Elm Profile picture
May 18, 2018 18 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
It's May, meaning a lot of my artist friends are graduating! Some of my UK friends are considering freelancing, while searching for jobs or even jumping into it full time and getting themselves out there! Some advice. Do not undersell yourself. You have #rights! (thread!)
As of August 2017, the Artist's Union England determines the following hourly rates for an artist to be fair; £21.04 p/hr for a new graduate artist. That's about $28 dollars for my US friends. This goes up to £27.27 p/hr for 3 yrs+ exp, and £31.47 per hour for 5 years or more. /2
If you are doing sessional/daily rates such as presentations, consultations and installations. You should be looking at £166.24 p/day (£ 83.12 p/ 1⁄2 day) for a new grad artist, £218.19 p/day (£109.10 p/ 1⁄2 day) 3 yrs+ exp, £270.14 p/day (£135.07 p/ 1⁄2 day) 5 yrs+ exp. /3
You might think these are high rates, or you might not. But these numbers do not include, rental costs, travel costs, insurance, and shipping. They are only the cost of your time and labour. Someone has to foot that bill! You deserve to make enough to live. /4
DYK: If you deliver a commission, or artwork. You are legally entitled to enforce daily interest for late payment. If there is an expected date, it is considered late 60 days after the invoice or after completion of services. That rate is 8% + the Bank of England base rate. /5
You might also count as a zero hours worker. If your contract does not express a set amount of work hours, your client cannot stop you from looking for work elsewhere and accepting other work at the same time. I have seen artists be crippled by low pay and working exclusively. /6
Maybe you're intimidated about doing contract work for big client. Don't fret, u still have rights, and u should still look at it as a professional! The rules are mostly the same, but how about some tips for doing commissions/freelance on a hobbyist, private or smaller scale: /7
When working on a freelance basis. Reiterate what the client wants. Say it back to them. If something isn't clear, don't just 'assume' that's what they meant. Work out the kinks and make sure you're on the same page.
Poor communication can be costly for both parties. /8
Personally, being told you have artistic freedom is great. But I feel vastly more comfortable knowing my client and I, are on the same wavelength, and have mutually understanding of what is expected in the end result. I like it even better when it's in writing. /9
Avoid working without a contract. Verbal contracts are just as binding, but much harder to prove than written ones. They don't have to be scary, they can be as simple as this: artquest.org.uk/artlaw-article… or see artquest in general for good advice. It's here to help. /10
For example, your contract really should just include the things on this list at the bare minimum. artquest.org.uk/artlaw-article… . A contract is really just an agreement between two parties, and can be as thorough as you need it to be. /11
If you are being commissioned, know that licensing to reproduce art in a different medium is not the same as transferring copyright. Owning copyright means you should be able to prevent others from using it without your permission. /12
Tangent: Of course, there is the argument of fair use. This is mostly limited to personal study, research, criticism, review, education, libraries, reporting current events and parody. It is decided on a case by case basis, and only a court can really decide if its fair use. /13
Back on topic: Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988. There are legal rights for creators regardless if commission, commercial or exhibition. 2 being you always have the right to be identified as the author, not to suffer unjustified modification up to 50 years after death. /14
While we do need to put ourselves out there. Take some precaution on social media. Beware of ToS' that exploit your rights, and don't be so quick to put every creation up online straight away, Take time to craft your brand and presence. /15
But overall, don't be afraid to stand your ground; new artist or not. Look into industry rates for your area! You should be raising your rates, in order to reflect your increase in skill overtime, but also increasing costs of living and inflation. /16
My personal advice is. Don't rely on one stream of revenue/income ever. As a freelancer, you need multiple avenues. If you are sick and cant do commissions, you still might have a shop, or royalties. Don't rely on one thing. That's a sure fire way to burn yourself out. /17
That's all for now! A lot of this is general, but I just wanted to share some info more relevant to our UK friends! I'm not a legal expert but if you're UK based you can find more info from artquest.org.uk/artlaw/ ,gov.uk/browse/business , artistsunionengland.org.uk . (/end thread)

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