As an artist, you are entitled to earn a livelihood from your work.
Artists receive commissions for their work because their art is valued. Artists are entitled to financial compensation for their work. Being offered visibility, the chance to get your foot in the door or even just free coffee and snacks cannot compensate for all your hours of work and unique expertise.
You should not be afraid to negotiate and price your work realistically. Visibility seldom leads to paid commissions, even for the most distinguished artists, as long as the structures that enable unpaid work are maintained within the arts. Demanding pay is also fair towards other artists, as it improves working conditions within the entire sector.
Creative work cannot be performed 24/7, but the income earned by artists has to be sufficient to support them throughout the year. Therefore, price your art relative to the actual amount of work and number of days that went into it.
How to promote fair practices as an artist:
- Bring up the subject of money right from the start or make an offer immediately.
- Draw up an agreement in writing specifying responsibilities and remuneration, such as fees, travel and accommodation expenses, and compensation for other related expenses.
- If you are to be paid using your tax card, check whether you will be paid in the form of wages or trade income. If you are paid in the form of trade income, you are responsible for paying pension and insurance contributions.
- If you are invoicing for your work, include in the total the costs of materials, overheads, wage-related expenses, such as pension and insurance contributions, the share of annual and possible sick leave days, and VAT.
To help you commission work from artists, we have included links on this page to pay and fee recommendations for different fields of the arts, as well as agreement templates.
Recommendations are always base prices and indicative. The price should take into account the amount of preparation work, the duration of the performance/presentation, all the props that are required, the number of people involved, the location, the size of the audience, special requirements, and the length and merits of the artist’s professional career.