Covid-19: Art Industry Report

By May 12th, 2020Selling Your Art

Covid-19 Art Industry Report

Fascinating survey asks 600 UK creatives how the pandemic has impacted their finances, current practices and future plans…


Thanks to the fine folk at creativehub for sharing their report into how Covid-19 is disrupting the lives and livelihoods of artists and creatives around the UK.

The financial hit on artists is substantial but it’s not all doom and gloom, far from it in fact — many artists are utilising this time to learn new skills, improve their web presence and refocus their practice.

It has made me more determined to succeed and less worried about what people think of me. I have worked in photography for 27 years, I don’t have any other skills or qualifications, I have no choice but to make it work.

—Survey respondent

I was surprised to hear just how many artists are selling art online and the methods their using, scroll down for the graphs and stats.

Overall I felt a sense of solidarity, reassured to be part of a community whose very nature is to find new and creative ways of doing things. That way lies hope.

I lost a dream job and great revenue so I am humbled and worried, but it’s given me the kick to finally sit down and draw a kids book I’ve been talking about for…22 years!

—Survey respondent

The Survey

Let’s get started. Survey respondents broken down by age range…

Artist Age Ranges

The overwhelming majority are professional artists and creatives…

Percentage of professionals, semi professionals, amateurs and students

Just how bad has the financial hit been? Overall 73% have seen their income fall with almost half of those seeing it fall by 80% or more. The art industry has had it slightly easier than the commercial creative industry…

Art Income

56% of professional creatives have no work booked in right now. A sad statistic that stood out and helps explain the depressing state of affairs below…

Commercial Art Industry

In terms of a recovery, 64% expected to start to recover their income within 3 months. Even sooner would be great but I’ll take 3 months.

It’s challenged me to think critically about my professional and personal behaviour, and think about what habits I want to change after the lockdown ends.

—Survey respondent

Selling Art Online

More than half of all respondents (58%) said they sell their art online showing how quickly the internet has become an essential part of the art market.

Surprisingly almost 80% of those are selling their work through their own website and social media with online galleries such as Saatchi Art and Etsy each accounting for less than 18% of sales.

Sell Art Online

The main takeaway for me here is I need to update my guide to selling art online with far greater emphasis on personal websites and social media sales!

Speaking of those personal websites, here’s what artists are using to build and host them, Squarespace more dominant than I expected…

Website platforms used by creative industry

And how they’re finding buyers to get to those websites…

How Artists Find Buyers

Almost impossible to escape Instagram, Twitter and co if you want to sell art online these days…

How Artists Aquire Clients

It has given me the space to understand what I wanted to achieve artistically. There isn’t time now to do certain projects for the sake of it so I’ve become more savvy financially but more in tune to what I want for myself, my art and my family.

—Survey respondent

Keeping Creative During Lockdown

Inspiring to see the many ways artists are staying creative and productive during lockdown. Can relate with everything from upskilling/learning to working on new projects. It’s certainly kickstarted me to stop procrastinating on stagnating plans and get moving.

Ways to keep productive during lockdown

Artists are planning for the future and a growing online marketplace by increasing their marketing, social media and web presence…

Ways to keep productive during lockdown

Professionally, I have no work, but I do believe that when there’s nothing left, the only thing to do is start rebuilding. Personally, I feel like the rest of the world is a little more on my level of what it feels like to be a freelancer/solopreneur, and I find that comforting.

—Survey respondent

So there you have it. A glimpse into the impact Coronavirus is having on the creative industry. Be sure to check out the full report (pdf file) on creativehub. Thanks again to all the artists and creatives who responded and for creativehub for doing such a great job initiating and putting it all together.

Be well, stay safe and all the very best with your practice!

p.s. Get 50% off your first order at creativehub with code: PV8KGW7