Last Monday, we had our monthly Artists' Guild meeting and I gave a little talk on Artist Trading Cards. I thought they were a cool little art form since I discovered them some odd years ago. I thought the Guild would appreciate it since we work in different media and artist trading cards can be made in any of them. The only rule, if you didn't know, is that they have to be 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. Below, I've included my notes from that night in case you're unfamiliar with the movement and would like to know more about it. If you've already done some, let me know. I'd love to see them! Comment your link below!
What are Artist Trading Cards?
Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art that measure 2 ½ by 3 ½ inches and fit into a standard trading card sleeve. They can be done in a variety of media and on a variety of surfaces. Artists create them individually, in a series, or limited editions and trade them among other artists. They are a great way to share your work.
The movement began when Swiss artist M, Vanci Stirnemann created 1200 cards as part of an exhibit. When the exhibition was over, he encouraged others to make their own cards and trade with him. Since then, there have been numerous swap meets organized all around the world.
How can I make one?
ATCs can be done in just about any media. Start with a 2 ½ by 3 ½ inch card. You can buy them premade by several art supply brands such as Strathmore. They sell 20 card backs of Vellum and Smooth Bristol board. These are great for marker, pen, and pencil. You can also get a 5 pack of thicker illustration board which is sturdier and better for collage and painting. They also offer assorted packs that contain a little bit of everything: the Bristol Board and illustration board, but also cards made for acrylic, and watercolor.
But you’re free to cut your own. They don’t even have to be made out of paper. People have made them out of fabric, wood, and even clay.
What do I do with them?
Once you’ve made some artist trading cards of your own, you can trade them with other artists or give them away. Some artists even sell them as miniature art. In this case, they are called ACEOs Art Card Editions or Originals.