Business Consulting

Feeling stuck trying to get financial momentum with your artwork or creative process? Are you pulled in too many directions and need someone to help you focus?


Carolyn Edlund, founder of Artsy SharkI’m Carolyn Edlund, the founder of Artsy Shark. I’m dedicated to helping artists grow their businesses. I work with artists, makers and creative entrepreneurs of all types every day in one-on-one personalized consultations to help them build strong, sustainable businesses.

I’ve been in your shoes, and made plenty of mistakes during the start up of what became a very successful business, and I want you to learn from my mistakes. But more importantly, I want to share the knowledge that came from running a full-time production studio for over 20 years, and from working with artists as we move into new marketplaces and a new economy. I will share insights into how to think like an entrepreneur and how to pursue your goals with purpose; how to become a real business owner.

Running a successful studio is only part of the picture. After I closed my studio, I represented and sold art and gift lines to galleries, museum stores and other retailers for 7 years, mastering strong selling and negotiation skills. I excelled in this career and learned the “other side of the business” as well. I learned what the retail store and gallery owners want and need, and became one of the top sales reps for a major art publisher.

Starting in 2011, I became the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, a highly respected nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching artists and craftspeople practical business knowledge and helping them succeed as creative entrepreneurs. I’m part of the traveling faculty that brings workshops to hundreds of artists at the invitation of guilds and art organizations from Florida to Hawaii.

An in-depth conversation with me, centered on your needs and uncovering your immediate roadblock, can be of even greater benefit and this is something I am happy to schedule at a time convenient for you.

How You Will Benefit from Working Directly with Me

  • Do you know where you stand? What part of your body of artwork, your handcrafted collection or greeting card line is marketable? What needs improvement? Find out how you can increase your sales or get into the marketplace successfully.
  • I will help you find clarity on how to talk about yourself and your creative work, and how to present it to the right audience and get the most out of your connections in your presentations.
  • We will highlight specific strategies for your work and ways to increase your income. Whether you are pursuing fine art sales, plan to sell wholesale, online or through other channels, I can help you. I have pieces to many puzzles.
  • You will also get a complete website review, marketing plan and step-by-step strategies so that you learn how to communicate effectively, network with the right people and get traction in your art business.
  • I offer total support and personalized mentorship, and act as an accountability partner to help you avoid getting off track.
  • You will receive a clear written follow up detailing our discussion and insights for your business.

I am so excited! It was the kick start in the brain (butt) I needed. I was spinning my wheels waiting for something to click that might have otherwise taken years. If you are struggling, or are even on the cusp of discovering your potential as a self-sustained artist, please give her a call. I was not asked by anyone to plug I just know a good deal when I see it.  ~ Amanda Mauck


We can begin by booking an hour of personalized consulting for your creative business. This high-intensity session will address challenges you are facing now, and provide strategies designed to help you overcome them. We speak over the phone or Skype (your preference). You receive an email follow up that is so complete you don’t even have to take notes!


After the consultation, I took your advice to heart and went to work. The results? A solo show with seven paintings and two commissions sold, a gallery spot with a painting sold at opening, a life painting event and auction which got me the most and highest bids plus a solo show coming up next year. Thank you! ~ Manon Sander


This option gives you ongoing feedback and support for a kick start to your business and long-term growth.

Working together on an ongoing basis really gets results. Artists who choose this option should be highly motivated to transform their business to a higher level. You must be ready to put in the work and be persistent to make lasting changes and improvements. This all-inclusive package includes: 

  • We start with a one-hour initial phone or Skype consultation to pinpoint your strengths and define your challenges. We set priorities to move forward in your small business, with your own life situation in mind and financial considerations factored in as well.
  • Each week via email, I will check-in to keep you on course, and help you stay unstuck. We will move together in eight weeks of follow-up and hands-on evaluation of your progress.
  • I also include two half-hour follow up phone or Skype consultations within a 60-day period. These are higher-level strategy sessions to hone your business plan, your presentation, website and marketing, and keep the momentum going!
  • There will be written checklists to outline your plan of action, and to review your progress.
  • I will shower you with personalized resources chosen for you. I will be including links to articles, directories, prospects and more.
  • I will be your coach, mentor, cheerleader, and business strategy partner and will tap into my nearly 30 years of experience to bring you information in concise and useful ways.

This is a game changing relationship. Are you ready to move to the next level and create the sustainable business that you know you deserve?


During the past year, I have interacted with marketing consultants, hoping to improve my online presence/experience . . . By far the most successful of these consultations was with Carolyn Edlund.  Her thought-provoking questions have helped me to streamline my website, focusing on improved buyer experience on the site and eventually offering ready-to-hang images only.  Through Carolyn’s guidance I have reached out to local publications, leading to a detailed interview on my photography, which was published. One of my images also adorned the cover of a companion organization. ~ Robert R. Lott


Are you are launching a new business, and need ongoing guidance? Are you re-tooling, seeking new markets, or planning to “go big” scaling your production this year? Consider this 6-month consulting package, which gives you full access to feedback, planning and strategies for growth.

This longer term relationship digs down into the small details that can make a big difference in your business. It may involve steps in a teardown and rebuilding of your website, or researching and planning to enter a new segment of the marketplace. It could involve building a collection, and pricing it profitably. We may take a close look at and plan marketing activities, implement them and evaluate results. As an accountability partner, I will help keep you on track while you work intensively and seriously on your small creative business.

This all-inclusive package includes:

  • Six monthly one-hour consulting sessions to evaluate, prioritize and create strategies for moving forward. These are tailored to your business vision, goals and personal situation.
  • Written email follow up of every session, with checklists, resources and any referrals needed. You don’t have to ever take any notes during our consultation appointments!
  • All-access email contact for feedback, review and discussion during our 6-month intensive working relationship. Feeling stuck, need clarification or help? Reach out to me in an ongoing email conversation to review and encourage you every step of the way.
  • This level of mentorship and interaction is designed to give full support to your creative business, using my expertise and knowledge of the industry.

Is this package right for you? Artists and creative entrepreneurs who are a good fit for this package must be prepared to work hard and communicate regularly. Building a business is challenging and requires persistence, patience and planning. You may run into setbacks and hurdles that you didn’t expect. My goal in working with clients at this level is to keep you on-course and focused on reaching goals to build and grow a successful small business.


(Payment plan is available for this package. Contact [email protected] details)


Once you book my services, I will contact you within 24 hours to set up a convenient time for our first appointment. Have questions or need more information? Contact me at Carolyn (at) or call me at 410-977-2915.


What Clients are Saying . . .  

I worked with Carolyn on an hourly consult basis. She has been generous and thoughtful in her advice, and offered me specific and very smart ideas that I had never thought of. I am putting her suggestions into action immediately and am excited to see where they lead. Unlike many coaches in arts who are all about ‘self-esteem and empowerment’ without the street cred, Carolyn is upbeat but realistic and businesslike in her approach, leaving me feeling encouraged but focused on a practical to-do list to move towards my goals. ~ Iskra Johnson

I greatly appreciate all the guidance Carolyn provided me. I started with the Hourly Consulting and decided to continue to the 60-day “Take Action” Consulting package right away, and I am so happy that I made the right decision. She took me in the right direction, and gave me a tremendous amount of valuable ideas that were plausible for me to advance my business. I love her upbeat consultation and thorough follow up. I feel like I made a year’s worth of improvement in a few months with her. Thank you very much, Carolyn! ~ Keiko Suzuki

Within 10 minutes of talking with you, I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I had found a ‘real, experienced, from the trenches, know what your talking about, marketing and promotion specialist’ and I’m grateful for your coaching. Thank you. ~ Louie Rochon

Several months ago I began working with Carolyn Edlund after reading her extensive blog and powerful endorsements. Through her expertise and specific instructions, Carolyn has helped me take giant leaps forward with my artwork and website. She’s amazing!  ~ Carol Grace Anderson

Carolyn’s expert advice and generous support accelerated my growth, kept me focused on key details, and uplifted me when I felt discouraged.  ~ Barb Kollen

Carolyn is an amazing motivator, totally sharing in my enthusiasm, supporting my ideas and validating my dreams. . . Whenever I start to feel off course, I book a session and she helps put me right back on track, with support and amazing ideas. I absolutely value Carolyn’s work, finding it to be an indispensable part of my business’s success. ~ Michelle Berlin

My phone consultations with Carolyn left me enough to contemplate and work on for months. Her personalized evaluation of my specific challenges and strengths were both clear and insightful. Carolyn’s past experience gives her a unique perspective to help me build strategies in developing effective relationships with retailers for my art and jewelry. ~ Robin Urton

Consulting with Carolyn has been invaluable. Her keen insight helped me clarify my vision and take practical steps towards making that a reality. She has a beautiful way of being present and listening in to one’s specific situation. Unexpected discoveries unfolded as she gave a view of integrating old and new passions and pathways to support my art business. Caring and direct, Carolyn’s thoughtful follow up of strengths, challenges and strategies, plus resources generously offered, put it all together. ~ Nina Gorbach

Carolyn’s critique and suggestions are a fabulous kick start in the exact places I felt stuck in developing a cohesive presentation of my work and totally aligned with my goals. Her clarity in identifying strengths and weaknesses with an objective perspective were perfect . . .  and inspired me to immediate action. It was just what I needed when I needed it. ~ Betsy Lewis

Carolyn’s laser accurate insight helped me get unstuck … Every sentence she spoke was loaded with information about marketing, content, or ideas to further my vision – I look forward to working with her again. ~ Cindy Fort

I’m very satisfied by the responses to my questions concerning my marketing strategies, as Carolyn was very kind, objective and to the point with her answers. I’m taking this knowledge to heart and re-energize my art career. ~ Joshua Lance

Carolyn’s advice cuts straight to the quick of what needs to be addressed. She ‘got’ me and heard me, but also made sure to leave me with very clear, actionable steps.. Overwhelm didn’t even have a scant chance..! ~ Sheryl Brown

I received an enormous amount of valuable information to think about and implement. She possesses a world of knowledge and her questions helped focus and prioritize what I need to research, read, and work on. The best part? Her summary of our tele-consultation is the blueprint for the next actions I need to take to introduce my art into the world. ~ Renee Goetz

Carolyn helped me understand the strengths I bring to the work I am feeling called to do, helped me clarify the audience for my workshops, an discussed with me strategies for bringing everything to fruition… her questions were insightful, and her enthusiasm was contagious, even over the phone. ~  Cindy Brown