Holiday, this name is back in the zeitgeist thanks to teen pop star Billie Eilish. It also fits with the general trend toward unisex girls’ names.
Associated with fabulous musicians like Stevie Nicks, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Stevie Wonder, this is a unisex choice that works for fans of names like Georgia and Charlie.
Musical baby names
The fifth most popular name for baby girls in Canada last year, this name means “a self-contained musical piece for a single voice.” It fits the trend for shorter names that begin or end with “A” and is a great choice for parents who like names like Ava, Ada and Mia.
A well-known name that fits with naming trends for vintage choices, this unisex name refers to a mode used in Gregorian chants.
A beautiful choice for a boy or girl, this name has an obvious modern musical association but also refers to the ancient stringed instrument known as the lyre. It has been used for boy babies by Soleil Moon Frye and Jason London and has spiked in popularity in the US over the past two decades.
Associated with the famous Eric Clapton song, Layla is becoming an increasingly popular girls’ name. It was among Canada’s top 20 names last year and fits naming trends for “A” endings and “Y” in female names.
Associated first with Demi Moore and then Demi Lovato, this is actually a musical term that means “half” and an unexpected choice for a shorter girls’ name. It’s also the short form of the Greek name Demetria.
Creative baby names inspired by fashion
Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s name means “firstborn,” so it’s a lovely unisex choice for a first child or to honour Japanese heritage.
The surname of Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa, this is a great fit for current trends for girls’ names that begin or end with “A.” Alaia also brings to mind several creative baby names in different languages, like Aaliyah in Arabic and Aliya in Hebrew.
This increasingly popular name, which was number 10 for girls in Canada last year, is an alternative choice for fans of Zoe and Zoey and the name of a popular Parisian fashion house.
Designer Balenciaga’s first name may not be as well known as Calvin and Giorgio, but it’s still a stylish choice. This name is relatively popular in Latino communities and is a great way to honour that heritage.
Associated with the late designer Yves Saint Laurent, this surname is a French first name in its own right that means “crowned with laurel.”