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Fees and payments

The artist's fees toolkit

This toolkit takes artists step-by-step through a process to calculate an individual daily rate and prepare quotes for freelance work.

Introduction

This toolkit takes artists step-by-step through a process to calculate an individual daily rate and prepare quotes for freelance work. It concentrates on pricing the services that artists supply, as opposed to any products they sell. The toolkit is a practical framework that demonstrates how artists can take responsibility for their working arrangements and establish, and make the case for, their charges and fees. It takes into account:

  • The level of remuneration for comparator professionals
  • The costs specific to freelance working
  • The artist's particular circumstances and location
  • How an artist's knowledge and experience level impacts on charges

Written by financial expert Richard Murphy and published with Arts Council England support, The artist's fees toolkit is part of a body of advocacy, advisory and practical resources from a-n: The Artists Information Company around good practice in valuing and paying artists.

Click here to launch The artist's fees toolkit

Click Next below to read an FAQ about The artist’s fees toolkit

The artist's fees toolkit is the interactive version of Richard Murphy's Establishing a charge rate for a working artist print publication - with full explanation of calculations, sample figures based on an artist with three years experience, and paper form to fill in - available free here as a downloadable pdf.

The artist's fees toolkit is one of a series of interactive artist's tookits - the others being:

  • The artist's development toolkit
  • The studios toolkit
  • The artist's contracts toolkit

Fees FAQ

What should I charge a local authority run gallery to facilitate a series of workshops over a two-week period?

ANSWER

In order to ensure their fees keep track with their level of experience and the general rate of increases in costs of living and overheads, we recommend September each year as a good time for artists to review their approaches to budgeting and charging.

Rather than create a set of ‘recommended minimum rates’ that may be construed as anti-competitive or a restrictive practice, a-n’s advice is to use the framework devised and developed especially for freelancers by chartered accountant Richard Murphy and published by a-n as Establishing a charge rate for a working artist and The artist’s fees toolkit on www.a-n.co.uk.

The framework takes artists step-by-step through a process to calculate an individual daily rate and prepare quotes for freelance work. It concentrates on pricing the services that artists supply, as opposed to any products they sell. This is a practical way for artists to take responsibility for their working arrangements, and ensure that they – and other artists – can pay their bills in the twelve months to come. It takes into account:

•the level of remuneration for comparator professionals

•the costs specific to freelance working

•the artist’s particular circumstances and location

•how an artist’s knowledge and experience level impacts on charges.

Research shows that probably half of all artists are freelance and that many public employers genuinely do not know how to arrive at fees for the projects they offer and don’t know about the kinds of overhead costs freelancers have to pay out – such as insurance, studio, communications and marketing costs and so on. Artists who’ve made use of the framework report not only being able to afford to take a holiday once in while, but that commissioners and project managers have been willing to pay a better price to ensure a better job!

To view a table of current sample artist’s day rates click here

Click here to launch The artist's fees toolkit

Richard Murphy

By accountant Richard Murphy

First published: a-n.co.uk December 2004

Comments on this article

An excellent resource, thank you.

posted on 2012-01-10 by Christina Phillips

This is the first time I've ever really sat down to work out what I should charge for my time, taking everything into account. Extremely helpful. Thanks.

posted on 2011-04-27 by Marliese Richmond

Very helpful, a bit of a surprise to realize what I dont take in to account when considering a daily rate. The task now will be to convince employers to pay it. Many thanks

posted on 2010-08-10 by Penny Phillips

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