Artist Incomes

Artists face insecure financial conditions, and some feel they lack the skills to manage their business affairs

Throsby and Zednik find a high incidence of freelancing in the professional artist population (72 percent). This is higher than the 47 percent of main job artists that were working freelance/own account worker in the 2011 census, highlighting one of the key differences between professional artists and those working in artist occupations in their main job.

Around nine in ten composers (93 percent), craft practitioners (92 percent), writers (88 percent) and visual artists (87 percent) work on this basis.

On the other hand, only around four in ten actors (43 percent) and community arts and cultural development (CACD) practitioners (42 percent) work as freelance or self-employed artists.

Around half of artists practicing in a freelance/self-employed capacity feel that they have good business skills to manage the business side of their creative work. A further third felt their skills were adequate, and 14 percent felt their skills were inadequate.