Artfinder reports that UK artists are getting poorer: 82% earn less than £10,000 a year

30 November 2017

Courtesy of Artfinder

Earlier this year, in February, we covered art marketplace Artfinder’s report that highlighted the gender inequality of the high end art world. Today (30 November), Artfinder has published another report, revealing that UK artists are getting poorer with 82% now earning less than £10,000 a year.

Compiled by Artfinder and partner organisations including Artrooms art fair, Vango Art and art education business Be Smart about Art, the report details how this percentage is up from 72% in 2013. It is also worse for women, with 83.6% earning under £10,000 (from 98% of respondents who disclosed their gender).

Jonas Almgren, CEO of Artfinder states: “The online art market grew 15% in 2016 to $3.75 billion, making it an 8.4% share of the market as a whole. A large portion of it is donated by the high end, by the so-called ‘bricks and clicks’ players finally embracing online.”

However, this is not the whole story as the report reveals. There is a new independent artist market emerging where artists are selling work directly to consumers, instead of through galleries. Jonas adds that: “There are now thousands of independent artist selling their art online, as well as the new demographic of buyers who don’t see themselves as traditional ‘art collectors’. The fact that artist income as a whole is falling is something that should worry us all.”

Artfinder’s online community spans over 10,000 independent artists, in over 100 countries. From its collected findings, Artfinder was able to work out the top cities for artists to live in, which is also included in the report. Miami tops the US charts will 581 artists per 1 million inhabitants, whereas Cambridge tops the UK one with 317 artists per million inhabitants.

London does not feature in the top ten, which Jonas says is because costs are forcing them out. “The stats are ‘per capita’, so, yes, London still had the biggest absolute number of artists, but proportionally less than other cities. Artists are being forced out of London because they just can’t afford to live here, and with online platforms you no longer need to be in London to find an audience or ways to make a living from your work.”

Read the full report here.


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Ruby Boddington

Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor.

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