Need Art? You Need Society6

Last year, I changed jobs moving off of the Hill to the private sector.  With the move, I inherited my first real office.  But as grateful as I was for the space, there were bars on the windows with a view of the alley.  Awesome, right?

To spruce it up, I painted the walls a fresh color and set out in search of some cheerful art.  But I was SHOCKED at what a simple framed poster, photograph or print can cost.  And paying $150+ per piece was not a financially responsible decision.  

Then, last month, I was reading a gift guide on Refinery29 that mentioned Society6, and online art gallery that sells prints and photos from lesser-known artists.  The site sells everything from kooky abstract art to traditional landscapes and black and white photographs.  And they sell most pieces in a variety of sizes, with or without framing.

This art print by Jacqueline Maldonado called “Where I End and You Begin” is the piece that initially caught my eye.  And frankly, I was surprised since my taste in art has always been painfully traditional.  But I loved the vibrant colors so much that I ordered this and two other pieces (Arpeggi and Rise) in the same style.

And the best part?  I bought all three for the same price as one framed piece from the other site that I was using.

I think Society6 is a great concept.  I’ve given several smaller pieces as gifts to friends, and even purchased a piece for my apartment.  The prices are reasonable for the quality of the product, and the turnaround time is very quick.  My only complaint would be the cost of shipping, but given what your mailing, it makes sense.

Do you have art hanging in your office or home? If so, where did you find it?

P.S. Yes, I know this isn’t technically a fashion post.  But I think that what you hang on your office walls can not only bring joy to your office space but also convey a message to co-workers and employers.



  1. L says:

    I tend to love photography and use deviantart to purchase prints. People around the world can upload their photos and sell them. You can order framed or just buy a size that would fit into a standard frame and have a custom mat cut.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  2. DB says:

    I have a map theme going on in my office – I've found some fun typographic maps of different places I've lived/visited. They are much cheaper than art, and they are a great conversation point with visitors.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  3. Amanda B. says:

    On the subject of art… Belle and other readers, I need some major help! I wanted to get opinions of what art is appropriate to hang in an office? I just recently got my own four walls and a door, promoted and upgraded from my cubicle! I have my diplomas and a few pictures signed with some politicians, but no real art. As someone who is generally whimsical but that doesn't really fit in with the whole corporate vibe, what do you suggest for something to spruce up an office??

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  4. Claire says:

    Aaah! The art on society6 is often available as iPhone cases! Great find- thanks for the tip.

    I'm a big fan of etsy art. Stuff is usually only available in one size and generally not framed, but I love the folksy style and the fact that I'm supporting independent artists. There is some stunning jewelry, too. It's true that there's a lot of crap, but a good way to find good stuff is to find one shop you like and then check out their favorites. I have a collage above my bed with several pieces of etsy art ($10-50 each) and Pantone postcards to fill space, all in different frames. I'm not much of a decorator so I'm really proud of it.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  5. RMS says:

    In my office I have diplomas, on one wall, a couple picture frames on my desk, and a painting on another wall. My boyfriend is an artist so I like having one of his pieces on the wall in my office. Since we all spend so much time at work, I think it makes sense to have art that you enjoy seeing on your walls and not really worry about what others may think.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    Amanda B.: I think Black and White Photos are usually appropriate, depending on subject matter. Maps, landscapes, etc.

    Things I would avoid: prints of famous works of art (a bit college dorm-y to me), anything with ballerinas (I know a lawyer with degas posters in her office and it's weird), anything with famous people (audrey hepburn, etc.).

    I'd look to see what your other coworkers have in their offices, and see if there is a theme. All of my coworkers have political stuff and animal mounts, but that wasn't really where I wanted to be, so I went with some abstract water colors.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  7. Megan says:

    I work for start-up journalism non-profit, so I decorate with blow-ups of photojournalism pieces that I find inspiring. My favorites are the Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph (by the way, if anyone hasn't read Flags of Our Fathers, which tells the story of the men in the photo, you really should) and the photo of the man standing in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square. They both remind me on a daily basis of what I'm working for. ­čÖé

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  8. W says:

    I know EXACTLY how you feel! This year I moved into a house and was astounded at the price of art. And even if you find an inexpensive poster you like, the frame shop will rob you blind!! And then yes, there is the shipping….eek. I've found one of the least expensive and most personal ways to decorate is to print photographs from your own travels and put them in ikea frames. Then focus on what you do in the office, and hopefully one day you can buy a nice painting and not worry about the cost!

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  9. Lindz says:

    The cost of art is often to terrifying to deal with- you have pieces that go for millions, and then items that you can pick up from the corner store. So whats a fashion forward art/fashion lover supposed to do? To start, look at projects that are small.

    You have some very inexpensive and fun art being produced in DC, and its always better (in my opinion) to have a piece with history than a copy of something. Options like Project Dispatch allow for you to subscirbe (very cheaply) and get one-of-a-kinda custom art. Theres the every evolving world of Etsy for you to consider, not to mention the student shows that take place at Connor Contemporary.

    If you look around DC, you will find art. The secret is finding it.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  10. J says:

    I had a friend who took some awesome photographs of the monuments at night. They were high quality so I just asked him for the image files, had them printed on snapfish, and bought some black frames at target. They are now hanging in both my apartment and office for about $12 per photo. Otherwise, my office walls are full of really ugly cork boards that aren't removable. They are useful though, so i think i might do one of those crafty fabric and ribbon cover jobs on them.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  11. amy b.s. says:

    awesome because i am in need of some pieces but don't have a lot of cash!

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  12. KS says:

    I have a wall hanging I love frrom 10,000 Villages. The fabric adds nice warmth to a sterile office building.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  13. T says:


    January 12, 2012/Reply
  14. Noelle says:

    Before I got into politics I went to school for classical music, so I went with a music theme. I wanted it to be subtle though, so I have a few framed pictures of famous concert halls (the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and the DC Kennedy Center at night) and a monochromatic print of my favorite composer. I like that it expresses a part of my personality that usually doesn't come out at my job, but it's also not such a bold statement that I have to have a conversation about it every time someone walks into my office.

    January 12, 2012/Reply
  15. RB says:

    Belle – Thank you thank you thank you for this post! I am a law student, so I have a tiny budget, but have been trying to find quality pieces to hang in my apartment. Although I can't spend much, I still have taste, and was at my wit's end with all the tacky, generic stuff I was finding in my price range. But thanks to this post, I joined Society6 today and bought 3 pieces! I am so excited to get them and hang them up. Society6 was exactly what I needed and I am beyond excited to have found it! And a major bonus is getting to support independent artists. Thanks!

    January 13, 2012/Reply
  16. Maharani says:

    I have mezzotints on my office walls. I like their graphic yet antique quality. Couple of rugs too-I spend most of my time in my office so its essential for it to be a pleasant place to spend time. I've collected old engravings and mezzos for years, often in shops specializing in them, occasionally at auction. Also some framed electron micrographs I took myself-was a scientist for years. They are graphic and puzzle people, which can be fun.

    January 13, 2012/Reply