Coaching for Artists and Arts Organizations in Marin County by Career and Business Coach Mary Edwards Career and Business Coaching for Artists and Arts Organizations in Marin County by Mary Edwards


As a new artist trying to find his way in the art world, I have found Mary to be an absolute blessing and a joy to work with. From helping to focus my efforts on the most important aspects of submitting to exhibitions, to assisting with editing my website content, to helping me understand what galleries and jurors like to see in order to be successful in having my work chosen, her coaching style has really helped me improve as an artist. She has been a wonderful sounding board and devil’s advocate to get me to think about as many angles as possible, helping me see the bigger picture and becoming more confident when presenting my art. Her depth of knowledge of Bay Area art galleries and non-profit art groups is invaluable. My expectations about meeting with Mary have definitely been exceeded!

~ Jeff B., photographer

Working with Mary was like a tall glass of cold lemonade in the heat of Summer. I felt parched for support at a deep level with my work and my career. Mary's visits were insightful, well organized, and personally supportive. She has a lovely way of listening, asking for more detail, and setting structure for moving down the path of realizing my goals as an artist.

~ Janet Jacobs, painter

It is difficult to convey how much your support has meant to me. Your wisdom, knowledge and sincere kindness have touched me in a way that has changed my life. You have been a sounding board I trust. You have urged me beyond my comfort zone in terms of writing, my career and how I want to portray myself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am forever grateful.

~ Ninotchka, artist & writer

Mary has been coaching me for over a year and I LOVE working with her. I’m an emerging artist and have difficulty organizing my goals and a lot of difficulty negotiating opportunities with large institutions. Mary and I spend time strategizing difficult conversations and she helps me communicate my truth to sometimes intimidating curators and granting institutions. Mary is so sharp! She is able to hold an incredible amount of perspective when helping me troubleshoot my own competing desires. She encourages me to bring clarity to my long-term personal and professional vision. It feels like she is coaching me on how to come into my identity as a professional artist. Honestly, in many ways Mary has already succeeded in helping me find my professional-self.

~ Connie H., artist and entrepreneur

I have worked consistently with Mary Edwards for 18 months. She is a valuable investment in furthering my career as an artist. I have always been very thorough about my studio practice. However, the marketing end of it has always left me too frightened to even start it. Mary has guided me throughout this process, strategically and gently. I will forever be grateful to her and her expertise, knowledge, and professionalism. Coaching is a process and Mary is as committed to her own work as she is to mine.

~ Erika, New York artist

In our first session, Mary helped me voice a goal so deeply buried that I hadn’t admitted it to myself. To state the obvious, it is very hard to achieve a goal if you suppress it! Mary came to each session prepared with fresh ideas and opportunities and left having assigned me homework to complete before our next meeting. With Mary’s guidance, inspiration and honest critique, I’ve successfully placed pieces in national juried shows and been included in a magazine with international distribution.

During the time we worked together, I experienced a setback in another part of my life. It was so unexpected that it diverted my attention from my art. Knowing I’d need to address the roadblock before regaining my focus, Mary went out of her way to provide an ear, good counsel and compassion.

Mary Edwards sees each client as a unique individual. She begins by probing into a discussion of goals and perceived constraints. But, from that point forward, the process is entirely customized. She is creative, compassionate, hardworking, and finds the intrinsic value in each of her clients. This is what defines Mary as a great coach.

~ Sue Weil, fiber artist

Mary Edwards is a pleasure to work with, and I feel very fortunate to have her as my career coach. Mary is thoughtful, intelligent, organized, candid, and an excellent listener. Combine these characteristics with her multitude of skills and expertise in both the art and business worlds, and she has propelled my career as an emerging artist beyond my expectations. Mary has found the appropriate venues for my medium, style, and level of experience. My work was accepted into no less than eight juried shows within the first year!

Her knowledge and experience have helped me identify my "style," write my biography and artist statement, and launch a website. On two separate occasions, I've been asked to speak about my art to an audience. I credit Mary’s coaching and patience in preparing me as key elements that helped make each speaking engagement successful. Her professionalism sets a tone that inspires me to present myself and my art with confidence. Mary makes the business of art fun and understandable.

~ Patricia Oji, painter and mask-maker

Be careful what you wish for! If you work with Mary Edwards, you will achieve your goals Six months ago we began by identifying my short term and long term objectives. We updated and improved all my written materials, starting with the artist statement. Mary has a great method for helping you verbalize the illusive process of painting. She edits in a way that vastly improves the document while preserving the artist's unique voice.

Clear thinking, knowledgeable, sensitive, and determined, Mary helped me expand the audience for my work. She found exhibition opportunities that I would never have discovered on my own, and helped me put together submissions to galleries that were complete, professional, and well received. My paintings were accepted into local and national exhibitions, and I have found new gallery representation on the East Coast. My confidence has increased, as has my understanding of the process. Not only that, but Mary is a pleasure to work with. I could not have done it without her help, and I look forward to our continued collaboration.

~ Susan Landor Keegin, painter

Mary Edwards has been my career coach. She is an excellent source of information, support, and advice. She has helped me see my work through the eyes of the employer, and has been an integral part in my career development. She has the ability to guide you in the right direction, with her professional experience in the workplace. Mary is encouraging and keeps you on track, while taking into consideration your own special talents. As we worked on my resume and portfolio, she was able to extract all my abilities and talents and highlight them in a way that appeals to employers. I'm so glad I found her!

~ Elizabeth Praisewater, graphic designer

Mary helped me at a critical transition in my career. We worked together to define and clarify my goals as an artist, and then we developed a realistic step-by-step strategy and plan to achieve them. Using her great writing skills, we created professional materials for my website, including a resume, biography, and artist statement. This created a solid foundation for how I present myself to galleries and collectors.

Even more important, she helped me reach a new level of confidence that made it possible for me to promote myself and my art. From her in-depth knowledge of how the art world works, she gave me lots of practical tips on what to do and why. She helped me turn my plans into action . . . actually, she browbeat me in the nicest possible way!

I've gotten great results. My sales increased, I got a large commission, and I now have an excellent new gallery that has agreed to represent me. I have two new gallery shows on the West Coast as well. If you're thinking about working with Mary, I have just one piece of advice: "Do it!"

~ Davis Perkins, painter

Hi Mary! I'd like to invite you to my first solo show. Working with you, even for a short time, has given me confidence. I've never felt so much like an artist as I do right now. Thank you!

~ Jason Sheldrick, visual artist

During the most difficult career transition of my life, I found confidence and assurance in my coaching sessions with Mary. We worked on my resume, cover letters, interview skills, and how to use my personal network in the job search. When the right opportunity came along (through my personal network), I was fully prepared to pursue it. I am happy to report that I now have the most fulfilling job I could have imagined. I am grateful for the intuitive support and practical advice that Mary gave me. I would recommend her to all of my friends.

~ Shari Byrnes, artist/administrator

Mary, YOU are great! I am so impressed that you are able to follow my thought patterns and understand what I am trying to say. You have helped me think more about self promotion, have helped me with the writing of my biography and artist statement . . . but even more important, while I was traveling you encouraged me (long distance, by telephone), to go ahead and take the next step and boldly approach an East Coast gallery that we had identified. They accepted my work and now have sold a number of my paintings. I would have backed down at the last moment without your coaching. You have a way of building me up to think more positively about my work and myself! Thank you so very much.

~ Jeanette Le Grue, artist

Mary Edwards is an excellent coach. She helped me achieve my goals by working with me to distill my ideas into practical processes. Instead of five stars for excellence, I give Mary five P's:

Prepared—Mary does her homework.

Patient—Mary is a great listener who works with you at your speed.

Professional—Mary is always communicative, organized, and to the point.

Productive—Mary keeps you and the process on track.

Positive—Mary is always a friendly person who focuses on strengths.

~ Stan Gibbs, artist

Working with Mary has given me a needed boost at this point in my art career. She helped me approach galleries, apply for residencies, and upgrade all the written materials on my website. Her guidance has been most helpful to me in looking at various aspects of my career objectively, and then taking steps to present myself and my work.

~ Anne Subercaseaux, painter

Working with Mary Edwards is like finding a ray of sunshine through fog. As an artist, it has been difficult for me to think in terms of office structures, licenses, and how to just launch my business. With Mary's help, I and my team have been able to make a concise business plan, sound decisions, and work productively towards our ultimate goal with assurance that we will succeed. She's organized, patient, and well versed in people skills. She's the reason we can work successfully for ourselves, and it's with this high regard that I recommend you make an appointment with her today. Mary Edwards is the best!

~ Cameron Duncan, small business owner

I reached a turning point in my growing and successful practice as a developmental editor when I realized that I was working without a viable business plan, and consequently without clear goals and income projections. I turned to Mary Edwards as my coach. In three months she guided me to describe my expertise, identify my prospects, analyze and systematize my work process, and create a highly focused business plan with measurable results. This, in a nutshell, is the business side of what I accomplished. But there is another factor. Based on our coaching sessions, Mary elicited from me a statement of purpose that had eluded me: "I train writers to become authors." Perhaps another coach would have helped me create a good business plan, but it is this simple, elegant phrase that fuels my imagination and keeps me going.

~ Ann Matranga, small business owner

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