A new Research paper looking how a-n’s own guidance on fees and day rates for visual artists fits within the wider context of advice on artists’ pay has just been published.

Commissioned by a-n from freelance arts writer and researcher Dany Louise, Contextual information on the fees guidance provided by a-n shows how visual arts organisations in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have approached advising on visual artists’ day rates, as well as a comparator organisation in Canada and those working more broadly across the arts.

Market-led or business planning?

Louise suggests there are two distinct approaches to offering guidance. The ‘market-led’ approach identifies what comparable freelancers are charging for similar work, balanced with a judgement of what the market will bear, while the ‘business planning’ approach calculates overheads, set against required income, balanced with experience and career stage.

“a-n’s guidance adopts the second approach,” she explains, “judging it to be more robust, more likely to provide steady and appropriate income, and being less subject to the vagaries of a fluctuating market.”

Referring to a-n resource The artist’s fees toolkit, Louise says one of its strengths is to acknowledge the influence of the market: “While arts work has been undervalued in all art forms, and the current difficult funding climate has also impacted on rates of pay, there are still generally accepted pay scale ‘norms’ that are the legacy of good practice and a healthier market.

“The toolkit accepts this to be case and counsels that artists and arts professionals need to keep their rates within these norms.”

Research paper: Contextual information on the fees guidance provided by a-n

The report is part of a broad range of research feeding into the Paying Artists campaign to secure payment for artists who exhibit in publicly-funded galleries.

More on a-n.co.uk

Guidance on fees and day rates for visual artists