Getting my pay slip on Monday, reminded me that there are many pros to working for someone else. I’d only spent a few days of the month in work, the rest of the time I’d been off travelling…exploring…exhibiting…meeting other artists, and all of that time being paid, taxed and making contributions towards my pension.
If I was self employed, I wouldn’t be able to do that. It really got me thinking about being paid.
It is interesting to see what some artists class as ‘making a living’ though. There are a few blogs in artists talking on just that – making a living … though mainly through commissioned work. Could I do that? What would be the difference between me doing that or doing the job I do? Neither involves doing my own work. Nah…It’s not for me. (Though I admire anyone else who decides to make a living that way)
Last year I spoke to an artist who was happy with the £150 a month she made from running workshops. ‘It pays for my materials’ she said. Oh OK. What am I doing wrong? £150 wouldn’t even pay for my food bill for a month.
Another artist I know sold £4000 of artworks (which I thought was amazing and I would kill to do that!!) But again, said that would get her through the year.
Surely £4000 is barely 3 months pay – or am I getting my sums wrong?
A living wage is £7.65 an hour (outside of London) the average week is 38 hours. So therefore a living weekly wage is £290.70 or £15,116 a year. Pretty low – but ….ARTISTS!! STOP KIDDING YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE MAKING A LIVING IF YOU EARN BELOW £15,000!!!
Seriously though… when some artists say they are making a living, it puts pressure on others and makes them feel like they are not good enough.
I can’t praise enough the campaign for Paying artists, if everyone stands together, maybe one day we can all make a living, do our work and survive.