Tuesday, March 01, 2011

POLL: How much do you spend on your art habit annually?

This month the Making A Mark Poll is asking you to 'fess up!!!

How much do you spend on art materials, art equipment and technology to support your art habit in a year?

I'm going to do two polls - one in US dollars and one in £sterling - see right hand column.  This time I'm going to keep the sums quoted broadly equivalent ;)

I realise there are many readers of this blog around the world who don't use either of these currencies but if you wouldn't mind translating it into one or the other and then answering the relevant poll that would be great.  Here's a link to an excellent currency translator. 

I'm also going to ask you whether you offset your expenditure against tax.

I do appreciate this is hugely simplistic.  If anybody is interested in a more detailed survey please leave a comment and I'll take soundings from you as to what you'd like to see.

You can find the polls in the right hand column - just above the grid of faces of people who follows this blog

NAMTA Survey- Artists and Art Materials 2009

Here's what The International Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) and American Artist magazine had to say about the art materials business in 2009.  You can download the Executive Summary here. 

In terms of expenditure:
  • active artists spent more than $4 BILLION in 2008
  • 59% of this is on art supplies (paints, drawing materials, tools, supports, equipment, framing, magazines etc)
  • 9% is spent on non-traditional supplies (fiber, art fabric, beads, wire, ceramics, art glass etc)
  • 25% is spent on classes and workshops and 7% is spent on other (supplies, studio, travel etc)
This expands significantly on the highlights below.
  • Interest is growing in non-traditional art materials
  • the distinction between professionals, students and recretaional artists is fading
  • computers are now a recognise art tool
  • artists still depend on magazines and books
  • elementary art school programs build the future - in terms of involvement with making art
In terms of artwork produced - the majority of artwork was not paintings or drawings:
  • 17% were paintings produced using watercolour, oil, aryclic etc
  • 25% were drawings using pencils, pen and ink, pastel etc
  • 30% were handmade books and cards, art sing gound objects, scultpure, fabric, meixed media and collafe
  • 10% were murals, functional art, communication art (Graphic art???)
  • 18% was digital art
The people spending all this money and producing all this art are the estimated 4.4 million artists of whom:
  • 3.2 million are recreational artists (73%) - of whom 
    • 1.8 million are recreational artists who take classes classes
    • 1.9 million are recreational artists who sold their artwork
  • 600,000 (14%) are professional artists
  • 600,000 (14%) are college students taking art classes - of whom 122,000 (3%) are art-degree seeking college student
Art Supplies - Resources for Artists

You can find my resource sites relating to Art Supplies, Art Equipment and my favourite Art Shops below:

Art Equipment - Resources for Artists
Art Supplies in the UK - Resources for Artists
featured lensArt Supplies in the USA - Resources for Artists


  1. You can find a lot of supplies over here in Singapore, but a lot of them are very expensive, and not usually in the brands that I want. So, I usually wind up ordering them from one of the online discount providers such as Jerry's or Utrecht and ship them over here via Singapore's discount shipping from the US, VPost. Surprisingly, sometimes it still comes out to be less expensive than buying the items here in Singapore, and I'm getting exactly what I want. Oh how I miss having a big art supply order delivered straight to your door cheaply and within a week!

  2. Brilliant article Katherine. My answer (less than £150) is based on affordability rather than desirability! (Which would be at least double LOL)

    I wonder if people also are able to buy from a store rather than web and which they prefer. In my case I have to use the web due to location. It's possibly a good thing - I'm less tempted to get swayed by all the wonderful things I could overspend on!!

  3. Thanks!

    I've got other polls about where people buy. You can find them on the art supplies sites I listed at the end of the post


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