Sunday, March 11, 2018

About the reality of working lives of professional artists

I'm trying to develop a page about the REALITY of working life for professional artists for my website.

The purpose of Art Business Info for Artists is to provide - for free - information of relevance to artists beyond the technical and creative aspects of making art. (See the Index of what's on the site). 

In other words, all that other 'art business' stuff you have to deal with!

I'd very much like to
  • link to anything anybody has written in the past with a view to providing an insight into what life is really like for you.
  • highlight any books you have found particularly useful in dealing with real challenges of "being an artist" beyond the art-making.
  • highlight any web pages or online articles / blog posts you have found useful
The idea is to provide a compendium on one page of resources which would-be professional artists might find useful

For example, you might find this interesting Researching Artists' Working Lives - IFACCA

So any suggestions for contributions that you have found helpful are most welcome!
You can:
Maybe you'd like to write something to help other artists

If you would like to write something as a contribution.....

For anybody who would like to write something going forward I've jotted down some questions below of the sort of things I'd like to know about

  • If you'd like to be anonymous - that's absolutely fine by me and I will respect that - just so long as I know who you are and that you are a real artist. 
  • Your contribution can be as short or as long as you like
  • You can answer as many or as few question as you like
  • It can be published on your website or blog - or sent to me for anonymous publication on my website.

What I'd like to know

Please touch on and/or answer as many or as few of the following as you are comfortable writing about.

What is reality for a working professional artist?
  • What does the "real life" of being an artist actually involve?
  • Is it like what you expected?
  • Where/who did you get your ideas of what "real life as an artist" was going to be like from? Were they right?
Making a living
  • How do you actually "make a living" (e.g. keep a roof over your head / pay the bills / have  a studio / plan for retirement)? 
  • What percentage of your income (roughly) do you generate from making art?
  • What percentage of your income (roughly) derives from being involved with art?
  • How do you aim to be making a living in future?
Time allocation
  • What percentage of time do you have each week for actually making art? (Is this more or less than you expected?)
  • How do you typically spend your time each  day or week or month?
Challenges and surprises
  • How difficult is the real life of "being an artist"?
  • In terms of the reality of working as a professional artist:
    • What do you find your biggest challenge?
    • What has been your biggest surprise?
    • What are you much better at doing that you expected to be?
Improving and succeeding
    • Do you work on yourself to improve or do you work at your job to improve?
    • Beyond the art, what do you think makes an artist successful today?
    • What do you wish you had known at the beginning of becoming a professional artist that nobody told you about?
    • What was the best bit of advice that anybody ever gave you about  "real life" as a working artist?

    and finally......

    What do you think of the idea of trying to create a free resource online?

    1 comment:

    1. Hi Katherine, I've written a couple of posts on the Art Spies blog relating to art gallery closures and the problems arising for artists as a result and also on the idea of artists being obliged to explain their work. etc. Please see


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