The Creative Independent is published by Kickstarter as an educational resource for creatives. The group has a small staff including two editors and a creative director and publishes a survey related to the financial well-being of artists.

The survey titled, “A Survey on the Financial State of Visual Artists,” collects survey information from over 1,000 artists working across video, digital, design, performance, and 2d art.

Respondents were from 52 total countries around the world though more than 50% came from the United States.

Key takeaways:

  • Artists do not consider themselves financially sustainable.
  • Artists report a median income of $20K-30K per year.
  • 60% of respondents reported making less than 30K per year.

The report also provides information about how artists fund their work, including supplemental employment and their ability to become sustainable in the future.

Additionally, the report looks at the business side of an artists’ work and how much time is dedicated to growing their business.

Lastly, the report lists surveys related to institutional support, formal art degrees, and the sales process for artists.

Artists as Engines of Economic Growth

Just a couple of decades ago, the thought of artists contributing meaningfully to local economic growth was seen as a crazy idea. Only in major metros did enough residents have the ability to purchase artworks or enjoy the work of local artists.

However, many small to mid-size cities now view artists as integral to local economies as providing authentic amenities and experiences to an urban and creative workforce. Artists also contribute meaningfully to a city’s GDP.

The nature of work in the creative industries such as technology establishes a workforce who largely participates in creative and emergent thinking or maintains technical arts abilities as hobbies or as side projects.