Earlier this year we ran a campaign promoting gender equality. Now we've realised there's something else the art world never talks about. How are artists compensated? Is it possible to live from making art? Are artists paid fairly?
The latest research into artist income, conducted by a-n, the artist information company, shows that more than 72% of visual artists earn less than £10,000 / $13,000 per year from their art practice.
This is the reason for the launch of our Artist Income Project, the biggest ever open participation survey where independent artists all over the world can anonymously record their earnings. We're collecting data throughout November 2017 and will publish our findings ahead of Small Business Saturday on 2 December.
The art market is changing
As all the major industry reports show, year on year the online art market continues to grow, whilst the market as a whole slows. According to the latest Hiscox report, in 2016 the online art market grew 15% percent to $3.75bn, making it an 8.4% share in the market as a whole. Comparatively, the art market as a whole grew just 1.7% in 2016 (Source: TEFAF).
But what does the online art market look like from the inside? A large proportion of it is dominated by the high end, by the so-called ‘bricks and clicks’ players finally embracing online.
However, that isn’t the whole picture. There is a new independent artist market emerging too, a market which gives independent artists a greater voice, and that voice will only be stronger if we speak together.
We've started by reporting on our own our own artist and buyer data to shine a light on the new ecosystem we’ve seen evolving over the last three years.
"There is a new independent artist market emerging and our voice will be stronger if we speak together."
"In an ideal world artists wouldn't have to deal with the business side of selling art. In fact, it is a taboo subject for many - how do you make an art career work financially without sacrificing your practice? The local artist who used to have a solo show and maybe two group shows a year has now become a global artist travelling between events and setting new goals while marketing their "brand". Success is often gauged in sales and how good you are at being an art entrepreneur. Success in creating a good body of work is for me the main objective and everything else should compliment this aim."