In 2007-08, the
median total income of an artist was estimated by Throsby and Zednik to be
around $35,900 and the median creative income was $7,000. However, 17 percent of artists worked full time on their creative practice
(more than 38 hours per week) and the median income increased to $22,500. Of
those artists working full time, the average time spent on their creative
practice was 51 hours per week.
comparison, employees in other occupations earned higher median incomes of
$43,300 for all employees, $61,700 for professionals and $77,500 for managers.
have not shared in the rising trend in real (inflation-adjusted) incomes that has
been experienced across the workforce at large. Throsby and Zednik report that
creative income for artists remained relatively stable from 2000-01 to 2007-08,
whereas general workforce incomes showed an increase of around 16 percent on
2000-01 in real terms.
artists meet their minimum living costs with their creative income alone.
Indeed, only 55 percent of artists reported that they earn enough from all
their sources of income to meet their basic needs.
artforms, the creative income of artists who spent more time working on their
creative practice is notably higher than artists who also spent time working
outside their creative practice to generate income. Musicians, composers and dancers
who were able to double the number of hours worked on their creative practice
earned around five times the median creative income. However, working more
hours does not always translate to more money as craft practitioners received
similar median creative incomes regardless of hours worked. 
4 percent of artists earned a total annual income of over $100,000. Around one
in ten composers earned a total annual income over $100,000.
 Calculated using Artists Survey 2009 data from Throsby D and Zednik A, 2010, ‘Do you really expect to get paid? An economic study of professional artists in Australia’.
Note: > 38 hrs are unweighted creative incomes 2007-08 (q51a) by hours per week (2009) spent on creative practice (q11a). Excludes artists whose total income exceeds $250,000 (q54a)