Money Talks

Past Project 2012

Artists are always thought to be ‘not in it for the money’, but we all have bills to pay, holidays to go on and sometimes children to raise. How do you balance work, life and practice without selling out?

Money Talks took the form of a blog and aimed to bring you useful and practical insights from practising visual artists, makers and cultural commentators. From October 2011 to March 2012 everybody was welcome to join in the conversation, comment and write about their experiences, or just find out how everyone else manages it.

Money Talks was the place to post your ideas, opinions and cautionary tales about the in’s and out’s of how to spend more time on making art while still paying the rent  – if not profitably, at least sustainably.

Content from Money Talks will soon be developed into new online resources for artists and makers, and will appear on the Artquest website in the relevant sections.

Money Talks emerged from research in 2009, when we asked 300 artists to tell us their experiences of funding and finance – where they get income, what they spend money on, and their general attitudes to loans, grants and other forms of income generation.

The results of this report spawned Money Talks, and informed new resources on our website.

The report, by Claire Antrobus Consulting, uncovered some startling results:

  • 45% of respondents felt strongly they don’t have the funding or finance they need to make and develop their practice.
  • Only 16% of respondents sell work.
  • 66& of artists make less than £15,000 per annum.
  • 68% spend less than £5,000 on their work per annum.
  • 48% of artists make their primary income from non-arts related work.
  • About 80% of respondents applied to Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts fund (replaced in 2018 by Project Grants) with just under half being successful.
  • Personal finance and informal lending and donations from friends and family form a significant part of the artists’ economy.
  • 93% of artists are ‘not sure’ of their loan finance options.
  • 60% of artists plan their finances less than 12 months ahead.


Above: sources of funding for development costs

You can read the full report below.

ARTQUEST artists money research.doc

ARTQUEST artists money research.pdf

ARTQUEST artists money research.txt