A Fine Art site to try – Society6

A friend recently mentioned that they had more success on Society6 than they have on Fine Art America, and after my last post about getting back into Fine Art, I decided to give it a go! But when I checked out the “popular” works under the category “Art Prints”, I found that many of them were actual works of art – ie paintings (or at least prints of paintings). Not to be deterred, I did what I promised to do in the previous post and bought a copy of the Watercolor Studio from Jixipix and got to work on creating my first work of watercolor art!

Digital watercolor print of the skyline of San Diego at sunset

Not bad – even though I say so myself! If you want to try this sort of thing, here is my link for the product on Jixipix – it is $49.99, but definitely worthwhile if you want to quickly create “works of art”! 


This is what I found out about Society6 to help you get going quickly.

Although the site talks about uploading a minimum file size of 6500 x 6500 pixels, it doesn’t seem to stop you uploading smaller images. Perhaps that limits the maximum size for some products, but the user guide for sellers is pretty contradictory about this topic. On the one hand it suggests you photograph your paintings with a camera of at least 12MP, then it says you shouldn’t upsize them in software, and finally it says that you need this 6500 pixel minimum! All impossible to meet if you follow their instructions! Anyway, I upsized my painting a bit, but have since uploaded photographs without any size increases.

Then you have to set the prices for your prints, framed prints and canvases. I looked at some popular prints and came up with a table to enter the mark-up for the three categories you need to enter:

How to set pricing on Society6 for photos and artwork

Basically you overwrite the suggested mark-ups with the numbers in the right hand column.

Then it suggests you enter 20 descriptive tags. I found that you could enter them one by one, or you could use a comma separated list. So I searched for similar images to mine in the keyword tool of Stock Submitter, and looked for the 30 most common keywords for those images. Copying those (or perhaps the top 20 of them) into the clipboard allows you to paste all the keywords at once into the Society6 entry bar. You can then delete the ones that aren’t really appropriate and add a few new or better ones. Much quicker than typing each one in turn. Finally, they suggest that you should put a more descriptive explanation about what you liked about the shot or what it means to you.

This sets up the three main categories of prints, framed prints and canvases. Metal prints are a bit different as they are of fixed sizes (or ratios). They only accept 1×1, 2×1, 2×3, 3×4, 4×5, and 5×7 ratios. I created an alternative copy of my image and the site allows you to upload that version without changing anything else about the tags and descriptions. Worth doing to allow metal prints to be ordered.

You can scroll down and select other products if you image fits (or upload specific versions for those products if you feel like it).

My new portfolio is live on Society6 now. I’ll keep working on this when I have some spare minutes, and will report back if and when sales appear!!

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19 Responses

  1. Hi Steve, please keep posting about the earnings on this site. Would be interesting to see.

    • admin says:

      Will do. It is quite time consuming to upload but that might be a good thing as it forces people to only put their best work online.

      • Elijah Lovkoff says:

        Thanks Steve, please do – especially in this case; a cumbersome upload process is a huge turn off for me.

        P.S. I piece of advice if I may – I think more people would be engaged if the process of leaving the comments is simplified. For now, I have to leave my name and email every I comment on something. And seeing the massage ‘please fill in all the fields’ when you hit ‘post’ is really something that makes me feel – ‘crap! never again!’

        I don’t want to be obnoxious, there are other things that can be done, but this is the main roadblock for me. Just throwing in my 0.02 pesos.

  2. Jason Finn says:

    Great suggestion! I’ll have to try this site out after I curate a small collection for Fine Art America. I still have a blank portfolio on FAA. You’re awesome! Keep it up!

  3. Elijah Lovkoff says:

    That makes two of us, what a relief 🙂 I have blank port on FAA too.

  4. Elijah Lovkoff says:

    yep, I see my icon now as anonymous. Looks like you enabled anonymous comments and at the same time enabled moderation before posting (or maybe it is a ).

    OK, you probably should put the setting back to avoid complications, but you ever need recommendations regarding how to improve user interaction, you can contact me directly at elijah.lovkoff@gmail.com

    I couldn’t even locate the contact form on your blog:

    Maybe it is buried somewhere, but I couldn’t find it easily.


  5. Darryl Brooks says:

    I put an image up on the site, only to find that I already had a login. Guess I took a look but never uploaded. Didn’t find it much more cumbersome than some other art sites, but always confused that an uploader can’t read my metadata. But you’re right, we need to be more selective – it’s not a stock site.

    Taking a look at the jixpix software. I’ve been looking into ways to create more images from a single shot and that may do the trick. I know you can emulate some of that from PS, but I really like plugins.

  6. Elijah Lovkoff says:

    I noticed that some people upload watercolor images to SS, did you have some level of success with watercolor images on shutterstock?

    • admin says:

      I’ve never tried water color or other painting attempts on Shutterstock or any of the stock sites. Just FAA and similar ones. Perhaps I should investigate how they keyword them.

  7. Elijah Lovkoff says:

    Steve, any sales on Society 6? I’m looking for new midstock agencies to expand my portfolio, so any stats regarding your sales would be helpful

    • admin says:

      Nothing yet! Although I only have created 12 basic sets of products I think. It is quite hard work doing each one. I think I will wait and see what happens before I put more effort into it.

  8. Elijah Lovkoff says:

    This is the comment I’ve found on one of the forums:
    “I generally do 100-300 a month there (society6). Took me a while to get there. Christmas season made me big money, though. 2K+. Keep promoting, use social media to the fullest (Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, etc) My Facebook fan page is one of the mos important tools in promoting myself. I do well on Etsy, and Red Bubble, too. Don’t pick one or the other, do them all. Lots of streams of income, that’s key.”

    Did you have any experience selling stuff on Etsy or Red Bubble?

    • admin says:

      I don’t have experience of those. It appears that sales on Society6 are more on products rather than prints, so perhaps those need to be designed rather than just having the photo applied to them. I need to investigate more, it appears!

  9. sue gresham says:

    Hi Steve, I have been “registered with Society6, RedBubble, Zazzle and Zippi with Etsy and a possible two others to join. I did this when I read on the MicrosoftGroup, a post from a guy who said he was giving up on Microstock and was now earning more by designing visiting cards only! I have not done much, as at the time you needed a ‘store/shop’ where on Fine Art America you don’t. Delighted by your success – thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes, Sue
    I do get a sort of ‘buzz’ to see my images wrapped round a mug or on a wall clock…..!

    • Steven Heap says:

      Yes, there is something about an image on a cup that is more interesting than a wall print! I’ve now added more to Society6 so will see if my efforts pay dividends!

I'm always interested in what you think - please let me know!