At the end of 2017, we conducted a survey called ‘THIS IS HOW WE DO IT: Working trends of independent artists, creatives, and arts workers’.
This is TNA’s first survey designed to gather data that reflects the realities of making it as an independent artist or arts worker in Australia. We hope the findings presented here provide solid provocation for discussion, evaluation, and benchmarking. We recommend reading it alongside David Throsby and Katya Petetskaya’s survey, Making Art Work – an economic study of artist wages.
While the TNA survey results illustrate a mixed financial reality, they also paint a picture of a vibrant independent sector built on peer exchange, mentorship, and skill-sharing. Some of the interesting outcomes are around respondents’ identifications between ‘Emerging’, ‘Mid-Career’, and ‘Established’, and the striking differences in trends between these classifications.
We encourage independents to read and share this resource with colleagues, and for those working in companies to start being the change! Invite an independent to sit on your board, offer informal mentoring, provide hot desks, champion their work.
TNA relies on member feedback to shape our research and advocacy, so please contact us if you have feedback or ideas for how we could develop future independent surveys/improve the next edition.
There have been some excellent media coverage on our survey, which you can read below.
Unfunded excellence: on the mid-career crisis for Australian artists, Emilie Collyer for Overland.
New survey suggests generational shift in indie sector’s diversity, Jamie Lewis and Kieran Swann for Arts Hub.