First of all, let’s talk about making money as an artist. There are many ways for selling artwork:
1. A one off sale of original artwork
2. Limited edition art prints
3. Art prints (unlimited profit potential)
4. Artwork on products (unlimited profit potential)
5. Digital copies (unlimited profit potential)
With the first two you’re limited with the amount of income potential to generate off a piece of art, but that can make them even more desirable to a potential customer. The limited nature creates an urgency to the sale, because someone else might snap it up!
However, if you sell a one-off pieces of artwork retailing at $1-3k you would receive a one off payment and no longer keep that artwork. Now that’s a great profit for a single piece of artwork but because of the price point it may take a long time before it sells. If you create digital copies of the art piece, keep the original artwork, you can potentially make a higher profit because the earning potential is unlimited.
Selling artwork as art prints & on products
With Society6.com, you provide digital copies of your artwork and photography. Upload a JPG of your art and then they handle the materials, printing, shipping, and customer service. On S6, my highest grossing artwork is my Tropical Palm Print (read about the inspiration behind this artwork here) and in just over one year I earned $1,200 on this piece. I retain rights to my work, and if sales continue at this rate without factoring further growth, I may earn a further $6k over a span of 5 years, that’s not bad. But I’m sure there are artists on the site that are making much more than I am. So you can see, selling artwork through an online platform like S6 is a great way to generate income as an artist.
There are many platforms out there which you can use, however as I have had the most success (so far) with this platform. I’m going to share what I love about it.
You Set Your Commission
On art, you set your commission. You add as much or as little as you like, on top of the fixed base rate (expenses for creating it). You can’t do that with the product range, but I think it reduces the complexity for customers when they are shopping.
Example above of the commission I set for one of my art pieces, you choose the commission for each size.
You Retain Your Rights
This is a biggie. This means means that you can sell that same piece of artwork on other platforms too, it’s your artwork.
Anyone can Join
With S6, anyone can become an artist. Some businesses prefer to curate their members, and that’s great, variety is a good thing. However, with an open door policy, it becomes an incubator for artists allowing them to grow with the support of other artists in the community. Artists support each other by promoting (the little heart symbol on the art) each others work that they like.
Every Sale Profits an Artist
You make a profit on every single sale of your work. They are transparent and upfront on the exact profit you can make on sales, see their pricing model.
Amazing Community of Talent
You would be joining a community of inspiring artists. If you run your business or work from home, you may lack interaction with other artists and this platform helps you to connect with them. You can choose the artists you wish to follow, promote artwork you like and leave comments for the artist on why you like their piece. These interactions help build relationships with your fellow artists, and they may follow you and promote your work.
Below are a few pieces from fellow artists:
Diverse Product Range
Apart from selling fine art prints, they also allow you to sell your work on apparel, tech, and home products. They currently offer a product range of over 30 options and they often add new stuff too. Simply produce your artwork in the dimensions they require, upload the file, and voila – you have your product available for sale! I’ve purchased a variety of their products, and you can see photos of them in my Society6 product reviews post.
Example of the products created for my art piece: Banana Leaf Print
The Curator Program
This is fantastic for you; it incentivizes other people to promote your work because they make a cut from the sale. Plus, you don’t loose any of the commission allotted to you. If you sign up to the curator program you can make extra money sharing other artists work, and on top of that, you can even make a commission on your own artwork if you refer the customer via your unique curator link! Its similar to affiliate linking, and like affiliate linking the customer doesn’t pay anything extra, because the commissions are baked into the base cost.
Easy to use and works well. You upload your art piece, set the commission, and if you uploaded a large enough file (at least 6500px covers almost all products) then it will automatically generate previews of products with the design too. You can control which product you sell on and can upload specific images for products giving you control for how they turn out. They have an APP for iPhone too.
Discounts & Free Shipping
Discounts and free shipping options are often offered. This boosts sales and is a positive incentive that you can communicate in your own advertising, be it on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
Featured Artists & Big Brands
They frequently do an exposé on an artist, interviewing them and opening a window to the processes of that artist. Produce quarterly magazines featuring artwork from selected candidates and they run limited edition collaboration projects with big brands like Adidas, Vans, Veeka, Ezekiel, and in4mation.
Get Paid Monthly
Earnings are paid monthly, after a 30 day grace period, and you don’t need to earn over a certain amount before they pay you.
Great Customer Service
On every occasion where I have been in contact with a member of their customer service has been a pleasant experience. They are prompt to reply and always courteous and kind.
Curate and Advertise
They curate and promote artists to their network of social media followers. Follower wise, they have over 139k on Pinterest, 66k on twitter, and 217k on Instagram. Artists artwork are displayed on the s6 homepage which appear to change daily at a minimum. I was lucky enough to have two of my pieces make it to their homepage, and once through their newsletter.
When my Glorious Lilies print made it on the S6 homepage and newsletter
Artists sell their artwork with a relatively low commission which widens the audience to be sold to. The art print below of the owls costs just $19.99 for a small 10″x6″ print and only up to $73.99 for an extra-large version of 40″x21″. That’s awesome!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Comments are always welcome; please feel free to post them below. Know an artist who may be interested in reading it too? Then please share using the icons at the end of this page!
If you are an artist and plan to sign up to Society6 then download your free copy of the new ebook 10 tips for success on Society6 where I share my tips for using the platform.