How to Make a Living in the Arts


How to Make a Living in the Arts

Many artists and creative workers make a living through running a small business. These may involve sole practitioners, small groups, partnerships or cooperatives. Advice about running small businesses is available from a variety of sources.

Small Business NSW
Small Business NSW is the NSW Government’s information website for people starting, running or growing a small business. It is an excellent resource offering everything from business and marketing plan template, to workshops, and face-to-face advice through their Business Advisory Services.

Enterprise Connect
Enterprise Connect is an initiative of the Commonwealth Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. This program aims to connect businesses to the knowledge, tools and expertise necessary to improve productivity, increase competitiveness and fully capitalise on growth potential.  The Creative Industries Innovation Centre within Enterprise Connect works with a consortium of leading corporate, industry and university partners across Australia committed to supporting a thriving creative economy. The Centre supports businesses who work in publishing, writing, architecture, photography, visual arts, television, radio, advertising, film, performing arts, music, games and interactive content by providing hands-on business support and access to a range of other services at no charge.

CreateBiz Business Assistance Programs
CreateBiz is a resource put together by the Australia Council of the Arts to help artists to access government support programs. It provides state-by-state and national lists of business, research, innovation and export programs that may assist artists to access new sources of income.

Regional Arts Networks
Arts NSW is a key supporter of 14 Regional Arts Boards that employ Regional Arts Development Officers (RADOs) to promote arts development across the State. For arts organisations and practitioners working in regional and rural areas of NSW, tapping into your local Regional Arts Network is a good way to stay connected to new opportunities, hear about workshops and events, and be part of your local creative community.

Find your nearest Regional Arts Network

Arts NSW offers financial assistance for arts and cultural activities in NSW. Our funding programs are designed to recognise high artistic merit, innovation, build existing and new audiences, support professional and sector development, and increase access to the arts for all. We welcome applications from artists and organisations working in all art forms and from all parts of the State.

Learn more about Arts NSW funding program

The Australia Council for the Arts
The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body. It supports Australia’s arts through funding, strengthening and developing the arts sector.  Each year, the Council provides more than $158 million in funding for arts organisations and individual artists across the country.

Learn more about the Australia Council’s grants program

Information from Arts NSW (March 2013)