Artrepreneurs and the autonomy paradox

In this article, we examine the views that young (under 35 years) freelancers and entrepreneurs who work as professional artists in Finland have of their work. We refer to them as artrepreneurs. Our data sample is composed of the responses of entrepreneurs and freelancers (n = 209) from a survey data on young artists (n = 565) collected in 2017. By using a set of quantitative methods we study the impact of different factors on the job satisfaction experienced by freelancers and entrepreneurs, the nature and motivation factors of their work, as well as their status and livelihood.

In our interpretative framework, central concepts are the “hybridity” and “precarity” of artists’ work and “autonomy paradox”. The most important results of our study are that artrepreneurs’ work is more multidisciplinary and they have more sources of income than other young artists. They also handle the uncertainties of precarious working life better than other artists.