This submission was made in June 2020 to the DCMS Committee considering the impact of Covid-19 on any sectors under the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s remit. It contextualises artists’ livelihood frameworks and sectoral artistic and economic opportunity, highlighting key challenges and barriers faced by this particular sub-section of the creative industries. It evidences the distinctive limitations of short-term emergency measures from Government and the Arts Council to alleviate immediate Covid19 circumstances. Although arts policy marginalised support for artists’ livelihoods after the 2008 recession, the examples of artists’ individualised resilience strategies illustrate the scope and value of supportive interventions by policy relevant to forecasting new strategies for ameliorating the medium and longer-term effects of the pandemic on this vital, distinctive creative industries sub-section. The rationale for structural changes in implementation of arts policy and funding is to remove known barriers and better in future capture and amplify the assets that artists create for their own resilience and bring to social well-being over a life-cycle.
Although 77% of visual artists are registered as self-employed (CCS, 2012), this bald statistic belies the nuance of how livelihoods are made up. This short text in the Covid19 portfolio contextualises artists’ income sources and concludes with a call for arts funders, arts organisations and the Higher Education sector to advocate strongly to ensure visual artists receive the support they deserve during the Covid19 emergency and in future.
Although negotiated relationships forms one of the three core conditions enabling artists’ pursuit of livelihoods over a life-cycle, the over-competitive and disparate nature of contemporary visual arts acts as disincentive to achieving them. This seminar on offer to artists aims to provide rationale and tactical tips for achieving a ‘win-win’ situation.
This Research paper commissioned by a‑n The Artists Information Company is part of a series which first began in 2007 as a means of providing on-going evidence and insight on the context for, and nature of, employment for visual artists. By referencing data from prior years, Artists work in 2016 identifies the implications of changes in the conditions for artists’ employment and livelihoods and proposes some areas for consideration by those charged with formulating policy and measuring the economic and social impact of the arts.
Key studies and quantitative surveys evidencing artists’ income and employment
Being asked a while back to provide some advice to artists on pay and pricing matters for a new website was the generator of this short text. It begins with summarising some of the issues and ends with a few suggestions for what artists might do to improve their chances of making a living while steadily moving their art practice forward.
This listing that includes commentary, evidence and advice provides a selected reading list for artists and those who work with them to explore the issues and concerns about artists and pay as part of negotiating the terms of exchange and collaboration.