New website aims to reveal truth about artists’ pay

A new website is encouraging artists to share their employment experiences in a bid to expose the difficult realities of getting paid.

Who pays artists? allows users to contribute anonymously. Creatives working in any sector can enter how much they were paid for their work, and name the organisation that employed them. They can also give details of their overall experience with the organisation, and their professional backgrounds.

Read: Creative talent must be respected with fair pay

‘You never know how much to ask for,’ states the site. ‘Discussions about money are taboo because we pretend that passion and creativity alone should pay the bills.

‘Some of the best events have “no budget”, and sometimes only the worst events can make a career as an artist look painfully sustainable. Let’s help each other sort through some of the confusion, and develop an ongoing dialogue about how artists make money.’

Read: To charge or not to charge

The site has received entries from creatives worldwide. Here’s a selection:

‘I was paid nothing by a major new media festival for a performance in New York. It took one month of work, and I had a unusually bad experience. I am a woman, and have been doing video art 10 years.’

‘I was paid AUD2,000 by Next Wave Festival Show for a performance in Melbourne. It took three weeks of work, and I had a unusually good experience.’

‘I was paid nothing by REMIX SUMMIT for a talk/lecture in Sydney. I had a bad experience. I am a woman, and have been doing leadership five years.’