Day job artists in Europe

An excerpt from a good article in the Guardian:

    But none of these scenarios will ring true for the average artist – who is more likely to be stacking supermarket shelves, waiting tables or writing ­advertising copy by day, and acting, dancing or sculpting by night.

    Right now, the economic climate for artists in this country looks particularly bleak. There’s the innate financial ­instability of most artistic careers (low earnings, and sometimes none at all; little job security; no pension or other benefits), together with the recession. Then there’s the fact that – ­unlike some European and Scandinavian countries – the British government makes no ­specific social provision for artists, ­unless through the publicly funded ­regional arts councils.

    In Denmark, for instance, 275 artists are granted an annual stipend of ­between 15,000 and 149,000 Danish krone (£1,750 to £17,000) every year for the rest of their lives. In France, public funds are awarded through regional bodies not unlike our arts councils, ­except that the range of awards is much greater: artists in the Ile-de-France ­region, which includes Paris, can, for instance, claim up to ¤7,500 (£6,545) specifically to equip their studios.

    But in this country, for artists without a lucky early break, rich parents or ­benefactors, a day job is often the only way to survive. It needn’t mean that fame and fortune aren’t just around the corner: Joy Division’s Ian Curtis worked in an unemployment office until 1979, well after the band had released their debut EP. Van Morrison immortalised his old job as a window cleaner in the 1982 song Cleaning Windows; composer Philip Glass wasn’t able to quit his jobs as a plumber and a taxi-driver until the age of 41.

    What a day job inevitably means, of course, is spending the majority of your waking hours not doing the thing you love: making art.

Via the Curator.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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