Salary levels are difficult to estimate since they vary widely, owing to the freelance nature of the work. Almost all printmakers are freelance, with a lot carrying out additional part time work to supplement their wage.
Starting incomes for printmakers in education are usually a little higher than those outside of academia. Established printmakers with a reputation can earn significantly more. Artquest provides advice on how to set your freelance rate and where to look for further information.
If the academic route is chosen, salaries are comparable to other lecturers and teachers in the same institution.
Few are able to make a living solely as a printmaker, unless they manage to establish themselves and build a strong reputation. Most therefore undertake additional jobs, such as teaching or technician work.
Working hours typically include regular extra hours especially if near a project deadline or to meet client demands. Printmakers may also be required to work weekends or evenings if teaching.
Printmakers are usually studio-based and work either on their own or with other artists in shared premises.
Self-employment and freelance work are common.
The work may be self-directed and printmakers are often able to determine their own lifestyle.
Printmakers, like other art and design professionals, may gain great satisfaction from having the autonomy to organise their own time and resources. Those who exhibit and sell their own work get immense satisfaction from being able to pursue their own artistic vision. Producing work for clients and customers however, may involve compromising artistic vision to meet others' specifications.
Depending on the type of printmaking, toxic chemicals may be used which could present a hazard meaning necessary safety precautions must be taken.
Travel within a working day is occasional. Overnight absence from home is not uncommon in some posts and overseas work or travel may be part of a ‘residency’.
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