Based on a recent survey on the artistic work in a French region, the article consid-ers visual artists as a control population illustrating the possible destinies of low or poorly paid self-employment in contemporary capitalism. Artistic activities mainly attract graduates and people from the upper classes who nevertheless accept to be paid very little for their art and even, as entrepreneurs would do, to invest regularly in order to continue their activity. The maintenance of their artistic vocation then requires recourse to secondary income from social benefits, family resources or the development of complementary remunerative activities. Since all these possible combinations are not equally accessible, they determine variable regimes of artis-tic production, self-presentation and various articulations between salaried and non-salaried activities, the borderline case of which is the abandonment of crea-tion.
Keywords: Self-employment, independent labour, precariousness, visual artists