Sunday, March 1, 2009

Artist Trading Cards - Stampless Challenge & Swap

What is an Artist Trading Card? I hear some of you asking. Artist trading cards, also known as ATCs, are 2.5 x 3 inch (64 x 89 mm) miniature works of art which artists trade with one another, similar to the way people trade sports cards. They may be constructed from any media: pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage, scratch board, textile arts and/or mixed media but paper-craft lends itself perfectly to the media. The cards are traded - never bought or sold and the artist of the card puts their name and contact information on the back so other artists can get to know them and their work. Generally they are made as limited editions, or as part of a series. They are often displayed in standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets:

(Photo courtesy of Jayne Mercer, ATCs from various artists displayed)

I recently bought a carousel to house my growing collection which I really love and can't wait to add to :

(picture shown is not my personal carousel, photo comes from the maker, 7 Gypsies)

I suspect some of you wonder what is the purpose of ATCs?, especially when most of us have more ideas than time to do our paper-craft. But as someone who has made their hobby their job, I don't often get to create just for me, I'm usually creating with a purpose like a class or sales workshop or website display. So, this is my "for me" project and I am participating in monthly swaps with other artists.

The card shown above is 1 of 10 entries into a Stampless ATC Swap. As much I love stamping, you can go a long way without rubber touching ink. I've used Stampin' Up! Bali Bliss 12 x 12 inch Designer Series Paper, plain and textured Card Stock (Apricot Appeal and Pumpkin Pie), Tempting Turquoise ribbon, Pumpkin Fire Rhinestone and Old Olive brads and an Old Olive Rub-On (for the "for you" greeting).

Speaking of SU! 12 x 12 inch Designer Series Paper, now is the time to buy it. Several of the packs are discounted by 25%; two are 50% off. After the 1 April 2009, SU! paper packs will increase from the current regular price of $11.95 to $19.50 (OUCH). So buy up now if you have any favourites.

There ends the lesson on ATCs, it turned out longer than planned! If you're still not convinced of the worth of ATCs, you can always turn them into larger cards. I did exactly this on Saturday night when making a gift voucher for Joanne Stokes' birthday (Happy Birthday Jo). The only catch is I didn't photograph the final card, d'oh!

Love from Crafty Kim

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