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.
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.
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