Sokka, Sakarias & Pyykkönen, Miikka, Kurlin Niiniaho Ari: Experiences of artist hood among young artist-entrepreneurs and freelancers in Finland

In this paper, we analyse how young (under 35 years of age), professional artists in Finland experience their work and working conditions. Our data was gathered for the annual Arts Barometer Survey as a co-operation between CUPORE and Arts Promotion Centre Finland in 2017 via a web questionnaire, that included bot quantitative and qualitative questions. We focus on respondents, who identify themselves as freelancers or entrepreneurs (209 respondents) and analyse how the group differs from the overall group of young artists (total amount of 565 respondents). Based on the data, there has been a shift towards casual work with short-term contracts and self-employment. Similar development has been identified elsewhere in the Western Europe, Australia and the USA (e.g. Menger 2002, 7-9; Mangset et al. 2016; see also Stevenson 2018). Recent reports (Hirvi-Ijäs et al. 2017; 2018) tell how Finnish artists often feel external pressure (rather than indigenous motivation) to work as an entrepreneur; entrepreneurship is a feasible (for many the only possible one) way to make livelihood as an artist. Approximately half of the entrepreneurs and freelancer get along relatively well as artists, other half gets along somehow or poorly. This division resonates with the satisfaction of being entrepreneur or freelancer. The ones who get along better are usually happier with their position. Some respondents in our data are also happy to multitask: Many of them would like to combine different ways of working in the future. This kind of ethos is especially common among the group of entrepreneurs and freelancers (59 %).