Theme: Artists livelihoods

Are the creative industries good for artists?

Ever since the early days of New Labour in 1997, it’s been government and arts policy to integrate and progress development of the visual arts through the creative industry umbrella and to embrace its economic imperatives. As this situation is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, through my new research I’m addressing some key questions.  Do these industries provide a conducive environment in which visual artists can make a living and develop their careers? Are the conditions and employment practices more favourable to ways of working by some artists while others lose out? Updated 16/01/17.

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Artists’ economic status: evidence 1986-2016

This selected bibliography in order of publication date has arisen from initial research into the contexts and conditions for artists’ livelihoods. Although it is not exhaustive, it is designed to aid future researchers in the field. Rather than discursive material it focuses on key studies and quantitative surveys which provide evidence of income or earnings. Much of the material pre-dates the internet and thus is only available in our personal archives as well-thumbed or annotated photocopies and limited publication reports. 

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Let’s talk about pricing

Being asked a while back to provide some advice to artists on pay and pricing matters for a new website was the generator of this short text. It begins with summarising some of the issues and ends with a few suggestions for what artists might do to improve their chances of making a living while steadily moving their art practice forward.

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The artists and arts policy conundrum

Subtitled the relationship of arts policies to artists’ livelihood practices, this new research is reflecting on arts policies intended to support the livelihoods of artists and will gather new evidence of artists’ perceptions of the contexts and conditions they feel they need, in order to generate a rationale for conducive environments which can better foster the talents of artists in future. Updated 29/11/2016

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Artists and pay - 20 great info sources

This listing that includes commentary, evidence and advice provides a selected reading list for artists and those who work with them to explore the issues and concerns about artists and pay as part of negotiating the terms of exchange and collaboration.

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Rethinking artists: the role of artists in the 21st Century

This essay for the 2014 Seoul Art Space, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture International Symposium briefly covers UK arts policies for support to artists’ development, comments on their impact on artists’ social and economic status and suggests a rethinking of the artists’ intrinsic role in society as a vital part of securing and sustaining contemporary visual arts in the future.

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​Are there too many artists?

In this paper I am using comparative data as a backdrop to my commentary that is designed to illuminate a discussion on whether there are ‘Too many artists?’, raising a range of issues, questions and (mis)perceptions - in part about the role of artists in life in general and the impact of state intervention and arts policy-making in particular.

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Artists’ low income and status are international issues

Even in countries with well-developed fee and pay systems, artists’ low wages remain a problem few are willing to address.

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