Your time is your most valuable resource. Understanding the value of your time may require re-thinking working minimum wage jobs (that take up all your time but only provide you just enough money to make ends meet), considering self-employment or well paid part-time employment to subsidise time to work on your own practice & projects.

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Understanding self-employment

The majority of visual artists are self-employed – whether working on their practice full-time or (more usually) making art or projects happen alongside other jobs or working for other companies, organisations or businesses. If you are new to the idea of self-employment, check out this useful explainer from Artquest.

 Am I self-employed?

This set of slides works through a series of questions for people who are new to self-employment or are unsure whether or not they work they do counts as self-employment.

a-n Artists Fees & Day Rates

Each year, a-n (the Artists Information Company) publishes their Guidance on fees and day rates for visual artists. These figures give a guide to how much you should be charging for work such as commissions, residencies, community projects and gallery education, relating to your career stage, overheads & experience. You should also use this rate when applying for funding or preparing (realistic) project budgets / costing up your time for new projects.

Day rates are based on 177 paid days’ work for an artist per year. This figure takes into account time spent on pitching and tendering for work, studio and research time, training and professional development time, administration and accounting, illness, family commitments and holidays.

For up-to-date figures, search “Guidance on fees and day rates for visual artists” (and the current year eg 2017, 2018 etc)

You will also find details of how to calculate your own rate via a-n’s Artist’s Fees Toolkit (requires a-n membership) – https://www.a-n.co.uk/resource/the-artists-fees-toolkit

Pricing Your Time & Work

Pricing Your Work & Your Time - Rachel Dobbs - CC BY NC SA

This set of resources explains how to calculate your day rate (the price you’ll charge for delivering a service, when people are buying your time) and how Cost Plus pricing works (the price you’ll charge customers for a product, when people are buying your stuff).

Understanding Portfolio Working

Portfolio working describes an approach to freelance and self-employed work, where you work with a range of different organisations, clients or individuals, or secure income through a range of different activities and a mix of self-employed and part-time employment contracts.


Getting Paid: How to write an invoice

If you are new to Self-Employment, or are asked to submit an invoice for the work you do, this quick guide will give you an overview of what you need to include, and how to chase the late payment of invoices.


Doing Your Tax Return

If you are self employed, you’ll need to submit a tax return to HMRC before 31st Jan each year (online). Some people find this to be a stressful activity, but by keeping your records up to date it should make the whole process far easier. This guide gives useful steps to easy record keeping for self-employed people in the UK, to make it as stress-free as possible!


Looking after yourself: Self Care Checklist

Being self-employed can be precarious, challenging and stressful, so in these circumstances it is important to look after your own health and wellbeing. Artist & educator Rachel Dobbs has prepared this “Self Care Checklist” for precarious workers, inspired by Shelia Ghalani’s “Checklist Of Care”.



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