Visual artists and craft workers
The 2006 Census of Population and Housing and the 2007 Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey provide some information on the number of people involved in the creation of visual arts and crafts.
Census of Population and Housing
The 2006 Census of Population and Housing does not separately identify a visual arts and crafts industry, treating it as a subset of the broader Creative arts industry. The Creative arts industry comprises those who are self employed and includes writers, composers and a variety of occupations which rely on creative expression. Selecting specific occupations gives an indication of the number of people undertaking visual art and craft activity as their main job in the week before the Census.
Some of the more common visual arts and crafts occupations in the Creative arts industry in 2006 were Painters (1,508 people) and Visual arts and craft professionals (516 people).
The data indicates that other industries also employed creative artists. Details of the total number of people working in visual art and craft occupations in all industries are provided in Chapter 5.
14.1 PERSONS EMPLOYED IN THE VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS INDUSTRY(a)(b), By selected cultural occupations - August 2006
|Selected cultural occupations |
Number of persons
|Painters (visual arts) |
|Visual arts and craft professionals, n.e.c. or n.f.d. |
|Potters and ceramic artists |
|Total selected cultural occupations |
|(a) Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to prevent the release of confidential data. |
|(b) In their main job in the week before Census Night. |
|Source: ABS data available on request, Census of Population and Housing, 2006. |
The Census only collects information on a person's main job during a one week period in August 2006. However, the 2007 survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities shows that less than a quarter of artists and craftworkers received payment for their creations in the 12 months before interview.
The Work survey is perhaps a better indicator of the Australian level of involvement in visual art and craft, as it includes both paid and unpaid involvement over a 12-month period.
During the 12 months prior to interview in April 2007, an estimated 1.4 million people aged 15 years and over were involved in visual arts, while 953,500 were involved in craft. Female involvement was higher for virtually all types of art and craft work, the exception being furniture-making and woodcraft.
People most likely to be paid for their visual arts and craft work were those involved in print-making, although the number undertaking this activity was relatively small. It should be noted that hobby activity is excluded from these figures - that is, only those people involved in the production of works that are available for sale or public display are included.
14.2 PERSONS INVOLVED(a), By type of activity and payment status(a) - 2007
Some paid involvement
Unpaid involvement only
Percentage with some paid involvement
|Visual art activities |
|Computer art |
|Other visual art |
|Total visual art activities(b) |
|Craft activities |
|Pottery or ceramics |
|Jewellery making |
|Furniture making and wood crafts |
|Glass crafts |
|Other craft activities |
|Total craft activities(b) |
|* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution |
|(a) Total includes some persons for whom payment details are not known. |
|(b) Components may not add to total as some persons were involved in more than one activity. |
|Source: Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2007 (cat. no. 6281.0). |
This page last updated 18 October 2010