This paper aims to illustrate the working and business environment of professional fine artists and to identify the factors to successfully make a living in the arts as both market challenges and success factors have not yet been clearly identified in literature. The identification of artists’ business environment and success factors could be particularly beneficial for practising fine artists, prospective fine art students, and higher education institutions (HEIs) in order to provide them with a deeper market insight and knowledge for an effective professional education and preparation. In order to achieve this aim, the paper is first focused on the literature to identify working fine artists’ business environment including the different art market segments, entry barriers, and challenges. In a second step, interviews with professional fine artists were conducted as well as surveys distributed to lecturers and students in Fine Art at HEIs and to galleries to determine the challenges and success factors in the art market from their professional experience. The literature and survey findings clearly show that the art market is characterised by different segments of varying market attention and visibility, whose access is controlled by informal market barriers consisting of powerful networks. The vast majority of fine artists are practising in segments excluded from buyers’ awareness.
Thom, M. (2016): Fine Artists' Entrepreneurial Business Environment, in: IfM Bonn: Working Paper 06/16, Bonn.