A New Study Shows That Most Artists Make Very Little Money, With Women Faring the Worst
The struggle is real. A just-released survey of international artists yields some dismal findings: In the US, a full three quarters of artists made $10,000 or less per year from their art. Close to half (48.7 percent) made no more than $5,000.
The report, titled The Artfinder Independent Art Market Report: 2017, was commissioned by Artfinder, and doubles as a pitch for that company’s online marketplace for independent artists. It was conducted by a-n, an artist information company which did a similar study specific to UK artists in 2013.
Based on data from 1,533 self-identified working artists in the US and the UK surveyed over the first three weeks of this month, the Artfinder report claims to be the “biggest ever independent artist income survey.” (UK income data is broken out separately, given the different currencies, but appears to represent roughly the same hard realities.)
“By and large, artists have a tough time,” Artfinder CEO Jonas Almgren told artnet News in an interview about the report. “It’s sad to say, but the starving artist syndrome is still very much there. It’s not easy to make a career as an artist.”
Even though the market is shifting in terms of artists getting more visibility through online and social media platforms, independent of galleries, “clearly artists are not making more money now than they used to,” Almgren added. “You have more supply and demand has not really caught up yet.”