Jun 25, 2018 8:07PM
Photo via Getty Images.
For over three decades, Caroll Michels has worked as an artist and career coach, advocating for and teaching fellow creatives how to develop and sustain their careers. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 11 of her newly revised book, How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist, Seventh Edition, which focuses on alternative avenues that artists can pursue to generate income, without straying too far from their own art practices.
Over the years various studies have been conducted focusing on the demographic and employment patterns of artists, including their median income. Unfortunately, the studies tend to lump together fine artists who do self-generated artwork with gainfully employed commercial artists and freelancers who are doing art-related assignments. Without this distinction, it is difficult to get a clear picture of the economic status of what is going on.
Being able to support yourself as an artist, and maintain a high-quality life through finances generated from your artwork, can and does happen all the time. But rarely does it happen overnight, and realistically, until your career gets rolling, it is necessary to earn a living through other means. This chapter covers the assets and drawbacks of conventional jobs, and it discusses some ways of generating income within the fine arts field.
Assets and drawbacks of conventional jobs
To solve the problem of supporting yourself as an artist, you must take into account your financial needs and emotional and physical capabilities. Whether the options suggested in this chapter are appealing or you prefer traditional forms of employment that offer more financial security depends on your temperament, personality, and energy level. What works for one artist doesn’t necessarily work for another. But the common goal is to generate income that simultaneously allows you to have the energy to work on your own projects and develop your career, maintain good health and a healthy state of mind, and afford a good standard of creature comforts.
However, in the name of art and the “myth of the artist,” compromises and sacrifices are constantly made.
Before jumping into employment, assess carefully and honestly what you are looking for and why. Does the job provide a real means to an end, or is the job likely to annihilate your end? For example, two of my clients took jobs with art service organizations. Both jobs provided the artists with sufficient income as well as opportunities to meet people related to their profession and expand contacts and networks. One job involved low-pressure, routine duties. Although the artist was not mentally stimulated, she had energy to sculpt and work on developing her career because her job responsibilities were minimal.
The other job was full of responsibilities. It was demanding and stimulating. Although the artist found the work fulfilling, at the end of the day she was drained, and on weekends she found herself recuperating. Consequently, she did not have any energy left for her artwork.
If you want to work within the arts, there are some good resources available. Americans for the Arts Job Bank is an online listing of jobs in arts administration throughout the United States. The website of the Alliance of Artists Communities posts job openings in arts administration and academia. Professionals for Nonprofits is an employment agency that offers part-time and full-time temporary and permanent positions to people interested in working for nonprofit organizations, including those that are arts-related. The book Career Solutions for Creative People: How to Balance Artistic Goals with Career Security by Dr. Ronda Ormont discusses ways to find the time and freedom to pursue art while making a stable living.
Teaching: A boon or a trojan horse?
Teaching is attractive to artists for several reasons: it can offer financial security and the fringe benefits of health insurance, life insurance, sick leave, vacation pay, and long vacations. In addition, it can be very fulfilling and it is a highly respected occupation.
Because of these attractions, the competition to teach is brutal—so brutal that, unless one is a superstar, getting a job usually necessitates returning to school for more degrees. On the other hand, even if your qualifications are superlative, there is no job guarantee. There are more qualified artists than teaching positions available in colleges and universities, and within school systems.
The scarcity of jobs is not the only drawback. When you are an artist and a teacher, you wear two hats. If teaching consisted only of lecturing, critiquing, and advising students, it would be relatively simple. However, teaching means a lot more. In many instances, it requires lesson planning. It also means extracurricular involvement with faculty politics and yielding to the special demands and priorities of academia.
Artists who teach and want to develop their careers must contend simultaneously with the occupational hazards of both professions. The situation is particularly complex because many of the demands and priorities of the art world and academic world are in conflict. Sometimes artists are forced to change their methods of teaching and/or style of work to conform to current academic trends and ideology. Receiving tenure often becomes the most important goal in life. Academia can put demands on teachers to exhibit their artwork, an endeavor that is rarely in conflict with an artist’s interests. However, in addition, artists can also be pressured to publish articles, essays, and books about art history and art criticism, all of which are time-consuming efforts that can greatly interfere with studio time.
Nevertheless, teaching can offer many rewards and have a significant influence on an artist’s artwork. A case in point, the painter Zahar Vaks, sent me the following email:
“Along with being a visual artist I teach an art and activism course….Before taking the job, I was afraid that teaching would take me away from my artwork. I was reminded of this anxiety after I read the section of your book ‘Teaching: A Boon or a Trojan Horse?’ I must say that working with these kids, although exhausting, has begun seeping into my paintings and drawings.”
Art education employment leads can be found on the College Art Association’s online Career Center that contains posts of employment opportunities at colleges, universities, and art schools.
There are various forms of artist-in-residence programs. Some have the fundamental purpose of providing artists with opportunities to live in an environment in which they may work unimpeded by life’s daily worries.
In other residency programs, sponsored by state arts agencies and nonprofit organizations, artists are hired to teach on a temporary, part-time, or full-time basis in school systems, community programs, social service, and healthcare facilities.
For example, Artists-in-Schools, sponsored by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, places professional artists and arts groups in K-12 schools, and in parks and recreation centers, senior facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals, libraries, and other community centers, as well as private sector businesses, organizations, and individuals. The Connecticut Office of the Arts sponsors an online Directory of Teaching Artists that lists Connecticut artists who work in schools and community settings.…The National Endowment for the Arts website publishes a list of Arts in Healthcare programs throughout the United States. The Prison Arts Project, sponsored by the William James Association, is open to visual and performing artists interested in conducting workshops in California correctional facilities.
Apprenticeships, studio assistants, and internships
Serving as an apprentice or studio assistant to another artist is a viable means of earning a living for a certain period. Working for an experienced artist can be helpful to less-experienced artists. It can provide an opportunity to learn more about the business of art and see firsthand what being an artist is all about. But keep in mind that contrary to the myth that continually floats around, working for a famous artist is not a prerequisite to achieving success in the art world.
An apprenticeship experience can be particularly advantageous if the apprenticeship is with an artist who is sure-footed and emotionally secure. Insecure artists might not be generous in sharing career information or contacts. Insecure people also tend to have difficult personalities. Before accepting an apprenticeship position, ask your potential employer for references of their previous apprentices. You have every right to request references and know what you are getting yourself into.
In an article about the pros and cons of being an artist’s studio assistant, author Daniel Grant pointed out that “promotions, raises and industry recognition—typical rewards of employment—almost never occur in studio work and so it is something of a job for the young.” On the positive side, the article described a scenario about an artist who worked as a studio assistant. A print publisher visited the studio and struck up a conversation with the assistant that led to an introduction to a well-known artist, who then introduced her to an academic who recommended her to fill a short-term teaching spot at a university, and the academic and the famous artist also chipped in $250 apiece to pay for the artist to attend the Vermont Studio Center as an artist-in-residence.
Many not-for-profit organizations, for-profit companies, museums, educational facilities, galleries, and art consultants offer internships to artists. The website My Next Move lists apprenticeship programs on a state-by-state basis. The website Chicago Artists Resource, sponsored by the Chicago Artists Coalition, lists online apprenticeship and internship opportunities in Chicago and throughout Illinois. Hire Culture provides an online list of employment opportunities in Massachusetts including internships in creative fields.
Career-related revenue-generating opportunities
Revenue-generating opportunities that are related to your career as an artist, such as lectures and lecture/demonstrations, not only add to your income, they can also offer exposure to your artwork and ideas, with the fringe benefit of providing a public relations value.
Many types of venues such as civic, cultural, and educational organizations, colleges and universities, and cruise ships and resorts hire artists for “guest appearances.”
A presentation can be based solely on your artwork, or it might include the work of other contemporary artists who are working in a similar direction. It could focus on how your work has been influenced by a particular movement in art history. It could be a presentation about your travel adventures and how they have influenced your artwork. Subjects and themes of arts-related presentations are unlimited.
The financial rewards of public appearances can be considerable, especially if you repeat your “performance” several times. For example, when I receive an out-of-town invitation to conduct career workshops for artists, I use the opportunity to create more opportunities by contacting other educational or cultural institutions in the same region. What starts out as a one-shot engagement can end up as a lecture tour.
Setting up lectures
The best way to approach an organization or institution about sponsoring a lecture is to provide a proposal. A proposal for a lecture should describe the purpose and content of your presentation, why it is relevant, topics or subjects covered, the audience (specify if it is for the public, artists, or both), and length of the program. Your proposal should also include an artist fee, a biography, and, when applicable, travel and per diem expenses. If you have a presentation history, list the names of the venues where you have been a guest speaker. The proposal should be accompanied by a short cover letter.
Compatible dual careers
Chapter 2, “Launching or Relaunching Your Career: Overcoming Career Blocks,” discusses the challenges and pitfalls when artists have dual careers. But there are exceptions when dual careers are very compatible.
For example, Maurice Stern is known as an opera singer and for his portrait sculptures. He performed at the New York City Opera in American and world premieres—before becoming a leading dramatic tenor across four continents. Exhibitions of his artwork were sometimes held simultaneously in American and European cities in which his performances took place. In describing his sculptures, he emphasized that he captured the character of his subjects in the same way he molded the characters he played on the operatic stage.
Some of my clients have expressed the benefits of having a dual career. A fine art photographer who is also a psychiatrist described how an understanding of the human mind has helped him select and capture his subjects. An abstract sculptor who is also a surgeon credits his studies in anatomy and continuing work with the body as being instrumental in giving him the confidence to personally express the human form. Another sculptor and installation artist told me that her work as a psychotherapist, involving many “talk sessions,” has greatly improved her ability to articulate her own feelings about the purpose and meaning of her artwork.
Wearing two hats can also be used to an artist’s advantage if one utilizes and transfers the resources and contacts of a second career into fine art. Such was the opportunity created by artist Molly Heron, who parlayed a series of timely events and a freelance position into a solo exhibition in a prime location on the ground floor of a midtown Manhattan office building.
Heron was hired as a freelance book designer at HarperCollins, which, coincidentally, was the publisher of The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, a book that she had read, savored, and reread.
Six months after she obtained the freelance position, Heron attended an exhibition at the HarperCollins Gallery, located in an open and attractive bi-level space. Impressed with the physical attributes of the gallery and its location, she made inquiries regarding how the space could be acquired for an exhibition. She learned through the gallery curator that all exhibitions in the space had to be related to a HarperCollins book.
Eureka! Before the lightbulb in Heron’s head had a chance to dim, she developed an exhibition proposal. Within four weeks she submitted the proposal and visual support material to the HarperCollins curator, and soon afterward she received an invitation to install a solo exhibition in the gallery later in the year.
Heron’s proposal was based on the inspiration she had received from Annie Dillard’s book. It had infused her with a new energy force, and she felt compelled to visually interpret the author’s metaphors and observations.
Heron sold five pieces of work while the exhibition was installed. And as soon as the show closed, she handled the ending as a new beginning and wasted no time in taking the next step. With a revised proposal, cover letter, and support material, she began making new contacts.
Her initiatives resulted in exhibition invitations from a university museum, a nonprofit gallery, and a commercial gallery. She also received requests to present lectures and workshops.
In addition, a curator of a branch of the Whitney Museum of American Art informed Heron that, due to the branch museum’s policy of only sponsoring group shows, she was unable to offer her a solo exhibition, but that she was so impressed with Heron’s work, she had contacted another cultural institution on the artist’s behalf.
In part, Molly Heron’s adventures and her success can be attributed to the cosmic phenomenon of being at the right place at the right time. But most of the credit belongs to the artist, who through very earthly pursuits took the initiative to utilize in her fine arts career the resources and contacts of the publishing world.
Caroll Michels is a career coach and artist-advocate. She has helped thousands of artists launch and sustain their careers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South and Central America.
How can I sell my art without fees? ›
ArtPal is a popular, FREE gallery to sell art and buy art, representing many thousands of artists. No membership fees. No commission. Completely free with unlimited space to sell all of your art!Do artists struggle to make a living? ›
Making a living as an artist is impossible for all but a few high-profile practitioners, and the lack of sufficient financial remuneration for artistic labour is the dark reality at the heart of the contemporary art world.What is the best platform to sell art? ›
- eBay. eBay is popularly known as an auction website where buyers can get bits of everything they want. ...
- Etsy. Etsy remains the go-to website for vintage resellers and artists. ...
- Fine Art America. ...
- Amazon. ...
- Society6. ...
- Your Ecommerce Store.
Multiply the painting's width by its length to arrive at the total size, in square inches. Then multiply that number by a set dollar amount that's appropriate for your reputation. I currently use $6 per square inch for oil paintings. Then calculate your cost of canvas and framing, and then double that number.What do artists struggle with the most? ›
- 1) Finding Aspirations. Many times artists find it hard to find their aspirations. ...
- 2) Keeping Up With The Talent. ...
- 3) Self-trust. ...
- 4) No Response. ...
- 5) No Sale Plans.
Only ten percent of art school graduates make a living from their artwork.What do artists suffer from? ›
Science has proved the mad genius is not a myth. Studies of artists and writers collated in Scientific American confirm that artists and writers are up to 20 times more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder (also called manic depressive illness) and 10 times more likely to suffer from depression.What type of art makes the most money? ›
- #1 Art Director. Median Salary: $94,220. ...
- #2 Producer & Director. Median Salary: $74,420. ...
- #3 Landscape Architect. Median Salary: $69,360. ...
- #4 Video Editor. Median Salary: $63,780. ...
- #5 Graphic Designer. Median Salary: $52,110. ...
- #6 Drafter. Median Salary: $56,830. ...
- #7 Art Curator. ...
- #8 Interior Designer.
Artists typically earn their living within four ways: commissioning works, selling finished pieces physically and online, teaching, or taking visual artist gigs for commercial studios.How do artists survive recession? ›
- Don't lower your prices.
- Be active in your community.
- Learn from local galleries.
- Develop Internet savvy.
- Build a patron list.
- Enter and curate shows.
- Do commission work.
- Start an artist studio tour.
What is the most profitable passive income? ›
- Dividend stocks. ...
- Dividend index funds and exchange-traded funds. ...
- Bonds and bond index funds. ...
- High-yield savings accounts. ...
- Rental properties. ...
- Peer-to-peer lending. ...
- Private equity. ...
The art sold by artists and dealers is considered inventory, which means sales are taxed generally at rates of up to the highest ordinary income tax rate, which is currently 39.6%. When investors sell works of art, they are acquiring gains on their investments, similar to selling stock for a profit.How do small artists make money? ›
The primary way musicians make money online is from mechanical and streaming royalties. That's a fancy way of saying revenue from online sales through platforms like iTunes as well as streaming income from Spotify and other services.Is eBay or Etsy better to sell art? ›
While Etsy is undoubtedly a more niche marketplace well suited to smaller businesses that sell handmade, creative, artistic, unique and vintage products, eBay can potentially work for any seller because of its massive reach and vast diversity of inventory.What website do most artists use? ›
- The Best Website Builders for Artists in 2023.
As the top ecommerce shop in the world, Amazon is the place to go if you're looking for exposure. However, there are some drawbacks to selling art through the site. It has rules and restrictions on fine art listings. You may be asked to lower your prices if the site thinks they're too high.How do I know if my art is good enough to sell? ›
But just because people aren't buying your work doesn't mean your work is not good enough to sell. If you are getting validation in the form of likes, comments, and followers, you are good enough to be selling your work. But to get sales you actually have to make sales. Just making art is not enough.What size painting sells best? ›
The most commonly preferred frames are 20″ x 24″,16″ x 20″ and 11″ x 14″. For posh galleries, exhibition areas and auditoriums the preferred size is generally 24″ x 36″ and 30″ x 40″.How do I price my paintings? ›
- FORMULA 1: Square Inch × Dollar Amount.
- Example for a painting with a width of 18 inches, a length of 24 inches, a square inch multiplier of $4, and a material cost of $100:
- FORMULA 2: (Hourly Wage × Hours Spent) + Cost of Materials.
It can be very hard to be close to an artist because they think so differently from the average person. Some of their common and less desirable personality traits are neurosis, self absorption, moodiness and disorganization.
Are artists rich or poor? ›
You're More Likely to Become an Artist Than Someone From a Poorer Background. A recent study based on US census data suggests that artists tend to come from rich families. A new study suggests that a major determining factor in whether a person becomes an artist is his or her family's wealth.What are the disadvantages of being an artist? ›
- Inconsistent Income. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median 2020 income of craft and fine artists was $49,120 per year, or $23.62 per hour. ...
- Irregular Scheduling. ...
- Limited Opportunities.
You could get $2,000 to $10,000. It depends on how big the artist is that samples you, but sometimes it's just a few hundred dollars. It also depends how nice you want to be.Can you make a living from selling art? ›
Earning passive income by selling wall art
Painters, illustrators, designers, graphic artists, and even sculptors can earn money by selling high-quality prints or copies of their work.
- CHAPTERS. Streaming Royalties.
- Music Publishing.
- Touring & Live Shows.
- Physical Sales.
- Sync Deals.
- Brand Partnerships.
Artists fail because the lifestyle is lonely, insecure, and the hours are long. Artists also fail because they're dreamers and think that good art sells itself. Artists fail because they don't know how to market their work and run a small business.What are artists afraid of? ›
- 10 Biggest Fears For Creatives And Ways To Overcome Them. As artists, we sometimes live in fear. ...
- We are afraid of failure. ...
- We are afraid of our own success. ...
- We are afraid of change. ...
- We are afraid of self-expression. ...
- We are afraid of not being validated. ...
- We are afraid of collaboration. ...
- We are afraid of assignments.
Someone may say that, in contemporary art, destroying your artwork can be understood as performance art, or conceptual art (which is true, since there are some quite good examples of this practice). On the other hand, many artists destroy their pieces for one simple reason – because they didn't like it; they hated it.Which art is most in demand? ›
- Watercolor paintings.
- Landscape prints.
- Abstract landscapes.
- Contemporary paintings.
- Wildlife and Animals.
- Figure Paintings.
- Offset-litho prints.
Since most abstract artwork doesn't have a recognizable subject or relate to anything external, individual viewers can interpret an abstract painting for themselves. So it makes sense that abstract paintings are always top sellers.
What are the art trends for 2023? ›
Along with pastels, artworks with minimalistic color palettes are trending. Minimalist, earthy-toned palettes are gaining popularity in 2023 as they imitate the calmness and serenity we feel when experiencing nature or the outside world.What is the best way to make money as an artist? ›
- Use online platforms. There are many ways to sell your art online. ...
- Sell your art in person. ...
- Publish your work to earn royalties. ...
- Teach a class. ...
- Apply for art grants. ...
- Create a blog. ...
- Sell brand-related merchandise. ...
- Participate in art competitions.
The struggle is real. A just-released survey of international artists yields some dismal findings: In the US, a full three quarters of artists made $10,000 or less per year from their art. Close to half (48.7 percent) made no more than $5,000.How much does a good artist make a year? ›
|Hourly Wage||$ 9.34||$ 29.24|
|Annual Wage (2)||$ 19,430||$ 60,820|
- Realize Failure is Inevitable. You might as well come to grips with it now, but failure is here to stay. ...
- Failure is Actually a Good Thing. Success is a direct result of failure, so failure is actually a good thing! ...
- Learn The Lesson Then Move On.
- Consumer staples. There are some items that you need no matter what the stock market is doing. ...
- Camping gear. Lavish vacations to distant lands are not as attractive during recessions. ...
- Automotive parts. ...
- Coffee and tea. ...
- Tupperware. ...
- Candy. ...
- Cosmetics. ...
- Pet care products.
The answer is certainly yes; these are highly desirable works and while Modern and contemporary art is dominant, the Cox sale showed that there is still huge demand for the best Impressionists as well.What is the easiest passive income? ›
Dividends are paid per share of stock, so the more shares you own, the higher your payout. Opportunity: Since the income from the stocks isn't related to any activity other than the initial financial investment, owning dividend-yielding stocks can be one of the most passive forms of making money.
- Capital Gains From Appreciated Assets. ...
- Dividend Income. ...
- Interest Payments. ...
- Rental Income. ...
- Business Income. ...
- Earned Income. ...
- Royalties and Selling Rights.
The two most common passive income streams are interest and dividends. Interest can come from a variety of sources but the two biggest are from your interest-bearing deposit accounts (like a savings account) or loans, either to individuals (peer-to-peer lending or private notes) or companies (bonds, notes).
How can I avoid paying taxes on art? ›
Buying art to avoid taxes. They are known as 1031 exchanges and this is how they work. Many wealthy art collectors can, and do, save millions in taxes by essentially rolling over their profits from selling their collection pieces into buying more art.Does selling art count as a business? ›
If you are selling any artwork yourself, it is a legal requirement to have a business license. It allows you to file for a DBA (Doing Business As) so that you can operate under the business name of your choice.How much money can you make as a hobby before paying taxes? ›
What Is Hobby Income Limit? There is no set dollar limit, because some hobbies are more expensive than others. One of the reasons a hobby is not considered to be a business is that typically hobbies makes little or no profit. For instance, let's say Jack has a business buying and restoring cars from the 1970s.How do independent artists get rich? ›
One of the best ways to earn money as an indie artist comes through streaming/digital download. Streaming income is passive so once your song is available, it can literally generate money for years to come and there is no more effort involved because the song is finished.What are the 4 types of royalties? ›
Royalty payments may cover many different types of property. Some of the more common types of royalties are book royalties, performance royalties, patent royalties, franchise royalties, and mineral royalties.Do artists struggle to make money? ›
Making a living as an artist is impossible for all but a few high-profile practitioners, and the lack of sufficient financial remuneration for artistic labour is the dark reality at the heart of the contemporary art world.How do I sell my art independently? ›
- A standalone ecommerce site using an ecommerce platform like Shopify is a great place to start.
- Online marketplaces like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay can plug directly into your online store, allowing you to sync sales and reach wider audiences.
Find the right marketplace to sell your art
ArtFinder is an incredible platform for artists selling original and unique pieces. Art buyers from all over the world visit ArtFinder to purchase work from emerging artists. The site's art sale success rate is relatively high even for first timers.
Which Marketplace Has No Gas Fees? You can list an NFT for sale without paying any fees (even if you have 0 eths in your wallet ) if you use Mintable Marketplace or Use the Polygon Network on Opensea. At the time of writing this post, Opensea is the largest and most popular marketplace for NFT artworks.What art sells most? ›
The most popular art subjects have generic themes and include traditional landscape painting, local scenery, and local landmarks. Seascapes do well, as do animals and figurative work. Art buyers like paintings with a background and composed with a distinct focal point.
What size painting sells the best? ›
At present, most people prefer medium to small paintings for their living and bedrooms with moderate themes. The most commonly preferred frames are 20″ x 24″,16″ x 20″ and 11″ x 14″. For posh galleries, exhibition areas and auditoriums the preferred size is generally 24″ x 36″ and 30″ x 40″.How do you price a painting to sell? ›
- FORMULA 1: Square Inch × Dollar Amount.
- Example for a painting with a width of 18 inches, a length of 24 inches, a square inch multiplier of $4, and a material cost of $100:
- FORMULA 2: (Hourly Wage × Hours Spent) + Cost of Materials.
Lots of artists sell art from home. It's a business model that can work well for many artists. BUT you do need to be aware of the legal and other implications of selling from home. There's a BIG DIFFERENCE between selling via post or the internet and developing a retail outlet in your home.How much can you sell your own art for? ›
Pay yourself a reasonable hourly wage, add the cost of materials and make that your asking price. For example, if materials cost $50, you take 20 hours to make the art, and you pay yourself $20 an hour to make it, then you price the art at $450 ($20 X 20 hours + $50 cost of materials).Is it hard to resell art? ›
The secondary art market, or the reselling of works, can be difficult to navigate, but worthwhile and rewarding if properly understood. The market is dynamic, with artist's values increasing or lowering depending on their popularity, demand, and the trajectory of their career.Can I still use my art if I sell it as an NFT? ›
NFTs are likely not protected by copyright, because they do not meet the basic criteria for copyright protection. They basically represent data on a blockchain, which would not constitute an original work of authorship under intellectual property law. However, the artwork that you mint may be protected by copyright.How does lazy minting work? ›
Lazy Minting is a way to defer the minting until right before the NFT is sold. This way, buyers pay the minting fee after their NFT is sold, making NFT creation affordable and equitable for creators. Today, major NFT platforms like OpenSea and Rarible offer lazy minting as an option.Is it hard to sell NFT art? ›
Is selling NFT easy? Yes, selling NFTs is easy. You can either sell them through an online marketplace or directly to a buyer. There are a few things to keep in mind when selling NFTs, such as setting the right price and ensuring that the transaction is secure.