Finance For Artists

When it comes to personal financial planning, a regular salary makes things a lot easier. You know how much you have coming in and you know when it will arrive. Finance for artists is a bit more challenging. Artists, Designers and Contract Employees doing gig work don’t always enjoy the same regularity of earnings.


What are the most pervasive financial issues that face artists, designers or anyone that doesn’t work for a regular salary?

  1. No regular paycheck usually means no “payroll” company that manages your formal withholding. This means that paying taxes that first year requires enough to cover all your taxes AND both sides of your social security (self-employment) taxes at the same time – this is always a HUGE surprise.
  2. Unpredictable income means not knowing when your next gig will start or when you might be paid for it. So, when you are reserving for taxes, it is also incredibly important to be sure to have a fully funded emergency fund to fill the gaps that inevitably arise between paychecks. Or, perhaps, it would be best to keep a day job until you can survive on your contract income alone.
  3. Simply increasing income. I hear this time and time again, “Jonathan, I just don’t make enough.” Obviously this can be an issue that faces any kind of employee. For artists in particular, I think it is important to remember that you are charging for beauty… not the hours it takes to create a piece. Beauty – once viewed by the right eyes – is worth WELL MORE than the time it takes to make.

If this was valuable, you can also check out our most recent Video on Market Volatility.