Income and career development

Most visual arts practitioners work in a freelance capacity – and many face insecure economic conditions

Within their principal artistic occupations, very few visual arts practitioners work as ‘employees’. Throsby and Zednik found that 87 percent of visual artists and 92 percent of craft practitioners operate as freelance or self employed individuals.

Throsby and Zednik point out that a substantial majority of artists therefore face insecure working environments for their artistic work, forgoing the sorts of benefits that employees customarily receive, such as sick leave, maternity leave, and employer’s superannuation contributions.

Some visual arts practitioners believe they lack adequate skills to manage their business affairs as a freelance artist, and almost a quarter have no arrangements in place for their future financial security (such as superannuation schemes).