For those who do not know: making art is costly

(translated by google, published in Trouw)
There is in the past week, something remarkable happened. Something everyone seems to amaze outside the arts sector. After extensive research of the Social Economic Council and the Council for Culture is the official. The artist in the Netherlands is poor. Minister Bussemaker said she was afraid of here, but now really frightened. Goh.
But the result is interesting. Namely that the artist in the past week has been transformed from lazy subsidy tractor feeding upon your tax money to poor man who works hard for a pittance or sometimes even no pay at all.
I am a visual artist (according to the report, the poorest group within the art sector) and I seize this opportunity to give you a look into my personal financial situation.
In the Volkskrant I read: “The cuts have wreaked havoc in the art world. Who does not belong to the top, can not make ends meet. “And I felt a little proud. It means I belong to the top.
I have no owner-occupied. No car. No expensive equipment. No expensive clothes. I’m very, very rarely on vacation.
I can usually pay my rent. My only regular sources of income are my columns in this newspaper and magazine OneWorld. What I earn is just enough for my rent and groceries. Or my rent, my gas, electricity, water, insurance and phone bill.
Extra costs are much travel within the Netherlands and of course my work. The latter especially, which costs a small fortune. Art is a very, very costly.
Fortunately, I give regular lectures. And I’m such artist who occasionally asks money for its participation in an exhibition. And no, unfortunately that is certainly not common. (Oh, and sometimes I sell a work, but usually my investments are so high that I had nothing to earn.) This my other financial fixed costs and if all goes well also part of my job.
When things or if it is summer, because that is the ‘sector’ still and I also write less columns, usually bills are piling up.
I am happy that one artist in the Netherlands (as far as I know, I do not know any colleague who did this too) with a so-called patron: an art collector who finances a part of my work. In addition, I get regularly (small) donations from individuals through a ‘friends of Tinkebell’- projection. And, occasionally, I get a little grant money.
This list of sponsors is a great luxury that makes me myself as rich experience. Not because I literally realm of word (a very few times I pay some bills that are too long, to avoid seizure by a bailiff) Everything goes straight to work.
I count myself among the most successful artists in this country, and when I look around me, I see mostly colleagues (much) lower income and fewer investment opportunities.
Why am I sharing this with you? Since you obviously have no idea, and because it would be nice if you had that indeed. Not as a complaint. Also no pettiness issue. But just for the sense of reality.

Good Practice

Maartje Jaquet, you are a multitalented artist, creating Video art and Photos, Collages, Drawings and Paintings, writing poetry, doing In-house publications and you are a strong bass player. Next to that you make extensively use of digital media to report and write about your exhibitions and performances on FaceBook, Flickr, Twitter, a mailinglist and a WordPressblog.

Q1: How do you do that as a matter of balance between creating and reporting? 

A1: To be honest, ever since I started my WordPress blog I am hardly using that mailinglist anymore. And my use of Twitter is very minimal too.

The main digital social platforms I use are Flickr, Facebook and my WordPress blog, which is my website at the same time.

Flickr is a visual diary and a personal archive. It was the first platform I started using, that was back in 2007. I guess I need feedback of other people to enjoy my own work, otherwise making art, being in my studio on my own, feels too lonely to me.

So, to answer your question, when it comes to creating, the reporting part means a lot to me. Also, seeing other people’s work and interacting with other artists is a big inspiration, comparable, to the times at the Rietveld Academy.

But I think one must watch out not to get lost in the reporting part, I try to find a balance there.

Q2: Can you describe your use of Facebook? Is it, and if so, how would it be different from Flickr?

A2: Well, on Facebook I have more contacts who are actually friends in real life, or people that are part of my direct professional network. So facebook can be a little more personal on one hand, and more work related on the other hand.

I have a facebook page, ‘kunstjuf’, to report about my work as an art teacher, after a while it felt better to keep that part separate from my social life and my life as a maker of art.

On this facebook page I share the art projects I created and taught. Beside my friends and colleagues there are different followers of that page: they can be teachers in elementary schools or people that work with children with special needs or other art education professionals.

Sometimes I create facebook events. These are mostly for my exhibitions. It’s an easy way to promote an exhibition and then invite people to it with a mouse click.

Q3: Do you have a website?

A3: Yes I do: and the same site). I use this website both to keep people up to date with exhibitions and other events. At the same time my website can be used as a reference to my work as an artist. It contains different sections that describe my collages, photography, video art, drawings, and so on as well as my work as an art teacher, my exhibitions and my resume.

Q4. Do you have an agent?

A4: No, I do everything by myself.

A5. Do you need to lobby?

A5: I tend to keep a low profile there. I don’t go to occasions like openings or conferences so much. Maybe I should, but I found that for me it works best to get to know people in real life, and there has to be a ‘click’ between us anyway for things to work out.

Q6. Where do your clients/buyers/people who hire you come from?

A6: Mostly through personal contact or via someone I already know. They can be (former) visitors of exhibitions. Or people I know in the art educational field or friends of these people. I didn’t get a job through my facebook page yet, but then again that page is quite fresh.

Q7 What is your reach?

A7: If you are talking about followers / contacts on social media. I have looked them up for you:

Today, my art teacher’s (‘kunstjuf’) facebook page has 332 likes, I have 1333 ‘friends’ on facebook and 932 followers on flickr. My work on flickr is viewed about 2500 times a day and has had more than 3 000 000 views since I started my flickr site in 2007. All these numbers don’t mean so much to me though. I don’t interact with all these people, and the interaction is the most important part for me. You can compare my answer here to what I said about lobbying. 

Q8: Does it help?
A8: I think it helps, especially where it comes to interacting with people, flickr and facebook are rather important to me.
Having a representative and up to date website is indispensable, not only for me but for any artist, I think.
Q9: wat vind je ervan …
A9 I think I already gave my answers to that question in between the other answers!

Your To Do List



  • Work
  • Create Good Art
  • Be Good. Be Curious.GET ATTENTION
  • Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 12.16.00
  • marketing |ˈmɑːkɪtɪŋnoun [ mass noun ] the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. the Western arts of marketing and distribution. [ as modifier ] :  a marketing campaign.
  • Claim my own domain name on the web
  • Host my domain, think of content, style
  • Learn  Wordpress
  • Update
  • Print, Post. Connect.
  • Learn


By Mouth

  1. Meet People
  2. Call People
  3. Join a club
  4. Form a club yourself
  5. Get an Agent/Galery/Employer (*)
    ** legal advice **
  6. Get a Price

Art Amsterdam, Kunstrai, W139, SMBA, SM, FOAM, Appel, Galeries: PAKT, Fons Welters, MediaMatic, Arti, DO IT YOURSELF

By Print Handout/By Mail

  1. Card
  2. Flyer
  3. Sticker
  4. Poster FlyerAlarm, Rob Stolk, KeesMaas, JoosMooiDrukwerk


By Digital Media

  1. Webpage (get the course by Harold Schellinx!)
  2. Blog
  3. Social Media
    FaceBook Page
    FaceBook Event
  4. Twitter
  5. Instagram
  6. YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud
  7. Mailman