One of the biggest trends in paper crafting is Artists Trading Cards. ATC's (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) are collectables. They are miniature works of art created on 2 Â½ X 3 Â½ inch or 64 X 89 mm card stock. ATC's are originals, small editions and, most importantly, self-produced. Anybody can produce them.
An ATC must not be sold, only exchanged. The idea is that you trade them with other people who produce cards, either at TRADING SESSIONS or wherever you meet another ATC trader in person. The concept of ATC is the person-to-person trade, as well as trading by mail. The most fun is to trade person-to-person though. The basic idea is the card-for-card trade. Although sometimes some people think, one from their cards is worth more than one from the others - mostly with the argument that they put more work into their ATC. The cards range from simple to intricate, from drawings to paintings to photographs, and more. The theme for an ATC can be anything you desire.
Any and all materials and techniques are permitted (drawing in pencil, pen, marker, chalk or crayon etc., painting, photographs, collage, found materials, mixed media - anything!).
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 ATC's are called editions and are numbered; sets of ATC's 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.
WHERE TO TRADE YOUR CARDS
Artists get together for trading sessions, where they swap cards of their own for other cards they enjoy. Scrapbooking conferences and similar expos often have trading sessions where attendees can swap and build a great collection of cards.
Anybody can organize a Trading Session. The only stipulation is a certain continuity (eg. every month on a regular day).
Not all card swapping is done between the original artists. You can also swap cards you received previously in a swap, turning swaps into second generation, third generation and even more complex situations! A card can be swapped many times in its lifetime, bringing pleasure and joy to many people along its route through the world. There are two ATC centers which organize Trading Sessions on a regular basis: one in Zurich and one in Calgary. The idea of the centers is not the private collection (there are many of those around of course) but the communication. The centers are open to the public and they also organize the ATC Trading Sessions. The centers are places to communicate the idea of trading cards and to hold the events. It's not about money: participants in trading sessions should not be charged any money: the point of the project is the exchange of cards as well as personal experience.
The project was initiated in 1997 by Zurich artist M.VÃ¤nÃ§i Stirnemann. Since then several hundred people from all over the world have traded ATCs during TRADING SESSIONS, through mail or by participating in TRADING SESSIONS and SISTER TRADING CARDS (STC's).
Those are the basics! The above is all you need to know to start making your own ATC's. They should be sturdy enough to survive mailing, and of reasonable thickness (unless you specifically want them otherwise. Transparent card sleeves are useful to protect the cards. This is particularly true if they can easily smudge or if the medium sticks during transport.
If you haven't created any artist trading cards yet, now might be the time to give it a try!
[tags]Arts and crafts, Crafts, Paper Crafts, Artist trading cards, ATC[/tags]