Feature of the Week

posted by Bridget on 22 August 2012

Is it possible to make money as an artist? Asks Elizabeth Day in The Observer

In a feature that is both depressing and inspiring, Day looks at how artists, musicians, film makers and novelists manage to make their art whilst running a day job to pay the rent.

The article concludes that unless you are Damien Hirst or JK Rowling or have rich parents/patrons then you need a day job. Many people, Day discovered earn less than £5000 a year from their art, which is depressing, but the fact that determined artists managed to work as lawyers, sub-editors or bricklayers while also producing films, plays or novels was inspiring.

Perhaps it was always like this and the lack of money in the arts is nothing new. Philip Larkin was after all a librarian and TS Elliot a banker. One of Day's most interesting discoveries was that many of the people she spoke to wanted to maintain their artistic independence by not taking money from the state via the Arts Council. Jennie Rooney, who funds her novelist ambitions by working as a lawyer for a TV company sums it up when she suggests that the Arts Council funds should be there for people who can't find a job to fund their art..."For me, its similar to unemployment benefit".

Read the full article.

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