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Does money really matter in the arts?

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I really don’t care about getting rich off of going into the arts, but I still want to earn a liveable wage without working myself to death. Is this even possible? #art #artist #fine-art

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Carissa’s Answer

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Hello! Great question! Many people forget that they're surrounded by art that people were paid to make constantly. Movies, TV shows, and games are made by lots of artists working in different specialities across the big spectrum of art career possibilities. Design is found in practically everything, from the logos of big and small companies, to the packaging on our cereal boxes, to the overall look of a car, to the stuff you wear, and it's all put together by artists. Even the page layout of a magazine might be made by a graphic designer. Making a liveable wage without working yourself to death is absolutely doable, it's just important to remember that in part that's depending on the type of art you hope to pursue. People working in applied arts (that being art that has more of a function than just being a visually pleasing thing to look at) have income as long as they can find work, whether it be by freelance contracts or through employment at a studio or otherwise. There are artists I know of who make well over six figures (usually these artists work in entertainment and commercial art fields in art director type roles).
That isn't to say that fine artists don't make ends meet--plenty of painters and sculptors who manage to show through galleries make money off their work as well.
And these days, skills in the arts can also be used to supplement an income. Many artists create YouTube channels or teach classes and mentorships to make a bit of extra cash outside of creating the work itself. It's absolutely possible, so if it's something you're considering as a viable career option, don't be afraid!
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Judith’s Answer

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Applying for grants or seeking commissions to present public art are an option. When doing murals, installations, or public sculptures, cities seek artistic proposals and then they will fund the works. Recessions can influence income stability so it is always good to have alternatives. An MFA can provide security to teach in University settings.

Finding galleries which may be a suitable match for your style takes research. When you find them, build relationships with the owners and get to know them so that they can feature your works.

University and Art Institutes where you could teach offer a huge network of connections to artists in your area. This could be a great recession proof plan so that even in times of financial challenges you could present your works in coveted arenas.

Don't get discouraged. Have your own voice and do art every day.
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