April 18, 2017
Q&A with the Art Director of the Artist-Driven Art + Decor Online Marketplace, Society6
Society6 is known for their endless library of art and design created by independent artists from around the world. The online marketplace offers everything from fine art prints to throw blankets, pillows, and iPhone cases.
by New York Spaces
NYS: What is Society6 known for?
Wesley Bird, Art Director of Society6: Society6 is known for our endless library of art and design created by independent artists from around the world. From Fine Art Prints and Wall Tapestries to Throw Blankets and Shower Curtains, you can discover products to suit your individual style and personality.
NYS: How do you find your artists and where are they located?
Wesley Bird: The beauty of being an online marketplace is there are no borders when it comes to discovering artists. We have artists uploading work from just about every country in the world. If you can access a computer and the internet, you can begin selling on Society6 in just a few minutes.
Many artists find out about Society6 through word of mouth as they search for new options to monetize their creativity, outside of traditional career paths. Our business model makes it easy for artists to focus on creating, leaving the production, shipping and customer service to us. We enjoy supporting creative communities from all over the world, including Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Nepal, Sydney and beyond.
NYS: What kind of art do you carry?
Wesley Bird: You will find just about every style, medium, and subject within Society6. Since we are online we definitely have a large library of digital art, but we cater to most creative paths including photography, illustration, and graphic design to name a few. This really is what facilitates the value of Society6 for shoppers—they're able to find art to fit their specific aesthetic and taste.
NYS: What are some of the home products you carry? Are they all made by different artists?
Wesley Bird: We currently offer nineteen different home décor products ranging from gallery quality framed prints, to ultra-soft blankets, to vibrant throw pillows and most recently floor pillows. The art that you see on every home decor product is hand drawn, painted, glued, or designed by a Society6 artist. With over 250,000 artists uploading millions of designs to date, you can imagine the breadth of accessible creativity.
NYS: We love that you are now selling iPhone cases and notebooks! What are some of the more popular designs?
Wesley Bird: The notebooks are one of my favorite new products we've added to our assortment. They are the perfect grab-and-go size for taking notes or sketching and you don't have to compromise style for utility. A couple of our most popular designs are the "Marble Galaxy" by Nikkistrange and "Really Mermaid" by Monika Strigel, but because customers enjoy such a wide selection we see a pretty broad range of purchased works.
NYS: What has been one of the more energizing aspects of Society6?
Wesley Bird: I love that new artists join Society6 everyday from every corner of the world. It's hard not to be invigorated by a daily infusion of collective hustle from thousands of like-minded people. Society6 is truly a community of creatives, empowered by a platform that takes on the mountain of effort that stems from the sale, production, fulfillment, and customer service of their work – leaving artists with more time to do what they do best. Create.
Before landing an actual job here as Art Director, I began my career as an artist on Society6 right out of college. I am deeply invested in Society6 and I love being a part of building the future of this resource for the next generation of makers, doers and go-getters to come.
NYS: Where do you see Society6 going from here?
Wesley Bird: We've got one of those not-so-common problems of too much opportunity, so for us it's about focusing on the things our artists and customers desire most.
Product expansion is always a part of that list, especially in our home décor category, as there is no end to the types of products our technology can work with. We have a lot of exciting projects in the works especially with regard to the back to school and holiday seasons.
We're also spending a good deal of time honing our wholesale offering as we've noticed a rising interest from design firms that have been utilizing Society6's depth of designs to identify just what their clients need. We've worked with a number of designers on projects for W Hotels, Marriott, SBE, Kimpton, and Stonehill & Taylor among others. Given our ability to produce significant volume of any given product in a couple of weeks, we've become a go-to resource for clients with often all-too-constrained project deadlines. Recently we introduced curatorial programs and services to ensure large complex orders can be handled even faster.
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