Creative time is time spent doing, thinking, moving in a way that brings something into the world. It’s often unstructured, open-ended time that does not have a predetermined outcome. The beauty of creative time is that even if goals are not met, or there are questions unanswered, it is never time wasted. Creative time is its own reward.
People are not given enough creative time. Between the grind of work and social reproduction tasks of cooking, cleaning, childcare, laundry, rest, self care, and more, it is difficult to set aside dedicated time for creative pursuits. Wages for Art(work) is an experimental art project in which participants are compensated for an hour of creative time. The sessions take place during the artist’s working hours and are funded by half of the artist’s hourly wage. The name of this project is inspired by the 70s feminist movement Wages for Housework, which made the political argument that housework and other unpaid labor is a form of work and should be compensated as such.
Since Covid-19, there has been movement towards compensating people for creative time, for example, the guaranteed income for artists program by Creatives Rebuild New York. As well, organizations such as W.A.G.E. and Get Artists Paid have provided resources, created industry baselines, and started conversations to ensure artists receive fair compensation. Wages for Art(work) takes a micro approach to address the issue of uncompensated creative labor. Unlike most artist grant programs, participation in the project has few strings attached; participants are only asked to share a snapshot of their creative time spent for the project’s digital archive.
Wages for Art(work) is an experiment. The goal of the project is to open up space for people to engage with creativity on their own terms. The future of the project is open as well, and will depend heavily on feedback from participants. Ultimately, this project seeks to leverage the artist’s labor power to give creative time back to working people, one hour at a time.
About the Project
Wages for Art(work) is an experimental art project in which participants are compensated for creative time. The project was created by Quinlan Maggio, an artist and tech worker based in Brooklyn, NY. Wages for Art(work) is primarily virtual, with the coworking sessions scheduled online and an archive of participant’s photos living on this website. The project launched on June 16th, 2023, and will run for one year.
How to participate
Participating in Wages for Art(work) is a simple process:
1. Sign up for a session here
2. Spend your designated hour in whatever creative way you choose
3. Snap a photo, video, or other form of documentation at the end of your session and upload it to the follow-up email
4. Receive payment
Who can participate
Wages for Art(work) is open to anyone who wants to participate. Participants are generally compensated at the rate of $25/hour, half of the artist’s hourly wage. Participants from a marginalized group (self-identified) are eligible for an additional $25/hour upon completion of the session.
Click here to see the artist’s working schedule
and here to participate in the project.
To participate in a Wages for Art(work) session, select a date and time on the calendar below. Additional instructions will be sent to your email address. Please limit your bookings to once per week.
(Please refresh the page if there is no calendar visible)
Participants in Wages for Art(work) can submit images, videos, and other forms of documentation of their creative time to the project’s digtial archive below.
What can I expect when participating in my first Wages for Art(work) coworking session?A Wages for Art(work) session is a completely virtual, self-guided co-working experience. You are invited to use this session in whatever way is creatively generative for you. Some suggestions include (but are not limited to) drawing, painting, sculpting, dancing, cooking, making music, sleeping, walking, calling a friend, writing a letter, meditating, reading, doing nothing, etc. The way you use your creative time will not be tracked or monitored, and all forms of creative time will be compensated. Please keep in mind that you will be asked to upload a snapshot of your creative time after the session, and you may optionally leave written feedback as well.
Is there a Zoom meeting or livestream for my co-working session?
No, there is no virtual meeting or livestream for you to join. The artist will be co-working at their day job during the time of the session, and often has conflicting work meetings during the workday.
Are there any requirements for the documentation of my session?
No, there are no requirements for the photo / video / other documentation of your creative time, nor are you required to appear in documentation yourself. Feel free to send a screenshot, blurry photo, voice memo, or whatever form you are comfortable with.
How and when will I get paid?
You should receive a PayPal link within 24 hours of submitting the session feedback form. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received payment or the feedback form within 24 hours of your session.
Can I book another session in the future?
Yes! Continued participation in the project is highly encouraged. However, please limit your bookings to once per week to allow for plenty of people to participate. Subscribe to the newsletter on the homepage of this website for a biweekly drop of the artist’s coworking schedule.
Who should I contact for additional questions or concerns?
Please reach out to Quinlan at email@example.com