Research report: what factors increase business resilience for artist freelancers?

July 2021

Since 2012 SPACE has been delivering business development programmes for visual artists in London with the aim of supporting their resilience. Artist freelancers are an under-researched yet vital part of the creative industries and London’s creative ecosystem. Following the initial Covid-19 crisis, SPACE undertook this research into visual artist freelancers and business resilience to start an ongoing study into this area of interest.

Using survey data from 325 visual artists in London this research asks: 

What factors increase business resilience for visual arts freelancers? 

The analysis shows that specific business-related practices are correlated to the resilience of visual artists in London as demarcated by their turnover. These include:

  • In-house production
  • Strength of peer networks
  • Collaborative working 

These three factors can relate to each other, highlighting the importance of a creative and cultural ecology. Indeed, visual artists benefit in a number of ways from being part of a networked community, ecology and ecosystem. The report argues that flexibility is key to business resilience for visual artists in London.

These findings advocate for further research and increased support for visual artists. 

Read the full report here.