do artists make a living with their art ?


I would like to know how many artists make a living now just by selling their art or by getting jobs via their art. I am curious to compare the present conditions and the ones of older times.
I would like to check this idea about the creative industries being "top of the world" to find an interesting and rewarding job.
All comments and descriptions are welcome.



alexandra reill March 29 2010 05:24Reply

i did a study and an interview series on these questions - between 2006 and 2009 - you can find all infos on, some of the interviews are in English, the study is in German only, we did not have enough resources to translate it, the main result is that most of the artists cannot live from their art production and that creative industries is no solution to this question as they - as the word industries indicates - are embedded in commercial, i.e. applied businesses, in a high number of cases service-oriented. The idea of improving the situation of the arts by changing the approaches and goals, thus identities of art production more and more into the profile of the creative industries is a neoliberal idea coming from the 90ies. one could say that about all ec-studies prove that economically it does not work. but one can also notice that through such approaches the arts have been turning more and more into a theme and event business where artists loose more and more the freedom and choice to choose what they are striving for to work on but still are the loosers of the game.

elen riot April 7 2010 08:14Reply


Thanks a lot ! I'll go right away on your website, I fully agree with you about creative industries, that was also the conclusion of my Ph-D. Maybe we could share some material and work together in the future. Here is my email where you can reach me:

Best regards.

Elen Riot

alan schechner April 7 2010 10:11Reply

There is an interesting report that has come out in the UK called Creative ~graduates, Creative futures that is full of stats that might be of use to you. One of it's primary findings is the large proportion of creative arts graduates in portfolio careers, which many claim to enjoy partly because it allows time for (and possible financial renumeration for) their own art works.
You ca find details of the report here: