Profile of professional artists

Women are more likely to create visual arts than men

Significantly more women practice visual arts than men. This gender balance is reflected throughout different parts of the visual arts sector – from children’s participation, to hobbyists and the professional sector.

Throsby and Zednik estimated in 2009 that almost two thirds of professional visual artists and four-fifths of craft practitioners were women (63 percent and 79 percent), relative to 51 percent of all artists.

The Census figures for visual arts occupations show more women are employed in visual arts occupations than men (55 percent to 45 percent), with the exception of sculptors (68 percent men).

In visual arts related occupations (including design, art teaching and picture framing) the gender balance depends on the occupation. Women are more likely to be employed in occupations such as:

  • Art teachers
  • Fashion designers
  • Interior designers.

Men are more likely to be employed in occupations such as:

  • Photographers
  • Picture framers
  • Illustrators.