Why creatives earn Lower figures

Why creatives earn Lower figures

Though art works are amongst the most expensive items in the world creatives earn lower figures in comparison to other professions. 

The fault in this may first lie with a society that places less value on creative skills and more on jobs that require years of academic learning. This trend occurs everywhere even in advanced countries. Here’s a survey which shows creatives earning below the 33,000 minimum wage in the UK.

Rank Job title Average salary
1 Fashion Designer 20,716
2 Audio Engineer £21,119
3 Jeweler £21,888
4 Makeup artist £23,368
5 Choreographer £24,018
6 Industrial designer £25,447
7 photographer £26,303
8 Cosmetologist £26,389
9 Actor £26,389
10 Floral designer £26,643

source: Liberty games

This undervalued situation is  higher in places like Africa where minimum wage is priced below 4 dollars an hour. Here creatives earn lower figures in larger numbers.


These factors account for the disparity in the earnings of designers in comparison with their peers in other industries

1.Social perception of design work 

Designers aren’t deemed as valuable as professionals in other industries. In fact, until recently many societies didn’t even consider design to be a profession and regarded it as a common side hustle requiring little or no expertise.

Due to this perception employers and clients from the onset attach low prices to design work since their perception regards it as “not so serious of a thing”.

In a workplace a graphic designer’s work would be regarded as less tasking than an accountant’s task and consequently be given less value. It’s not the degree that’s the problem here just simply perception. However, as design becomes more crucial to the success of a business and its products, its value in the market place is also improving.

2.creatives earn lower figures because of Proliferation

Access to technologies like Photoshop or the numerous create a logo website creates room for newbies who continue to fill up the design space.

These numerous designers by their lack of expertise undervalue the industry for others including more experienced designers. So while a professional designer believes he is worth 60$ hour he has to deal with the $5 dollar Fiverr designer.

The impact of this is that more experienced designers often to lower their prices just to survive.

3.Technical skills

In today’s digital world If a creative has the greatest talent it wouldn’t matter much if he has poor technical skills because this is where the execution occurs.

How good a creative is in manipulating industry software gives bargaining power since creative feats can be achieved which attract a higher pay.

In regard to technical skills a versatile designer is valued more by clients since rather than secure various creatives for multiple tasks, he is a one stop shop for design needs.

4.Low self-Esteem 

The first step to commanding a high figure is confidence in your work. Thus while employers tend to deem design work as lower than others, designers themselves don’t believe their own work deserves high figures. This its “not good enough” mentality unfortunately influences the prices they append to their work or service.

The case is different for the designer that can make a blank gun look loaded because of his confidence game.

When a creative has confidence in his work he automatically has the guts to charge a high price for it but without this someone leaves the negotiating table with less value and it’s never the client.

5.The categorization factor is why creatives earn lower figures

Categorization means factoring everything that goes into executing a project for a client. Creatives earn lower figures when categorization is absent.

To categorize, the creative segregates his services into different parts and makes the client pay a higher price for added services.

Think of categorization like insurance where there’s the bronze, silver gold and the ridiculous platinum package.

By splitting a service into several parts and increasing the features each level offers, businesses are able to get clients to pay more even when all of these can be offered at once.

But this is something common to only a few designers. Most creatives would design a logo and offer it in different resized formats at the same price to a client but only a few consider this resizing a service on its own and make it a feature clients have to pay.

6.Pricing Mentality/Productivity

Pricing mentality affects how much a creative earns at the end of the day.

There are creatives who from the onset when asked their price only give prices that are advantageous to them i.e. a figure they believe is most lucrative for themselves and not unimaginable as a fee to the client.

This is obviously the better option than offering the cheapest prices which only benefits the client.


7.Not every creative professional is a creative thinker

Every creative can produce creative work but not every creative can think creatively.

Creative thinking is a unique skill set on its own and isn’t directly related to creative talent as there are creative thinkers like Steve jobs who aren’t creative professionals.

A creative thinker is able to think beyond the mundane and come up with ideas that stand out from the rest and are worth high figures when sold to clients.

Creative thinking does not mean thinking the difficult or the complex but actually in the simplest and clearest of terms and being able to utilize the ordinary that most people would overlook in pursuit of the extraordinary. 

Here’s an example:

A murderer Gary Gilmore just before he was to be executed said the words “Let’s do it” and Years later Dan Wieden founder of Wieden&Kennedy advertising agency tweaked these words to “Just do it” which became the famous Nike slogan. This words were already in existence but it took a creative mind to figure it out. Now imagine how much such thinking earned him?


  1. Social perception negatively affects how much designers are paid
  2. Proliferation in the design industry reduces earnings.
  3. Proficiency and versatility in design software increases the value of a designer.
  4. Low self-esteem plays a role in why creatives earn lower figures
  5. Confidence is key to charging better figures.
  6. Segregating services helps you charge more
  7. Being cheap isn’t the best route
  8. Be a creative thinker not just a creative professional.

You know how sometimes a cheaper meal taste better than an expensive one? That’s how it is for creatives – the same skill you offer for 10 bucks is being offered for a 100 by someone with less skills.

Simply improve the confidence and value creation game and you are set to skyrocket your earnings.


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