Artist Career Definitions

These definitions are to help Creative Future identify which career stage artists they work with are at. This helps Creative Future tailor services more effectively, measure how many artists of each stage they work with year on year and consequently help the organisation fund and plan accordingly. While we recognise that not every career trajectory looks the same, the following framework is a useful yardstick to think about where an artist is in their development.

New artist/writer

Writers who have not yet been published in journals or magazines or performed their work and are new to writing.

Visual artists who have not yet exhibited and are new to art.

Emerging artist/writer

Writers who have not yet published a book but are continuing to develop their talents. They may have read or performed their work and been published on-line or in anthologies

Artists who are developing & experimenting with their style, may know about the concept of a signature style, but probably don’t have one yet. More interested in art production than art marketing, and may be inexperienced about pricing.

Mid-career artist/writer

Mid-career artists/writers have a growing body of work. They continue to refine and evolve their signature style or ‘voice’.

Mid-career artists/writers are committed to making a living as an artist, whether or not they are doing so. They manage a website/blog, and work hard to earn money from their artistic work, with varying degrees of success.

Mid-career artists show their art locally, regionally and maybe even nationally. In addition to selling work directly to collectors, mid-career artists often sell multiples as well as originals, have gallery representation and may also license their work. They know how to price their art appropriately.

Mid-career writers have had a book of their creative work, maybe more, published by established, reputable publishers and earn royalties, or income from residencies and/or teaching.

Established artist/writer

Established artists/writers have strong, recognizable signature styles with more than one body of work. Their signature style is notable enough that other artists line up to learn from them.

Established artists/writers have a strong following, are represented by good galleries/publishers and command the professional respect of other artists/writers and art/writing professionals.

Artists/writers in this stage usually make a full-time living from their work, have multiple streams of income from their work and produce steady financial results. Established artists/writers have people helping them with different aspects of their business.

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