Fabric Butterfly ATC
full sized image and more ATC at
The very basics of ATC or Artist Trading Cards:
- As their name indicates, ATC are collectables, a brilliant idea born of the older sports-themed trading cards.
- The one rule that makes an ATC derives from their origins: the dimensions of the ATC must be 2.5"x3.5", or 64x89mm.
- On the back of each ATC the artist writes part or all of the following information: name, contact information, title of the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8...) if it's part of an edition.
- By definition ATCs are made in limited numbers, often no more than one of a kind.
- Unique ATCs are called originals; sets of identical ATCs are called editions and are numbered; sets of ATCs that are based on one theme but that are different are called series.
- Don't be intimidated by the concept of small editions or originals. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Based on that, numbers are meaningless.
- They can be any medium: pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage, scratch board, mixed media - anything the creative mind of the artist can think up.
That's it - all you need to know to start making your own ATCs. Of course, common sense dictates sensible measures: cards should be sturdy enough to survive mailing; be made from reasonably thick stock; sent in transparent card sleeves, especially if they might smudge easily or stick together in mailing.
original context & more ATC
original context & more ATC
Traditionally and among artists themselves, an ATC is exchanged, not sold. The original purpose was about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to many personal styles. But baseball cards (their inspiration) are both traded and sold. ATCs are now selling strong on eBay, that perhaps ultimate barometer of what will sell.
Mini-artworks of local artists could even become a hallmark of the arts in Mountainair - something that would stick in visitors minds and make event memorable (returnable to). Come to the tour (or sunflower or whatever event) and complete your collection... It would also build social capital among artists as well as being immediate & portable promo.
Good ideas, images & how-to's for ATCs on these pages:
Some ATC Links
- Artist Trading Cards, a Collaborative Cultural Project
- Artist Trading Cards' Journal (more blog than "journal")
- Wikipedia entry for ATC
- Art-e-zine's first ATC swap online, 3 big pages (slow loading but well worth the wait) of Artist Trading Cards.<>
<>From what I've been reading, cards are not complicated to make They would be a great way for the MMAC to develop a catalog of artworks. The tour could come out ahead - make more from them than the $25 fee. Who wouldn't just love to trade cards with other artists? Too cool to have a mini artwork collection of every local artist. Gary Fey could make mini batiks - or regular size ones, cut into pieces, and adhered to cards. Judy Mowris' work would make great ATCs too. (Would we call them "pcoket hangings" then instead of wall hangings?) Merris Atman and Megan Lemcke already do miniatures - more than halfway there.
We could even mount a an exhibit right here on the blog.
The oppostion would indubitably be:
- can't because it is different (can't imagine a lamer excuse for not doing an art something)
- no one's ever done it here before (actually a reason FOR doing it - see above)
- "we don't do (never have done) things that way"
- not standard practice in the art world (which WE know and YOU don't)
Even without official blessing, anyone could assemble a bunch of ATCs, rig up a push cart or a facsimile thereof, and hit the streets with the ATC ... without paying anyone any kind of fee. Like the local burrito vendors. If telling doesn't do it - SHOW them. Anyone with ATC to sell could wear a vest with pockets - with a selection of visible ATC clipped to them on the outside. Sign on hat - like a hot dog vendor at a baseball game - "Get your fresh (original) ATC here." OK, so this may be getting a bit bizarre, but you get the idea.
PS Judy Mowris has come up with great fund raising ideas too. I've started writing them up to blog fundraising - another entry & with images.