I’m Carolyn Graham Edlund, the founder of Artsy Shark. I work with artists every day to help them build sound, sustainable businesses. Find out how you can work with me here.
I’m passionate about helping artists who are launching and growing small businesses. As a long-time entrepreneur, I’ve built several businesses from the ground up.
Back when I graduated with an Art degree, I was very motivated, but had no idea how to be in business. Does that sound familiar? I learned how to build an art business the hard way, through years of trial and error, making mistakes and getting great advice from mentors.
Even though every artist has a unique situation, many face similar challenges. That’s where we connect – through the articles on this site, artist features which help publicize and promote, and through personalized strategy sessions.
For over 20 years, I was 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 publishing companies, selling art prints, posters, greeting cards, gift and paper lines into hundreds of stores, and 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 writing the Artsy Shark blog, 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.
Artsy Shark specializes in featuring artists, showcasing them through individual articles that present their portfolios and tell their stories. Each feature is permanent and can be seen in the Featured Artist Gallery.
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