New Report on the Working Artist

by Carolyn Edlund

This groundbreaking new report explodes myths about visual artists. It measures their impact on the economy and society, and reveals the importance of business education to their success.


Report on the Working Artists: Working Artists Demand Business Training


The Report on the Working Artist is a compelling look at the reality of being a visual artist today. Incredible potential exists for creative entrepreneurs to thrive while doing what they love. Developed over a two-year period by research staff of The Clark Hulings Fund for Visual Artists, the report is a comprehensive assessment of the circumstances, contributions, and needs of working artists in the United States.


Report on the Working Artist: The template for sustainable economic empowerment for artists


The 88-page report is free to access and can be downloaded; read it here. Some of the findings:

  • Artists are job creators: 25% of working artists have hired assistance to help run their artist business.
  • Artists are business investors: 27% of working artists have reinvested over 50% of the revenue realized from sales back into their enterprise.
  • They are intensely committed to building strong, viable businesses: Those who have received business training have shown a willingness to commit between 25-50% more of their time to growing their small business.


There's a Model for the Middle Class Artist


The good news is that success is attainable, and that solid business training and strong peer networks move the needle for working artists of all types. The myth of the starving artist is nothing more than an assumption whose time has passed. Artists have more opportunities than ever, and with business learning are prepared to take advantage of them.


Artists are the Antidote to an Uncertain Economy


A strong foundation of business knowledge produces confident entrepreneurs with clarity about their objectives and goals. It drives them to devote additional time to managing their businesses and finances. Over time, these strategies increase exposure, building revenue and profit. This can lead to a regular sustainable income, and an increased standard of living.

Artists are drivers of the creative economy. They represent innovation and expression that is important culturally and improves the quality of life. This report is a must-read for serious artists who are ready to take control of their futures, and art advocates of all types.



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