11 December 2023

Did you know that 60% of visual artist businesses earn less than half of the income that an average American household makes?

By Ronald Smith

It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? But it’s true. I was just astounded by this fact! Being a visual artist myself, I understand the challenges and struggles we face to make a living doing what we love.

I mean, think about it – we pour our hearts and souls into our artwork, spending countless hours perfecting every brushstroke or capturing every detail in our photographs. We dream of expressing our creativity and sharing it with the world, but unfortunately, financial success doesn’t come easily for most of us.

It’s disheartening to know that despite our passion and dedication, many visual artist businesses struggle to make ends meet. We are often undervalued and underpaid for our skills and talents, and it’s a constant fight to make a living wage.

You might be wondering why this is the case. Well, there are a few factors at play. First of all, the art industry can be highly competitive, with numerous talented individuals vying for limited opportunities. It’s challenging to stand out in such a saturated market.

Moreover, art is often seen as a luxury rather than a necessity. When times are tough, people tend to cut back on non-essential expenses, and unfortunately, art is often one of the first things to be sacrificed. This means fewer people are buying artwork, attending exhibitions, or supporting local artists.

But despite these obstacles, we persevere. We continue to create and share our art because we believe in its power to inspire, provoke, and bring joy to others. We hope that someday, our hard work will be recognized, and we’ll be able to earn a fair income from our passion.

So the next time you see a piece of art that speaks to you, consider supporting the artist behind it. Your purchase or support could make a world of difference in their lives. By valuing and investing in art, you’re not just supporting the artist – you’re nurturing a vibrant and diverse artistic community that enriches our world.

Let’s work together to change the narrative and create a brighter future for visual artists. Your support can make all the difference.

Did you know that 60% of visual artist businesses earn less than half of the income that an average American household makes?

Starting a business as an artist can be a big money challenge, says a recent study. The study, conducted by The Creative Independent, looked at the financial situation of visual artists and found that 60% of the artists surveyed were making less than half the average income of an American household.

Despite this discouraging news, half of the artists remained hopeful about the future. They believe that they will eventually achieve financial stability. Willa Körner, who wrote about the study on The Kickstarter Blog, shared this uplifting information. Kickstarter launched The Creative Independent in 2016 as a helpful resource for creative individuals.

Today, artists, including visual artists, operate their own small businesses. They sell their artwork directly to clients, and many of them also run their own businesses. It’s not an easy path, but their love and passion for their art keep them going.

A survey was conducted to understand the financial stability of virtual artists. The survey included 1,016 artists from 52 different countries. These artists work in various formats, with 68% focusing on two-dimensional artwork, 34% on digital work, 31% on 3D work, and 27% on video art.

Survey Uncovers Average Salary and Financial Stability of Visual Artists

To figure out whether artists were financially stable or not, I needed to understand what it really means to be financially stable.

According to The Creative Independent, most people define being financially stable as having enough money to cover basic expenses and being able to save money consistently.

So, how financially stable do these artists feel now?

Well, when asked to rank their financial stability on a scale from 1 to 10, the median response was 5. However, there were artists who fell on both ends of the spectrum. Around 12% of respondents said they weren’t financially stable at all and rated their situation as 1. On the other hand, a modest 3% considered themselves completely financially stable, giving a rating of 9 or 10. Now, let’s explore what it takes for an artist to be on the high or low end of this scale.

Did you know that 60% of visual artist businesses earn less than half of the income that an average American household makes?

Let’s talk about money! So, here’s the scoop: most of the people in the study, about 60%, said they made less than $30K per year. That’s not a whole lot, right? On the other hand, only 22% of folks reported making $50K to $60K or more. And hey, some lucky ones, 17% to be exact, said they made even more!

Now, when it comes to making money, artists do things a bit differently. You see, 61% of them rely on freelance or contract work. They like the freedom and independence that brings. But hold on, that’s not the only way! Some, about 41%, earn money from jobs related or unrelated to their field. And you won’t believe this, but some get support from their family or even have a lucky inheritance coming their way. Nice, huh?

Let’s Talk About the Art Marketplace Today

Alright, let’s switch gears and talk about the art marketplace in today’s digital world. Things have changed, my friend! Artists now have more choices when it comes to selling their work or finding customers for special jobs. They can do all of this online. How great is that? And guess what? They’re not limited to just one place. No sir! Artists can showcase their talent to the whole wide world. Pretty cool, right?

I’ve got some awesome news for you: artists today have so much more freedom and control over their work! Gone are the days when they had to rely solely on agents or galleries. The old limitations that held them back are now a thing of the past.

If you’re curious and want to find out more about this survey, just click here and you can read all the juicy details!