How Much Do Artists Make in 2021

Personally, I can think of nothing more fun and rewarding than making art for a living.

This is why I have created my online course – How to Make Money as an Artist – and I am also doing some research and putting together articles to support this process for freelance artists, visual artists, and fine artists.

For example in this article, I focus on how much you can expect to make in the most popular commercial artist jobs, and how that changes in different countries around the world.

One of the articles I’ve posted – The Ultimate Guide for the Self-Taught Artist – is more general, but does give a lot of specific information on what you might expect or experience on your path as a professional artist. 

What is more, I also created a guide on How to Price Your Art which includes quite helpful Art Pricing Calculator.

💡 Please note: This article may include affiliate links. When you buy through those links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Table of Contents

How Much Money Does a Professional Artist Make?

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This article will be arranged in 2 main sections:

  • Visual Artist Salary by Region/Country
  • Average Artist Salary by Job

The first section will list 20 countries all around the world, and give the average salary in that specific country for the 14 most popular and asked-about art jobs. Each country’s cost of living will also be listed, to make comparisons between countries more meaningful.

The second section will list the 14 jobs themselves, arranged alphabetically, and will include average salary information for each of those 20 countries.

This should help you focus in on a specific country or area, and get an idea of what the compensation picture looks like there, or if you prefer focus on a specific type of job, maybe your own preference or specialty, and see just what the average salary currently is for that job.

And after these two data sections, I will talk about a few more things, including how to compare hourly wages to salary, how much money freelance artists, visual artists and fine artists make, how much money the big players like Disney actually pay, and what all of this information really means to you as an artist and professional.

Disclaimer & Notes about the Data

  • Disclaimer: Please understand, that due to the nature of the salary data which change frequently and sometimes are not fully accurate, we assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. The information contained in this article is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.
  • These salary figures are average figures for an employee who has been employed for around three to five years. Based on information from salary experts, as well as real world experience, you can expect to get a Starting Salary that is approximately 30 percent less than these average figures.
  • These salary figures are for permanent or long-term salaried or hourly positions with companies, and do not take into account freelance artists and self employed artists positions or their compensation (because they have their own art business). I hope to write more soon about hired positions versus freelance jobs, and if I do I will place a link here.
  • For convenience, and to make sensical comparisons, all salary figures are given in US Dollars, and cost of living indexes and salaries for each country are compared to an arbitrary standard of United States levels of cost of living and salary.
  • Salaries are adjusted to compensate for recent developments around Covid-19, which has had an adverse effect on salaries in almost all industries. While most salary sites don’t say exactly how much their quoted salaries have been adjusted, in my experience it seems that visual artists, who may not be as hard hit as, say, people in travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, are seeing around a ten percent reduction in salary.
  • Just because a job is listed for a country, it doesn’t mean that this job will certainly be available there – for example, many salary sites have information on salaries for game visual artists in Argentina or Egypt, but it is hard enough to find such a job in the USA, England or Japan, and may not be possible in those smaller markets (or, for that matter, in different cultures).

Overall, these salary figures are determined using data from many different sites, including: 

And the cost of living index figures is courtesy of:

The actual numbers quoted in this article are aggregated and averaged from these different sites, and sometimes adjusted when appropriate, in hopes of making this the most complete, accurate, and useful guide to visual artists’ salaries in 2021 currently available.

I hope this article – How Much Do Artists Make in 2021 – will help you in your quest to become a professional artist, to change careers, or to understand just how much you and your work are worth, and also that you will check out some of the many other resources available on my web site – Art Side of Life.

Visual Artists’ Salaries by Continent and Country

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What are Average Salaries for Visual Artists in Africa in 2021?

How Much Do Artists Make in Egypt in 2021?

The cost of living in Egypt is around 40 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 10 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$6,000
3D Artist$3,600
Animator$5,200
Comic Book Artist$2,200
Concept Artist$5,000
Creative Director$12,000
Graphic Designer$3,200
Interior Designer$3,900
Product Designer$8,300
Storyboard Artist$5,400
Tattoo Artist$3,500
UX Designer$9,000
Video Game Artist$6,000
Web Designer$9,500

How Much Do Artists Make in Nigeria in 2021?

The cost of living in Nigeria is around 43 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 6.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$4,500
3D Artist$2,700
Animator$4,000
Comic Book Artist$1,800
Concept Artist$3,000
Creative Director$7,000
Graphic Designer$2,200
Interior Designer$3,000
Product Designer$5,000
Storyboard Artist$4,000
Tattoo Artist$2,600
UX Designer$4,000
Video Game Artist$1,900
Web Designer$8,000

How Much Do Artists Make in South Africa in 2021?

The cost of living in South Africa is around 60 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 21 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$10,500
3D Artist$11,000
Animator$11,500
Comic Book Artist$5,000
Concept Artist$10,500
Creative Director$26,000
Graphic Designer$10,000
Interior Designer$12,000
Product Designer$18,000
Storyboard Artist$13,000
Tattoo Artist$7,000
UX Designer$19,000
Video Game Artist$11,000
Web Designer$10,000

What are Average Salaries for Visual Artists in Asia in 2021?

How Much Do Artists Make in Australia in 2021?

The cost of living in Australia is around 107 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 92 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$75,000
3D Artist$52,000
Animator$72,000
Comic Book Artist$34,000
Concept Artist$36,000
Creative Director$55,000
Graphic Designer$58,000
Interior Designer$61,000
Product Designer$65,000
Storyboard Artist$41,000
Tattoo Artist$35,000
UX Designer$75,000
Video Game Artist$48,500
Web Designer$70,000

How Much Do Artists Make in China in 2021?

The cost of living in China is around 55 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 40 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$30,000
3D Artist$22,000
Animator$30,000
Comic Book Artist$22,000
Concept Artist$18,000
Creative Director$35,000
Graphic Designer$24,000
Interior Designer$25,000
Product Designer$22,000
Storyboard Artist$20,000
Tattoo Artist$9,000
UX Designer$32,000
Video Game Artist$16,000
Web Designer$30,000

How Much Do Artists Make in India in 2021?

The cost of living in India is around 34 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 12.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$10,500
3D Artist$11,000
Animator$11,500
Comic Book Artist$5,000
Concept Artist$10,500
Creative Director$26,000
Graphic Designer$10,000
Interior Designer$12,000
Product Designer$18,000
Storyboard Artist$13,000
Tattoo Artist$7,000
UX Designer$19,000
Video Game Artist$11,000
Web Designer$10,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Japan in 2021?

The cost of living in Japan is around 107 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 95 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$75,000
3D Artist$53,000
Animator$75,000
Comic Book Artist$42,000
Concept Artist$35,000
Creative Director$60,000
Graphic Designer$55,000
Interior Designer$60,000
Product Designer$65,000
Storyboard Artist$42,000
Tattoo Artist$30,000
UX Designer$80,000
Video Game Artist$52,000
Web Designer$75,000

How Much Do Artists Make in South Korea in 2021?

The cost of living in South Korea is around 95 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 67.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$37,000
3D Artist$25,000
Animator$37,000
Comic Book Artist$17,500
Concept Artist$17,500
Creative Director$28,000
Graphic Designer$28,500
Interior Designer$36,000
Product Designer$36,000
Storyboard Artist$21,000
Tattoo Artist$16,500
UX Designer$38,000
Video Game Artist$25,500
Web Designer$36,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Thailand in 2021?

The cost of living in Thailand is around 68.5 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 25 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$21,000
3D Artist$15,000
Animator$20,000
Comic Book Artist$10,000
Concept Artist$11,000
Creative Director$14,000
Graphic Designer$16,000
Interior Designer$14,500
Product Designer$15,000
Storyboard Artist$12,000
Tattoo Artist$9,000
UX Designer$22,000
Video Game Artist$12,000
Web Designer$20,000

What are Average Salaries for Visual Artists in Europe in 2021?

How Much Do Artists Make in England in 2021?

The cost of living in England is around 101 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 72 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$57,000
3D Artist$39,000
Animator$56,500
Comic Book Artist$27,500
Concept Artist$27,000
Creative Director$41,000
Graphic Designer$45,000
Interior Designer$48,000
Product Designer$50,000
Storyboard Artist$32,000
Tattoo Artist$26,000
UX Designer$60,000
Video Game Artist$42,500
Web Designer$55,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Germany in 2021?

The cost of living in Germany is around 91 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 93 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$72,500
3D Artist$50,000
Animator$72,500
Comic Book Artist$36,500
Concept Artist$34,000
Creative Director$54,000
Graphic Designer$57,000
Interior Designer$63,000
Product Designer$66,000
Storyboard Artist$41,000
Tattoo Artist$36,000
UX Designer$75,000
Video Game Artist$52,500
Web Designer$71,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Russia in 2021?

The cost of living in Russia is around 53.5 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 16 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$14,500
3D Artist$8,800
Animator$13,000
Comic Book Artist$10,000
Concept Artist$5,300
Creative Director$9,500
Graphic Designer$9,800
Interior Designer$9,300
Product Designer$9,800
Storyboard Artist$7,000
Tattoo Artist$4,500
UX Designer$13,000
Video Game Artist$8,500
Web Designer$12,300

How Much Do Artists Make in Spain in 2021?

The cost of living in Spain is around 79.5 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 57.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$48,000
3D Artist$33,000
Animator$46,000
Comic Book Artist$20,000
Concept Artist$21,500
Creative Director$35,000
Graphic Designer$36,500
Interior Designer$37,000
Product Designer$37,500
Storyboard Artist$25,000
Tattoo Artist$19,500
UX Designer$50,000
Video Game Artist$30,000
Web Designer$46,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Sweden in 2021?

The cost of living in Sweden is around 102 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 71.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$60,000
3D Artist$37,500
Animator$54,000
Comic Book Artist$25,500
Concept Artist$29,500
Creative Director$40,000
Graphic Designer$42,000
Interior Designer$54,000
Product Designer$56,500
Storyboard Artist$34,000
Tattoo Artist$30,000
UX Designer$55,000
Video Game Artist$32,000
Web Designer$53,000

What are Average Salaries for Visual Artists in North America in 2021?

How Much Do Artists Make in Canada in 2021?

The cost of living in Canada is the same as the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 81 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$65,000
3D Artist$45,000
Animator$65,000
Comic Book Artist$35,000
Concept Artist$30,000
Creative Director$48,500
Graphic Designer$50,000
Interior Designer$51,500
Product Designer$54,000
Storyboard Artist$36,000
Tattoo Artist$28,500
UX Designer$67,000
Video Game Artist$42,000
Web Designer$63,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Mexico in 2021?

The cost of living in Mexico is around 52 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 17 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$14,000
3D Artist$9,800
Animator$14,000
Comic Book Artist$5,500
Concept Artist$5,600
Creative Director$10,500
Graphic Designer$11,000
Interior Designer$9,350
Product Designer$9,800
Storyboard Artist$7,800
Tattoo Artist$5,000
UX Designer$14,500
Video Game Artist$10,000
Web Designer$14,000

How Much Do Artists Make in the United States in 2021?

The United States has, overall, the highest average salaries for visual artists of all the countries we have surveyed in The Ultimate Guide to Artist Salaries in 2021 – this being true for each and every individual job description.

The ratio of salary relative to cost of living is also higher in the United States than any other country except for Germany, making it easier for a salaried professional artist in the US to meet those cost of living expenses than almost anywhere else in the world.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$81,000
3D Artist$56,000
Animator$80,000
Comic Book Artist$45,000
Concept Artist$35,500
Creative Director$61,000
Graphic Designer$63,000
Interior Designer$62,500
Product Designer$65,000
Storyboard Artist$45,000
Tattoo Artist$33,000
UX Designer$83,000
Video Game Artist$53,000
Web Designer$79,000

What are Average Salaries for Visual Artists in South America in 2021?

How Much Do Artists Make in Argentina in 2021?

The cost of living in Argentina is around 49.5 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 28.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$11,000
3D Artist$7,500
Animator$10,000
Comic Book Artist$4,500
Concept Artist$5,000
Creative Director$8,200
Graphic Designer$8,500
Interior Designer$8,100
Product Designer$8,400
Storyboard Artist$6,100
Tattoo Artist$4,500
UX Designer$11,500
Video Game Artist$7,500
Web Designer$10,700

How Much Do Artists Make in Brazil in 2021?

The cost of living in Brazil is around 57 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 22.5 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$17,500
3D Artist$12,500
Animator$17,500
Comic Book Artist$9,000
Concept Artist$8,000
Creative Director$13,500
Graphic Designer$13,500
Interior Designer$14,000
Product Designer$15,000
Storyboard Artist$10,000
Tattoo Artist$6,500
UX Designer$18,500
Video Game Artist$17,000
Web Designer$17,000

How Much Do Artists Make in Costa Rica in 2021?

The cost of living in Costa Rica is around 75 percent of the United States.

The average artist salary for visual artists is about 29 percent of the United States.

Art ProfessionSalary ($USD)
3D Animator$25,500
3D Artist$16,500
Animator$23,000
Comic Book Artist$12,000
Concept Artist$10,000
Creative Director$17,500
Graphic Designer$18,000
Interior Designer$17,800
Product Designer$18,500
Storyboard Artist$13,000
Tattoo Artist$9,300
UX Designer$24,000
Video Game Artist$15,500
Web Designer$22,000

Visual Artist’s Salaries by Job and Country

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What is the Average Artist Salary for a 3D Animator by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$6,000
Nigeria$4,500
South Africa$10,500
Australia$75,000
China$30,000
India$10,000
Japan$75,000
South Korea$37,000
Thailand$21,000
England$57,000
Germany$72,500
Russia$14,500
Spain$48,000
Sweden$60,000
Canada$65,000
Mexico$14,000
United States$81,000
Argentina$11,000
Brazil$17,500
Costa Rica$25,500

What is the Average Artist Salary for a 3D Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$3,600
Nigeria$2,700
South Africa$11,000
Australia$52,000
China$22,000
India$7,000
Japan$53,000
South Korea$25,000
Thailand$15,000
England$39,000
Germany$50,000
Russia$8,800
Spain$33,000
Sweden$37,500
Canada$45,000
Mexico$9,800
United States$56,000
Argentina$7,500
Brazil$12,500
Costa Rica$16,500

What is the Average Artist Salary for an Animator by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$5,200
Nigeria$4,000
South Africa$11,500
Australia$72,000
China$30,000
India$10,000
Japan$75,000
South Korea$37,000
Thailand$20,000
England$56,500
Germany$72,500
Russia$13,000
Spain$46,000
Sweden$54,000
Canada$65,000
Mexico$14,000
United States$80,000
Argentina$10,000
Brazil$17,500
Costa Rica$23,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Comic Book Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$2,200
Nigeria$1,800
South Africa$5,000
Australia$34,000
China$22,000
India$6,000
Japan$42,000
South Korea$17,500
Thailand$10,000
England$27,500
Germany$36,500
Russia$10,000
Spain$20,000
Sweden$25,500
Canada$35,000
Mexico$5,500
United States$45,000
Argentina$4,500
Brazil$9,000
Costa Rica$12,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Concept Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$5,000
Nigeria$3,000
South Africa$10,500
Australia$36,000
China$18,000
India$4,500
Japan$35,000
South Korea$17,500
Thailand$11,000
England$27,000
Germany$34,000
Russia$5,300
Spain$21,500
Sweden$29,500
Canada$30,000
Mexico$5,600
United States$35,500
Argentina$5,000
Brazil$8,000
Costa Rica$10,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Creative Director by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$12,000
Nigeria$7,000
South Africa$26,000
Australia$55,000
China$35,000
India$7,500
Japan$60,000
South Korea$28,000
Thailand$14,000
England$41,000
Germany$54,000
Russia$9,500
Spain$35,000
Sweden$40,000
Canada$48,500
Mexico$10,500
United States$61,000
Argentina$8,200
Brazil$13,500
Costa Rica$17,500

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Graphic Designer by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$3,200
Nigeria$2,200
South Africa$10,000
Australia$58,000
China$24,000
India$7,800
Japan$55,000
South Korea$28,500
Thailand$16,000
England$45,000
Germany$57,000
Russia$9,800
Spain$36,500
Sweden$42,000
Canada$50,000
Mexico$11,000
United States$63,000
Argentina$8,500
Brazil$13,500
Costa Rica$18,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for an Interior Designer by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$3,900
Nigeria$3,000
South Africa$12,000
Australia$61,000
China$25,000
India$6,500
Japan$60,000
South Korea$36,000
Thailand$14,500
England$48,000
Germany$63,000
Russia$9,300
Spain$37,000
Sweden$54,000
Canada$51,500
Mexico$9,350
United States$62,500
Argentina$8,100
Brazil$14,000
Costa Rica$17,800

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Product Designer by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$8,300
Nigeria$5,000
South Africa$18,000
Australia$65,000
China$22,000
India$7,000
Japan$65,000
South Korea$36,000
Thailand$15,000
England$50,000
Germany$66,000
Russia$9,800
Spain$37,500
Sweden$56,500
Canada$54,000
Mexico$9,800
United States$65,000
Argentina$8,400
Brazil$15,000
Costa Rica$18,500

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Storyboard Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$5,400
Nigeria$4,000
South Africa$13,000
Australia$41,000
China$20,000
India$5,700
Japan$42,000
South Korea$21,000
Thailand$12,000
England$32,000
Germany$41,000
Russia$7,000
Spain$25,000
Sweden$34,000
Canada$36,000
Mexico$7,800
United States$45,000
Argentina$6,100
Brazil$10,000
Costa Rica$13,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Tattoo Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$3,500
Nigeria$2,600
South Africa$7,000
Australia$35,000
China$9,000
India$3,500
Japan$30,000
South Korea$16,500
Thailand$9,000
England$26,000
Germany$36,000
Russia$4,500
Spain$19,500
Sweden$30,000
Canada$28,500
Mexico$5,000
United States$33,000
Argentina$4,500
Brazil$6,500
Costa Rica$9,300

What is the Average Artist Salary for a UX Designer by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$9,000
Nigeria$4,000
South Africa$19,000
Australia$75,000
China$32,000
India$10,500
Japan$80,000
South Korea$38,000
Thailand$22,000
England$60,000
Germany$75,000
Russia$13,000
Spain$50,000
Sweden$55,000
Canada$67,000
Mexico$14,500
United States$83,000
Argentina$11,500
Brazil$18,500
Costa Rica$24,000

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Video Game Artist by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$6,000
Nigeria$1,900
South Africa$11,000
Australia$48,500
China$16,000
India$7,500
Japan$52,000
South Korea$25,500
Thailand$12,000
England$42,500
Germany$52,500
Russia$8,500
Spain$30,000
Sweden$32,000
Canada$42,000
Mexico$10,000
United States$53,000
Argentina$7,500
Brazil$17,000
Costa Rica$15,500

What is the Average Artist Salary for a Web Designer by Country in 2021?

CountrySalary ($USD)
Egypt$9,500
Nigeria$8,000
South Africa$10,000
Australia$70,000
China$30,000
India$10,000
Japan$75,000
South Korea$36,000
Thailand$20,000
England$55,000
Germany$71,000
Russia$12,300
Spain$46,000
Sweden$53,000
Canada$63,000
Mexico$14,000
United States$79,000
Argentina$10,700
Brazil$17,000
Costa Rica$22,000

How Can I Convert Annual Artist Salary to Hourly Pay?

Make sure to check out the handy Hourly calculator which is part of my article How to Price Your Art.

The simplest way to convert Annual Salary to an Hourly Rate is to divide the salary by 2,080 – assuming a 40 hour work week and 52 weeks a year.

So, an 80,000 dollar annual salary would be the equivalent of 38.46 dollars an hour – not too bad!

To convert the other way – hours to an annual salary equivalent – simply reverse the process. That is, if you make 38.46 dollars an hour, multiply that by 2,080 and voila! 80,000 dollars! Well, actually it is 79,996.8 dollars, but who’s counting?

How Much Money Do Fine Artists Make in 2021?

If you are a fine artist, this is one of two questions not directly answered in this survey of average artist salaries in 2021, the other being:

How Much Money Do Freelance Artists Make in 2021?

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It is fairly rare for a fine artist to work for a company in a permanent or long term salaried position, so salary figures are both more difficult to come by and not terribly meaningful.

Fine artists who are creating their own art, and want to make money doing so, often resort to gallery showings or posting their work on online marketplaces or their own websites. And that money can vary considerably as a result of many different factors, including, obviously, talent, but also marketing, timing and luck, technological savvy, understanding of and involvement with social media and much more.

Salary figures for freelance artists and self employed artists are also more difficult to quantify – there is such a wide variety of employment options open to the freelancer, not to mention an enormous range of pay, from very little to much more than salaried employees might expect to make.

And while freelance artists can often command very good rates for hourly work or projects, they must pay their own taxes, insurance and other benefits, and various other overhead expenses. They must also maintain a fairly steady – even constant – flow of work, not being able to count on their employer to provide the next assignment.

I talk more about this in my my online course – How to Make Money as an Artist. And again I do hope to write more about freelancing as an artist, including how much money freelance artists can expect to make, and when I do I will include links here.

How Much do the Big Companies Pay?

You may still be wondering about a few specific companies, and indeed people regularly ask google the following questions:

  • How Much does an Artist Make at Disney in 2021?
  • How Much does an Artist Make at Pixar in 2021?
  • How Much does an Artist Make at Dreamworks in 2021?

The numbers for every type of job out there, even for just these 3 companies, comprises a whole new data set, and could easily justify a new article.

But even if we look at just one job type, and its salary at each company, and compare those salaries to the average for America, we see that some of the big companies can pay pretty well.

For example, a 3D animator for Pixar makes an average of around 110,000 dollars. The same job at Disney would average a little over 100,000 dollars. And a 3D animator for Dreamworks might make 

quite a bit more even, with current estimates on the internet in the 130,000 dollar range!

This is compared to the nationwide average salary of 81,000 in the United States for a 3D animator.

That said, this is not necessarily a recommendation for such companies, and there may be other, more compelling reasons to seek out employment from a smaller firm.

For example, the higher paying jobs with major studios often require significant experience, and often come with significant stress, long hours, extreme work load and high expectations. 

And while there is no doubt that working on huge, highly visible creative projects can be incredibly exciting, many artists can find the size of those projects, of the teams involved and of the companies themselves a little intimidating and off-putting.

Small companies and smaller teams can not only offer a nicer pace and environment, they can also give you more opportunity to shine and be recognized – and, if it is about the money, standing out is often a very good thing!

What Does All This Data Mean?

The United States is apparently a pretty good place to have a job as an artist – they have the highest average salaries for every single job on our survey, The Ultimate Guide to Artist Salaries in 2021.

The United States also has the second best relationship between those high salaries and the cost of living (second only to Germany) – even though the cost of living is high in the US, the ratio between cost of living and salary makes it easier to work as an artist there (and, again, in Germany) and survive.

Certain countries are close, like Australia, Japan, China and Canada, while many other countries are on the other end of the spectrum, with quite an unfavorable ratio between how much salary you would make as a professional artist and how much it costs to live there. 

For example, nationwide the cost of living in Mexico is about half of what it is in the United States, and yet US artists will make on average 5 times as much as Mexican artists doing the same job.

Does this mean that if you live in Mexico (or Thailand, Russia or Brazil, as other examples) you should definitely not be a professional artist?

Not at all! For one thing, these figures are for salaried permanent or long term positions with companies, and so what the above insights may instead suggest is that artists living in countries where they don’t make as good of salaries may be better off doing freelance work – over the internet and for international clients.

And for another thing, if you are an artist you are an artist, and if you want to try your hand at making a living at it you should. Anyway, there are many other factors besides just salary which will determine your success – talent, drive and determination, opportunities, luck and hard work, to name but a few.

That said, the salary information here in The Ultimate Guide to Artist Salaries in 2021 will help you make a decision, and provides what is certainly an important part of the puzzle – whether you are just starting out, want to change jobs or change focus, or just want to make sure you are getting paid what you really deserve.

Because, at the end of the day, we all need to put food on our table, and the notion of the starving artist is not really that nice, or even romantically appealing, anymore. May we all eat well, live well, earn well and do what we love!

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