Society6.com is a website where artists and photographers can upload their images and have various products (prints, phone cases, pillows, t-shirts, etc) with their images be listed for sale. The artist retains all rights to their images and can edit, remove, or change them at any time. Although the percentage of profit the artist sees from the sale of each piece is not high, they do not have to be involved with the manufacturing or shipping of the goods – all the artist has to do is upload the original image. There is no expiration on listings or upfront listing fees, and the profit the artist will receive is laid out clearly on the site (http://society6.com/help/selling).
I began listing art on Society6 a few months ago, and have enjoyed it immensely. It has connected me to new artists and inspired me to create work tailored for the various products. Here are two main things I have learned from my experience.
The process is easy and fun.
Uploading images, creating a profile and header, and navigating the site are easy. If you have never had your artwork or photography on products before it’s really rewarding to see the images on the website, and can open new lines of creativity in regards to patterns and layouts.
Society6 is not just for selling products, but is a community of artists and photographers who comment on each other’s work and “promote” it (similar to “liking”). There is value to being on the site even if you don’t sell anything, and some artists never list their art for sale, instead making posts that do not become listings.
The site is also a free place to share your artwork online, and a good place to direct people who want to see your work if you don’t have your own website. The address for your store will be simple and easy to share.
Unless you already have a following, or you are a promotional wizard, do not expect to sell much.
Although a few of my pieces have been chosen by Society6 to be listed in their directory (meaning visitors do not have to know my name or an exact title of a work in order to find it, but can instead find images by browsing categories), I have only sold a handful of products so far. Unless your art already has a following or you are willing to start promoting your store like crazy other places online, you shouldn’t expect a huge amount of sales. Although your store will be easy to find for anyone you tell about it, there are thousands of artists on Society6.
That being said, you never know when someone will stumble upon your work and absolutely love it, and one of your images could always end up on the main page, potentially bringing you thousands of sales. There’s no loss taking that chance since the site is free and you retain the rights to your work.