Starting up

On real estate, income and starting an artist's practice.

Without good workspace, it's damn hard to make art. Without good living space, it's damn hard to build a life. Real estate becomes scarce for many because it is expensive and becomes more expensive because it is scarce. A catch 22 for those with a normal to small wallet. And visual artists usually do have a small wallet. The recent monitor of the Central Bureau of Statistics shows again that of all those working in the creative world, visual artists have the least to spend (see also this article).

Of all those working in the creative industries, visual artists have the least to spend

So how do you do it when you're just starting out? If you can't find living space? Let alone work space. Make work in your parents' attic (if they have an empty attic)? Making digital work behind the laptop in a coffee shop (on an occasional consumption)? A wandering existence from one residency and through friends or parents to the next?

Create work in your parents' attic?

The housing protests in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, on 12 September and 17 October respectively, focused on the shortage of affordable housing, which means that many people have no chance of finding a home. The housing market is locked in and only if you can arrange a couple of tons of money, it is possible - after considerable outbidding - to find a place to live in the city. The shortage of studio space has long been a problem in the cities. And starters in particular are hit hardest by all this.

The housing market is locked in and the shortage of studio space has been a problem in cities for some time.

Most starting artists start out in a city. Currently, a large proportion do so without a home and without studio space. How then? How do you start a life as a visual artist in the first place? From this edition of BK Information we begin with the section Starting up, in which one of six starting visual artists talks about starting out as an artist in rotation. By the way, the column is not necessarily about housing issues. It can be, but it will obviously be about much more than that.

Startups in particular are hit hardest by all this.

In addition, the starters ask questions of experienced artists. The idea is that the visual artists who BK Information read support them with their experiences and ideas. How have you resolved your issues in the past, overcome uncertainties, found a work space, a work rhythm and an income, and been able to get the word out about your work? Through 2023, each edition of BK Information asked one or more questions of you. We hope you will share your answers with the new generation. Answers they can use in starting their artists' lives (hopefully in a suitable workspace and with the peace of their own living space), so that these artists too can contribute to the fact that visual art in the Netherlands remains important. 

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