Sunday, February 21, 2010

ATC's (Artist Trading Cards) Make Your Mark

ATC: Artist Trading Cards
Make Your Mark

     In early postings, I mentioned briefly about an ATC card. I had no idea that these things existed. Sure, I knew that there were Baseball cards, Game Cards, Movie Trading Cards, but Artist Trading Cards (ATC)! Well, once I found them, I was hooked. An artist trading card (or ATC for short) is a tiny, original piece of art created with the intention of swapping or trading it with another artist, not selling it. I joined a few artist swaps online and the trading began. I joined a decade swap. My 2 spots in the decade swap were 1900's-1909, and 1940's-1949.
       Once my decade was chosen, the next task at hand was figuring out what to put on these things. What do you write on the back? What do they look like? I got on the huge world wide web and googled, binged, yahooed everything and anything ATC's. I found a fountain of information. The average size of an ATC must be 2.5x3.5 inches or 64x89 mm. (This is the size of the original collectible sports trading cards.) The one rule an artist trading card must adhere to is the size.
      On the front of an ATC an artist creates an original work to showcase their art. It can be a one-off, part of a series, or a limited edition. On the back the artist puts their name, contact details, title of the ATC, number if it's a limited edition, and sometimes the date it was created.
      FYI: An ATC created with the intention of selling it is known as an ACEO (short for Art Cards, Editions and Originals). ACEOs are often sold on many auction sites. Why the two names when the only difference is that the one is sold and the other not? The main reason that there is the distinct difference in names is that one is sold and the other is not which can cause a debate amongst various artists.  Sometime's if there is a disput or difference,  you could find yourself in the middle of an argument between someone who believes all art should be for sale and that ATCs exclude non-artists, and someone who believes that art cards is a distinctive form of art and never should be sold. (Sorry for the long ramble but just thought I  should at least mention this, another new thing I learned).
     When I chose the first decade (1900's-1909), I researched things about that era online. Yes, I am online alot. I realized that the first Model T Ford was displayed for the entire world to gaze upon the blazin new era. I found a postage stamp within that decade. I thought about the change that was occuring in the United States, how farmers and townsfolk were slowly merging (the reason for the twine), I found a poker chip that I altered because things were up in the air for many people, and many people took a gamble with the new decade, new century. I used a bubble sticker to show up the date of the cancelled stamp. I used a  skeleton key brad, because it was meant to unlock the secrets of the new era. A calendar was added from the year on the cancelled postage stamp. I used a little Cat's Eye Chalk Chestnut Roan to distress the edges. I hand stitched the front of the ATC to the back where I had my contact information, what the card was about, the number in the series it was. My 1900's-1909 decade card was completed:

     My second decade was 1940's-1949's, a decade filled with war, fighting, poverty, pain, fear, and much more. I wasn't sure how to honor this decade because it played such a vital role in today's world. People were scared, young men were forced to go to war or chose to go and fight for this great country of ours. There was an angry German Leader who wiped out millions of people while the world sat and waited. The German Leader was defeated but there was the trauma, poverty, and pain that was left behind. But, even with all of that, there was hope, and perhaps a hint of peace for the first time in so many people's lives. I chose to make this ATC a card dedicated to the world. The saying was simple: Do you see what I feel?

An ATC can be a fun, time-consuming, yet theraputic piece of art. You release a part of you in everything you do. I challenge you to make one, I guarantee you will be addicted!!!


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