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Carolyn Edlund

Westminster, MD - United States

Carolyn Edlund - Fine Artist

Carolyn Edlund

Member Since: 04/15/2013

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For over twenty years, I worked as a self-employed artist running a successful production ceramic studio. My staff and I participated in over 200 retail fairs and trade shows, and sold our line wholesale into more than 1,000 galleries, stores, museum shops and catalog accounts. My experience includes hiring sales reps, selling to major retailers, and online sales to a global audience.

I’ve also worked as an outside rep for major art publishers, selling art prints, posters, greeting cards, gift and paper lines into hundreds of stores, earning “Rep of the Year” status by opening a record number of retail accounts.

My experiences gave me a focused perspective on the business of art and craft, an understanding of retailers’ needs, and the realities of the marketplace.

In addition to being the founder of Artsy Shark, I am the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, a nonprofit organization presenting business workshops for artists. I partner with the nationally known experts in our faculty to create transformative experiences for our workshop participants, who want to launch or grow successful small businesses.

In 2012, I wrote a comprehensive e-course titled “Marketing for Artists & Craftspeople” which is available through the Arts Business Institute website.

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Artwork in Progress

April 15th, 2014

Is there anything more wonderful than a work of art? Artsy Shark takes you on a tour of our artist friends creating in their studios and on location. Click the link in any caption to see the artist’s portfolio. 

Guest blogger Mckenna Hallett is the owner of My Golden Words and the author of the E’s of Selling. She helps artists brand and market their work more effectively. My 90 year old mother-in-law, Betty Hintz, has a solo show in July this year at a... 

There can be a world of difference between making a sale and making a profit. Do you know if your small business is profitable? by Carolyn Edlund There can be a world of difference between making a sale and making a profit. Do you know if your ... 

The Personal Touch

April 3rd, 2014

Offering your art or craft for sale online is an excellent way to get many eyes on your work, and has the potential to give you a global audience. Online sales of art are steadily increasing, as is the comfort level of purchasers. But, the online ... 

Will being an authority or expert in what you do sell your art? Not by itself. Your customers buy pretty much what they are interested in, and what they like. But art buyers also like to feel that they are buying from a professional, who is recogn... 

Guest blogger Rachel Biel shares her thoughts about the power of community in helping to market and sell handmade work. Four years ago I launched an organization called TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List. Social media was just starting to take... 

Manhattan Arts International is a creative community of art professionals that provides mutual support, encourages camaraderie, and rewards artistic excellence. One of my greatest pleasures as its director is to present an annual “Celebrate The He... 

Artsy Shark needs 36 new artists to feature and promote this spring and summer. Interested in being featured? Submissions are now being accepted. Deadline is midnight, March 24, 2014. Visual artists in any medium who would like to submit their wor... 

Advice for Photographers

March 13th, 2014

John Lund’s humorous photography has sold like hotcakes on a variety of products, especially greeting cards. In Part One of this interview, John discussed his start and how he became such a successful photographer. In this follow up, he shares his ex... 

Master of Humor

March 11th, 2014

John Lund’s humorous photography has sold like hotcakes on a variety of products, especially greeting cards. We recently spoke about his long career and how he has succeeded. In Part 2 of this interview, he will share his best advice for new photogra... 

Art Fair Burnout

March 6th, 2014

Years ago when I had my studio business, I planned an ambitious schedule of retail shows and fairs. One day I did something I’d never done before. On a Saturday morning in August, when driving to yet another fair (somewhere in Pennsylvania), I did... 

A Guide to Art Calls

March 4th, 2014

Guest blogger Mickey Bond offer a comprehensive look at types of art calls, and what you need to know to respond to them. Peruse art call listings on artshow.com; CaFE™ Call Listings; art deadlines list; or Zapplication, you’ll find a great variet... 

Guest blogger Mckenna Hallett is the owner of My Golden Words and the author of the E’s of Selling. She helps artists brand and market their work more effectively. Back in the 70’s, pre-internet (heck – PRE-computers, even!), I was selling art in ... 

The Price is Right

February 20th, 2014

I’ll admit I am a little geeky when it comes to selling – understanding why people buy, giving talks on the subject, creating sales strategies with my clients and so forth. So although I subscribe to a few art blogs, I love to follow blogs that talk ... 

Change the World Through Your Art

February 18th, 2014

“Through art we can change the world.” It may be a lofty goal, but that is the mission of the #TwitterArtExhibit, begun four years ago by artist David Sandum. This annual social-media inspired event is making an impact. It provides an opportunity to... 

Almost 20 years ago, I opened an e-commerce website to sell my art. Surprisingly enough it worked, although at the time customers had to print out a form, fill in their credit card information, and fax it to me in order to make a purchase. The big... 

Meet the Artists

February 12th, 2014

In the studio or at a gallery opening, artists are some of the most fascinating people we know. Enjoy these photos of our artist friends and what they love best! 

We already knew that pricing was a major pain point for emerging artists – where to start and the hassle of negotiation with buyers. But, we didn’t expect buyers to share so much frustration. Before we got started building a new way for people to b... 

Art Business Workshop Lineup

February 4th, 2014

Ready to grow your art career this year? Make an investment in your future by attending one of The Arts Business Institute’s intensive learning experiences for creative entrepreneurs. Our graduates have called these workshops “transformational.” I... 

Artist Graeme Stevenson is bigger than life. He has developed “Colour In Your Life” which is a popular Australian television series featuring visits to art studios, showcasing the artist with their work. Each episode opens with Graeme riding his H... 

Anatomy of a Call for Artwork

January 28th, 2014

As artists we all want our work seen, preferably in venues that show our pieces to advantage, can help build our resumes and enhance our careers. Indeed, there are many wonderful opportunities for artists listed online through websites such as “Artsh... 

Having a strong mailing list is a huge asset for every artist. Here’s how to build one. If your goal is to sell artwork, you will need to reach out to potential customers and collectors on a regular basis so that they become familiar with your wor... 

Want a more effective website that provides a better experience for your visitors? Read on … 1. Set a clear goal. What do you want to accomplish with your art website? Sell your work? Send collectors to your galleries? Promote your workshops? With... 

Testimonials are powerful statements that get your work taken more seriously. Here’s how to obtain them and how to use them. Do you have happy clients? Collectors who love your work? Repeat customers? These are all great sources for obtaining test... 

The About page is one of the most visited on any website. Are you satisfied with yours? Creating an About page that really works takes time and effort. Check out these tips to improve your own page: Make it compelling. Your website visitors wil... 

Does your art website Home page need greater impact? Try these tips: Keep it simple. Don’t confuse your website guests with too much clutter or distraction. Check out the home page of artist Sandi Neiman Lovitz’s website (below) which features a c... 

Exercises in Creativity

January 7th, 2014

A conversation with bestselling author and artist Nick Bantock about art, the creative process, and writing his 27th book. AS: Tell us about the new book you have just released. NB: The title is The Trickster’s Hat, and the subtitle is “A Mis... 

I recently had a conversation about the jury submission process with Bruce Baker, a jewelry designer/maker, gallery owner, long-time juror and creator of the CD, Your Slides & The Jury. He shared his insights for artists who want to improve their pre... 

A few thoughts on why it should be harder for artists to get into business. Back in the day when I graduated with an art degree, I worked long hours creating a portfolio, had slides professionally taken, and started submitting them to shows and ex... 

A countdown of the most read business articles on Artsy Shark in 2013:  

Tattoo by You

December 24th, 2013

Have you ever wanted to design tattoos and earn money doing it? New startup Tattoodo offers an opportunity for artists to do just that. Launched in May 2013, Tattoodo is the brainchild of Danish entrepreneurs Johan (Joe) Penge and Mik Thobo-Carls... 

Talented and Able

December 19th, 2013

Injured in a diving accident at the age of 14, Baltimore native Rob Florio hasn’t let his disability stop him – he focuses on his ability instead. Artsy Shark caught up with this inspiring young artist for an interview about life, his work and his fu... 

What better time than the holidays to sell your art to an audience who’s got gift-buying on the brain? The shopping season officially kicked off with the one-two punch of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, and in 2013 online spending reached a... 

New York City artist and agent Samantha Levin shares her expertise on how artists can make connections with the right galleries for their work. It can be very demoralizing when you get no response from multiple galleries to which you have submitte... 

Open Studios are a wonderful way to begin and augment your artistic career. For those of you who are thinking of participating but are uncertain, let me encourage you to do so. Open Studios can be a very rewarding event and a great transition to beco... 

An Artistic Life Well-Lived

December 5th, 2013

Marilu Norden is an impressive lady. A multi-talented actress, artist, and author in her eighties, she has combined her interests to create a novel about the art world. Artsy Shark caught up with her recently to find out more about her life and work.... 

Referrals from existing customers are just about the best prospects you can get, and many artists grow their business mainly through being referred. Here’s how to get started. When you really think about it, you may realize that many of your curre... 

This time of year, many artists are frantically busy, especially if they are traveling to retail shows and fairs, delivering commissions and making the most of the holiday rush. And after the rush is over, unless you travel south to catch the snowbir... 

Artsy Shark presents some favorite quotes on Creativity & Life. Do you have any to share? If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. ~Maya Angelou All life is an experiment. The more experiments you m... 

Portrait of a Curator

November 21st, 2013

The curatorial process at its most basic level begins by finding relationships between pieces and, by arranging them in a space so that a sense of harmony and balance may be achieved. There is not a singular approach, but a range of methods. The p... 

What Makes Art Remarkable?

November 21st, 2013

What’s the secret behind creating art that inspires interest, excitement and conversation? In my everyday work, I’m exposed to a lot of work that artists are currently making. And in looking at artwork every day, I see a lot of sameness. Similar s... 

The Crafts Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) recently released a comprehensive study called “Sustaining Careers, A Study of the Status of U.S. Craft Artists” which contains many insights into the reality of the craft community today. The survey conduct... 

Despite what the tech pundits will have you believe, there is still a place for traditional media in your art marketing arsenal. When you need a potent device for bringing your message offline and putting it on the doorstep of your community, look no... 

Call for Featured Artists

November 7th, 2013

Artsy Shark needs 36 new artists to feature and promote. Submissions are open until midnight, November 14, 2013. Are you interested? Visual artists in any medium who would like to submit their work for consideration to become a featured artist on ... 

Guest blogger Wendy Rosen, founder of the American Made Show, dispels artists’ myths and misperceptions. MYTH – The jury system is the best way to select artists. The truth is that images alone can be misrepresented, or may not tell t... 

Top 50 Art Fairs in the U.S.

October 29th, 2013

Check out the results of this recent survey of the best art fairs in the country. The votes are in and counted, and Connie Mettler of Art Fair Insiders has come out with results of her survey to find the top art fairs in the country. She didn’t ask ... 

This article is written by Ruth Soller, a successful painter from Colorado, who explains how to create an artist newsletter that gets real results. Art marketing experts including Carolyn Edlund, Alyson Stanfield, Jason Horejs and Barney Davey ag... 

Do any of these business killers seem familiar? Many artists experience frustration from lack of sales without realizing they have sabotaged themselves. 1. Remain in the dark. It makes sense that anyone in business should keep up with their indust... 

Artist Lisa Congdon was stunned earlier this week to find out that her original illustrations of animals with Nordic-inspired designs have apparently been ripped off. Giftware company Cody Foster and Company has displayed holiday ornaments for sale i... 

Its Not All About the Money

October 15th, 2013

Recently, I had a conversation with an artist who felt she would never be able to make a good living from her fiber art. What she loved was the process of making her art. She didn’t want to compromise the time and effort she put into each piece, e... 

When marketing your art, it’s tempting to put the focus solely on you: “Check out my art, my show, my newsletter, my Facebook page.” However, your promotional efforts will become exponentially more effective the minute you understand this fundamental... 

Commit to Imperfection

October 10th, 2013

I once spoke with an artist who told me she had been preparing her portfolio for the past two years. She said it would be about another six months before she could launch her website, because she needed everything to be perfect before she did that. ... 

Kate Harper is an occasional guest blogger on Artsy Shark and a real expert on the greeting card business. Check out this wonderful resource she has created for greeting card designers and entrepreneurs! 

Lights, Camera, Action

October 4th, 2013

Photographer Scott Mead winds up his three-part series on how to get the perfect image of your work. Now that we have all the pieces to the product photo puzzle, it’s time to make some magic, and we’ll take it step-by-step. Set the stage – For ... 

Your work may be appealing on the surface, but what do you see when you flip it over? Years ago in a fiber art class, my professor looked at a piece I had completed as an assignment. Then she turned it over, frowned and said, “The back of your wor... 

The Power of the Photograph

September 19th, 2013

Professional photographer Scott Mead continues his series on capturing great images of your work, with lots of technical information on getting the right equipment and the right shot. As artists, we’re often asked by galleries or clients to s... 

The Importance of the Picture

September 17th, 2013

Professional photographer Scott Mead gives a few tips on capturing great images of your work, in Part One of his series on the importance of the picture. Last week at one of my regular shows, a fellow artist asked me for some advice on taking imag... 

The deadline is coming up fast for the 2014 NICHE Awards – a celebration of the best work in fine craft mediums. Don’t miss your opportunity to apply. One of my favorite art competitions each year is the NICHE Awards, which recognizes both professio... 

Profile of a Collector - Part 2

September 5th, 2013

Who is collecting your art? How much do you understand about your customer? My friend Ann lives in Orange County near Los Angeles, and has been collecting art for the past 12 years. Volunteering as a docent at a nearby museum has not only educated... 

Profile of a Collector - Part 1

September 3rd, 2013

Artists, do you know your collectors? What do they want, and why do they buy? My friend Marsha recently spoke about downsizing, and moving to a smaller place. She is willing to get rid of some furniture, and sell or give away many belongings – but... 

Telling Your Artist Story

August 27th, 2013

Guest blogger Brennen McElhaney discovered a new way to share the story of his art and his inspiration with his website audience. He shares how to “show your story” in a beautiful format. Enjoy! Recently, in the process of redesigning my artist we... 

Exhibiting at art or craft fairs this summer? All exhibitors want to have a profitable selling experience, but as we know, that’s not always the case. What can you do when sales are slow? Try these tips to attract more customers. Do you have any ... 

Working on Your Art Business

August 20th, 2013

Artist Matt Tommey, author of the new book “Crafting Your Brand” shares an excerpt with Artsy Shark readers, telling the story of his transition to becoming an entrepreneur and what artists also need to know. “Most entrepreneurs are merely technic... 

The Power of Trust

August 20th, 2013

As an artist, you want to pursue your passion for art, and express yourself in the studio. If you sell your work, you are also a businessperson. This means that you must nurture and grow business relationships in order to be successful. The most b... 

Many artists might be surprised, or even shocked at the thought of selling their work at Walmart. Photographer Sandra Canning is not one of those artists. She is actively pursuing business with the retail giant, and would like your vote to move her f... 

Don’t miss these upcoming events! The Arts Business Institute will be presenting this series of intensive business workshops that help artists take their work from local sales to the nationwide marketplace. Speakers include Carolyn Edlund, founde... 

Artist James Thatcher ran his first crowdfunding campaign, which was quite successful. It was also more emotional, difficult and surprising than he imagined. James shares his experience, and offers tips and encouragement for running a campaign that w... 

Artsy Shark interviewed card designer Kate Harper, whose popular collections have been loved and purchased by fans for many years. She shares her experience and insights for card entrepreneurs. AS: When you first come up with a concept for a ca... 

Crafting Your Brand

July 30th, 2013

Craft artist Matt Tommey works full-time as a basket maker whose work is widely collected. In a former life, Matt worked in the marketing field. He has written a new book “Crafting Your Brand” to share his insights, experience and recipe for success ... 

Artists on Location

July 25th, 2013

Artsy Shark celebrates artists in the field, hard at work, showing, selling, or gathering inspiration. 

Flakey, snobby, dark and brooding. Do these stereotypes make any sense? I got a huge kick out of the article “Who Art Thou? Artist Stereotypes” by Alexandra Gjurasic on Pyragraph and recommend it as a “must-read” if you suspect you may fit a stere... 

Artist and gallery owner Jane Cowley of Cowley Fine Art in South Haven, Michigan speaks about the challenges of owning a resort gallery today, and what artists should know. AS: You are an artist who bought an art gallery. What have you learned fr... 

There is a huge hunger (and confusion) among artists about how to sell their work. Would an agent be the solution? Each month, I receive at least 25 emails from artists asking me to represent them and sell their work. Now, I don’t represent indivi... 

Jay Etkin is the owner of Jay Etkin Gallery, with locations in both Santa Fe, New Mexico and Memphis, Tennessee. Specializing in local, regional, and international contemporary artists and vintage African tribal art, his client base ranges from indiv... 

Arts Business Workshop

July 9th, 2013

This one-day intensive educational event for artists is hosted by the ValleyArts District, a dynamic community for artists in northern New Jersey, 20 miles from New York City. It will take place on Saturday, August 10th Carolyn Edlund, the founder... 

Gallery Interview ArtHaus

July 4th, 2013

ArtHaus Gallerists James Bacchi and Annette Schutz have good cause to celebrate. 2013 marks the 17th year of ArtHaus in Francisco, and their SOMA gallery has been voted BEST ART GALLERY IN THE BAY-AREA on the ABC-7 TV – BAY AREA “A” LIST for the past... 

The other day I talked with a gentleman and his wife during a consultation who were working together diligently to produce and sell his art. It was a real pleasure to strategize with a team of people who were totally supportive of each other. But ... 

Selling Art with Confidence

June 27th, 2013

The other day a good friend and I walked through an art show taking place on the grounds of a park in beautiful San Diego, California. Art was displayed in booths along a walkway filled with visitors, with perhaps twenty artists exhibiting their work... 

Guest blogger and industry expert Barney Davey shares some smart strategies on how to grow your art business locally. Many factors go into selling art and building a successful art career. Top selling artists learn to achieve a balance between mak... 

Building an Art Community

June 20th, 2013

Artist Judith HeartSong is the Executive Director of Capitol Arts Network near Washington, D.C. She shares her insights on the benefits of a community for artists. Building Community – and growing an art center For decades my mantra when i... 

Guest blogger and intellectual property attorney Emily Danchuk shares how artists can empower themselves to fight copyright theft. Many of my clients complain about knock-offs of their products being imported from China or India and sold in the Un... 

I regularly view artist’s websites, and have visited thousands of them in the past couple of years. There is a huge disparity in online portfolios. It isn’t hard to tell who is serious, and who is not. Are you truly proud of the portfolio you are ... 

This guest article is written by Emily Danchuk, an intellectual property attorney and founder of Copyright Collaborative. Why Artists Hesitate and Why They Absolutely Shouldn’t I’ve made my fair share of approaches to artists in my capacity as ... 

Artsy Shark interviews art licensing expert and author Maria Brophy on how artists can protect themselves when negotiating art licensing contracts. AS: What has changed in the licensing world in the past few years? MB: Wow, so much has chan... 

In The Studio

June 4th, 2013

In this photo article, Artsy Shark celebrates the artist's studio. It's where inspiration takes form, hard work is done, and masterpieces are created. Enjoy these candid shots of our artist friends at work! 

We all know how important it is for an artist to have your own artist website: an artist who sells work or services for money is a business, and every business needs a website. It is often the only “real estate” an artist owns, after all, and often s... 

The WalnutArtApp for iPhone and iPad can “virtually” increase your art sales. Making an art purchase just got a whole lot easier! Four Australian IT developers/art enthusiasts put their heads together and came up with a brilliant idea to help arti... 

Whether you exhibit your work at trade shows, or just want to publicize your collection, you need a press kit that works. When attending a trade show, it’s an advantage to prepare kits for the Press Room, such as these seen recently at the Nationa... 

Working for Free

May 21st, 2013

Should artists work for free? There are a lot of people out there who seem to think so. This attitude hurts the business of art and can destroy self-confidence. 

Artist and guest blogger Mckenna Hallett creates jewelry from scrap metal and upcycled junk, and sells her work wholesale to galleries and retailers all over the country. She shares her view on how artists who wholesale can become better partners wit... 

Want to increase sales of your art? Prime your customer’s imagination by showing your work in situ. These step-by-step instructions by guest blogger Carol McIntyre will get you started. 

Getting website traffic is step one. Now, keep those visitors in the loop and coming back. Here are ten tips on increasing engagement with visitors to your art website: 1. Make your Home page inviting with a compelling image of your work and a pro... 

Artsy Shark is seeking visual artists in any medium to submit their work for consideration to become a Featured Artist. Deadline is midnight Eastern time on the evening of Wednesday, May 8th. As a Featured Artist, you present your portfolio, and ... 

Guest blogger Georgianne Holland shares her thoughts on the profound changes in the handmade industry over the past few decades, and how artists can communicate the value of their work. The concept of fine craft, as well as fine art, I think we ca... 

There are many avenues you can follow, depending on what your work is about. Regardless of what road you take, you need to brand yourself as a particular kind of artist. Be specific. 

I think it’s safe to say that the word “infringement” conjures up visions of Chinese factories and dusty marketplaces in India, right? In reality, the practice has become a striking and integral part of many U.S. companies’ business models. 

Successful artist and guest author Noah Bradley shares some tips for artists who want to sell their work as freelancers. It takes a lot of luck to be a successful freelance artist. And it takes a lot of hard work and persistence to be lucky. H... 

Artsy Shark

April 15th, 2013

Artsy Shark's mission is to help artists build better businesses. Founder and author Carolyn Edlund presents content focused on the business of art, with articles on marketing, selling, websites, art publishing, greeting cards, art licensing, wholesa...