Berlin & Los Angeles


AM I AN ARTIST? You are and you can get benefits out of it.

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Once upon a time there was an [ artist ] coming all the way to Germany to make his/her career as an  [ artist ], but he/she found the situation very complicated, as the health insurance was too expensive and his/her mom and dad said that he/she should get a proper job, ‘cause he/she might never get the pension… And guess what? 

He/She didn’t realise that as an artist he/she can get into KSK (Künstlersozialkasse)! 

But who is an artist and what exactly does it mean to get into KSK?

Dear he/she, if you work professionally as a self-employed/freelance artists with the main purpose of earning a living. The definition as to what constitutes an 'artist' can be explained as follows:

Example: a graphic designer is defined as an artist for this purpose, whereas a cabinet maker is considered to be a 
craftsperson rather than an artist

Simply, if you are actively working in fields such: VISUAL ART/DESIGN or WRITING or MUSIC or PERFORMING you should probably check if the name of your profession is on lists below (click to expand). Maybe you are a drama teacher and you had no idea that you are also a legit artist? 

+ Visual arts/design

  • Painter, illustrator
  • Sculptor
  • Concept artist, experimental artist
  • Performance/action artist
  • New media artist
  • Graphic, UX and photo designer
  • Web, media, interface designer (no or very low amount of coding, technical work)
  • Game designer
  • Industrial, fashion, textile designer
  • Instructor in the field of design

+ Writing

  • Novel writer
  • Script writer (movie, theater, radio, TV)
  • Author scientific literature
  • Journalist, editor
  • Translator
  • Lector
  • Professional public relations/ advertising (writing)
  • Instructor in the field of journalism

+ Music

  • Composer
  • Song writer
  • Conductor
  • Musician (pop/rock etc. band, orchestra etc.)
  • Singer (pop, rock, opera etc.)

+ Performing

  • Actor (theater, movie, advertisement – no extra)
  • Singing performer
  • Dancer
  • Narrator (audio books, movie, advertisement)
  • Host
  • Comedian, entertainment artist
  • Puppeteer
  • Choreograph
  • Stage, costume, mask, scene designer/builder
  • Filmmaker, camera operator, cutter, editor (film)
  • Instructor in field performing
  • Drama teacher

You are an artist and you can get more benefits than you’d think.

Let me tell you about KSK, it’s a governmental organization (not only for Germans, but you need to live in Germany and of course be registered at the German tax office as freelancer), which allows artists to be a part of the social security system with the same right as an “employee” while working as freelancer, means self-employed (mom and dad can sleep easy). 

That means, artists pay approximately half of the insurance fees they would normally pay as regular freelancer. KSK even contribute to the pension fee, so artists can be all safe for the future.

The fee of the KSK membership is based on your annual income. Here are two examples:

  1. if your income is around 7,000 eur per year you will be paying about 115 eur per month.

  2. if your income is around 15,000 per year the fee will be around 205 eur per month.

This includes your health, pension and disability insurance. The KSK normally withdraws monthly payments from your German bank account put its contributin on top and transfer the fee to your public health insurance.

Sound great, but what about the application and how to prove that i have an artistic soul & wallet?

As the German might not be your mother tongue and you find KSK website, all the forms and paper work too complicated we can support you in this difficult moment of your life and make it smooth and easy. We offer expert support, application preparations and consultations on all things Künstlersozialkasse (KSK). Go to the link below, find the package, find your artist support and kulturspace team will be in touch shortly. Don’t you worry we got your back.

Justin Merino