Friday, February 29, 2008

What are Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)?

So you want to know what Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are?

My personal definition of ATCs is that they are a fun way to share a piece of yourself with friends, family, and future acquaintances. The ATCs that I have done have involved some amount of quilling, so for me an ATC is a way to share what I am passionate about. You too can share your passion, an art form, medium, quote, dream, or craft that you love.

Now for the official definition as taken from Wikipedia:

Artist Trading Cards are individual art miniatures which pass hand to hand. Some sources have credited M. Vänçi Stirnemann, who began trading sessions in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1997, as popularizing ATCs in the modern era, although modern ATC's can be traced back to portrait miniatures and to a kind of business card popular with Impressionistic era artists.[1]

The official size of an Artist Trading Card is 2.5 in x 3.5 in (6.4 cm x 8.9 cm). Think of baseball trading cards and the idea is the same. The orientation can be either vertical or horizontal and I have created them both ways.

Some form of cardstock usually is the base of the ATC but any material can be used. Think of polymer clay, thin balsa wood or metal to give you some alternative ideas.

From what I have seen and read, the only thing they have to be is 2.5 in x 3.5 in (6.4 cm x 8.9 cm). Everything else is up to you!

Some ideas for your ATCs:
  • If you draw, sketch a design on your card blank
  • Paint with acrylic or oils or watercolors
  • Scrap a shabby chic design
  • Take the "altered" approach and alter your trading card
  • Decoupage your trading card

Yes, even with Artist Trading Cards there is controversy. The generally accepted approach is that they are to be "traded, not sold"

So the controversy arises when some artists sell theirs. I personally have only given mine away. That is because I love to share what I do with others, and this is a small way for me to connect with people and share quilling.

So this is all about what ATCs are. Click Here and for instructions to make my One World, One Heart ATC that I made for Lisa Oceandreamer (refer to the picture).

OWOH artist trading card quilling quilled heart

There are plenty of places to go to trade your ATCs online, just look for swaps online and you can find one of your own.

If you are interested in a swap, let me know... I'd love to do one.

Antonella :-)

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Sherry said...

Antonella, I love the ATC you did for Lisa!!! And if you are going to do one, let me know -- I'll play!!!

Antonella said...

I think that I will plan something after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays... I think it would be a lot of fun...
antonella :-)


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