The results of Xanadu Gallery’s 2015 State of the Art Survey are now in. We would like to thank the 1018 artists who completed the survey, contributing to a better understanding of the current art market for artists. This is our fourth annual survey.
As always, it bears mention that our surveys are intended to be an informal check of the pulse of the art market for artists. The survey is not scientific – the survey group is voluntary, not randomized, and we’re not statisticians – but we feel the data obtained gives a good general sense of the art market.
If you would like to look at the raw responses, you can see the public version of the survey results here: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/report/weCNwg
Our analysis looks at the broader picture of what all participants reported, but also compares those responses to artists who reported generating over $25,000 in annual sales. This comparison can help give some insight into the habits and outlooks of artists generating significant levels of sales.
Also, please not that you can click on any of the graphs to display them full-size.
First, as mentioned above, we had just over 1000 artists participate in the survey. This included artists from around the globe.
Survey participants are working in a wide range of media, with expected concentrations of artists working in oil, acrylic and watercolor.
37% of responding artists report that art is their full-time professional undertaking and their primary source of income.
Sales and Perception of the Health of the Art Market
Participants report that 2014 was a good year for sales. 54% reported an increase in sales, while only 23% reported a decrease in sales year over year. When asked about the overall health of the art market, 40% of respondents feel that the market continues to improve, while 42% feel the market is holding steady and 18% feel that the market is declining. Every year I’m interested to see that while a majority of artists feel that the market is either steady or declining (42%+18%=60% this year) when asked about their personal outlook for sales in 2015, a full 80% or respondents feel that they will sell more in 2015 than they did in 2104.
Artists reporting more than $25,000 worth of sales in 2014 are slightly more optimistic about the health of the market, but less optimistic about their own prospects for increasing sales in 2015.
51% of respondents report that they produced more work in 2014 than 2013. For $25K+ artists productivity increases weren’t as strong as they were for the broader audience. This may be because these artists are already producing at a higher level. Artists reporting $25K+ in sales, nearly 65%, report production of over 30 pieces per year.
Direct sales to collectors continues to be an important part of the overall revenue generation for artists. Higher selling artists are showing in more galleries, but even those artists report that a significant amount of their revenue is coming from direct sales.
With direct to client sales playing a more important role in artists’ income, respondents are reporting increasing advertising expenditures. As would be expected, artists generating sales of $25K+ reported spending even more on advertising.
Artist report planning to invest in a variety of marketing efforts.
58% of respondents report spending 1/4 or less of the rime on marketing and business management. For $25K+ artists those numbers shift significantly with 49% reporting spending between 50% and 75% of their time in the business and marketing end of their practice.
What do You Think of the Survey Results?
Do the results of this year’s survey match your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.