Income and career development

Visual arts practitioners often work in the wider cultural industries, and earn most of their income outside the core arts sector

Visual arts practitioners often work in the wider cultural industries, and earn most of their income outside the core arts sector

Income earned by visual artists from their core creative work is well below the income required to meet their basic needs. Like other artists, many visual artists work in other occupations and/or rely on family or other kinds of financial support.

Throsby and Zednik found that compared with other artists, visual artists earn proportionally less in arts-related fields such as teaching arts, earning only $5,500 from this work. Instead they rely more on non-arts related work (eg graphic design, hospitality) to be able to support their artistic practice, earning a median non-arts income of $15,800 annually. Visual artists and craft practitioners are more likely than other artists to work in wider cultural and related industries, such as advertising, design and media industries.