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Illustration artists are paid varying rates for work – and this is the case for most creative industries. There’s no single price for a piece of work that is agreed-upon industry-wide.
For any illustration artists starting out, you should research as much as you can before deciding on your rates.
This is a difficult question.
A 2017 survey found that 69% of illustrators can’t live comfortably off illustration alone. But this isn’t to say that you don’t have options.
If you freelance for corporate or big commercial clients, this will bring in more cash than if you work on smaller independent projects.
Here are six easy ways for illustration artists to make money:
Like all self-employed workers, illustration artists will have to declare their income to HMRC and pay tax on the profits.
If you illustrate on top of full-time employment, good news! You are covered by the Trading Allowance that lets you earn up to £1000 every tax year tax-free.
Read more about the Trading Allowance here.
For full-time self-employed illustrators, the tax rules are a little different. You will need to pay the following tax each tax year. To do this, you will file a tax return:
You’re allowed to earn up to £12,570 per tax year without being liable for Income Tax. However you’ll still owe National Insurance.
Take a look at the 2021/22 Income Tax rates:
|Up to £12,570||0%||Personal allowance|
|£12,571 to £50,270||20%||Basic rate|
|£50,271 to £150,000||40%||Higher rate|
|over £150,000||45%||Additional rate|
National Insurance qualifies you for certain state-provided benefits such as the state pension.
A self-employed illustrator will have to pay Class 2 National Insurance and Class 4 National Insurance (which give you access to the state pension, the Marriage Allowance etc.) but you may also want to voluntarily contribute another type of NI.
Class 1 National Insurance qualifies you for Job Seeker’s Allowance which, in turbulent times like the COVID pandemic, is a useful safety net to have.