What are Artist Trading Cards?  (ATC)

What are Artist Trading Cards? (ATC)

you hi everyone welcome back I don't know if many of you have had the creative block that some artists get and I had that for a while I was kind of bored with scrapbooking I didn't have any good ideas the magazines were boring me and I thought I came across an item in a magazine that is becoming more and more popular all the time I had no idea how much fun they were but they're called ATC's or artists trading cards now in the beginning I thought these were for true artists and I guess I don't consider myself an artist but I've had several students that brought me samples of their paintings and things like that on the back of these cards and they would use them as business cards but these are for any type of artists they're called a mixed-media meaning you can use anything you want on these cards the only real rule that there are is that they are only supposed to be two and a half by three and a half inches in dimension and you can put them on any type of backing and at first I was kind of dumb about it I was buying heavy cardstock that boards you name it until some people finally told me they used recycle cardboard the perfect cardboard or chipboard for this type of project cracker boxes cereal boxes Kleenex boxes and I was thrilled to be able to recycle these things into something that's artistic so this is really considered a blank two and a half by three and a half inches wide and long they are not to be sold although I know I've heard some people do sell them they're only supposed to be traded and so you can use any type of media that you want now there are lots of ways to trade these cards one of them is a themed type swap and I'm going to list on my blog as well as on the description part of this video of the yahoogroups out there the swap groups and they are fantastic and the ones I got started in were themed swaps where you would sign up for a certain theme one person would host it and that's who you sent your cards to now a lot of times the swaps would say it's a certain type of theme and then the cards are 5/6 meaning you'll make six cards and you'll get five back now you don't always get all different cards back if you don't have enough people for the swap sometimes you'll get many of your own cards back but that's the chance you take and you put in postage to that person that's hosting it so that they can send their that your cards back now those were great and I got a lot of really cute cards but then I found jams I enjoy jams a lot more because I don't have to deal with putting in that extra postage and all that and I've gotten so much inspiration for my other artwork just through these little cards now these are all ones that I have made and a lot of them are just taken pictures taken out of magazines I had some antique Valentine cards that I used for this one this is actually a beeswax technique and maybe I'll show that in a video later on I'm not that good at it yet so I hate to try to instruct somebody on it but you can use you know pieces of magazine pieces of sheet music fabric lace ribbon that there is just you know no limit to what you can use now back to the jams the jams at work you sign up with a group and randomly somebody will send you a set of three backgrounds and the first person usually does the background like these are my first backgrounds and on the back then there is my name and my information and then there's a two and a three so I'll send these on to the second person anybody I choose and they put their own artwork on it and and you know it's it's just to get inspiration from other people I've never had anybody get critical about what they do on cards or anything like that so then that person adds their artwork and puts their information in the number-two spot then they send all three cards to a third person and the third person puts their original artwork on it and once it's all done then they keep what the third person keeps one card and sends two to the number one person then the number one person keeps a card and sends on the number two the number two person and that's jam and I have like those a lot better I pray or 60 jams out there right now they are so much fun and a lot of times when I do Jam I will if I'm the number two person when I send to the number two person all three cards I'll send them a set of six of my own blanks or backgrounds so that they can send those on to people they choose in that group it is common courtesy that you should put the cards into these we call them Penny sleeves they're baseball card sleeves the inexpensive you can get them at Walmart very cheap but it's always common courtesy because everybody likes to keep their cards nice and that way the embellishments that are on them don't come off as easy but that's a little bit about artists trading cards and I will mark the the groups that I belong to but you can do a google search I'm sure there are many more out there but anyone is welcome to join one of my Jam's or one of my groups right now I have just started a brand new group and we're doing the same type of thing but using rolodex cards I have had had this old rolodex for a long time because I use a bigger one now but it's the same principle as the artist trading cards only we are using rolodex cards and there are several sizes so you to specify the size of your card so that you can actually put it into your rolodex but it's just kind of like a mini scrapbook and all kinds of fun now these are all rolodex cards that I did just for demonstration purposes but there are a lot of fun and I get a lot of compliments from people when they come over to my house they see these things on my tables and stuff and they're just so interested and some of the artwork that comes back is just out of this world and you really get a lot of cool ideas from other people another way to exchange artists trading cards is just doing straight up trades a lot of people have their cards that they have already done on their blogs and they have them in photo galleries and then you just choose which one that you'd like to trade for or I have a friend that I trade ten at a time just to save postage and it's just a lot of fun because both of us like to do large amounts of these and send them on but you can trade with anyone you just have to see if they'll they have anything that they want to trade trade you for but there those are the three most common ways to do artists Trading Cards by either theme trades jams or round robins kind of the same thing and a straight trade that's it for this time thanks for stopping by you you

34 thoughts on “What are Artist Trading Cards? (ATC)

  1. Good information, even 9 years later… I had never heard of jams and round robins. I will search them up. Nicole from Canada

  2. Are ATC still popular? I remember doing these in middle school and trading them with the other art classes. At the start of this month (I think), I remembered these and want to start making some.

  3. Thanks for the info, I've only just started making these so your video was just what I needed!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Thanks so much for posting this informative video. ย I just started doing ATC's and love to hear some of the variations, like your rolodex idea.

  5. I tried to join the group "Jam" but I got an error note saying it does not exist. And what do you put on the back of a ATC?ย 

  6. I did a little homework before watching this video. To clarify, I would say that Artist Trading Cards are the cards that are just traded. Those that are sold are called ACEOs or Art Cards, Editions and Originals. Hope that helps. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. cool me too i posted mine on ebay jose juarez or josedivinci is my username i already sold like 3 wooohoooo ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. Hello from England:-)
    Any chance that I can do some swops with you? I've been looking at ATC and rolo cards and think its a great idea:-)

  9. You did mention that the only rule for ATCs are that they need to be 2.5โ€ X 3.5โ€. Thatโ€™s not true if you they cannot be sold, in saying that you may be confusing some unintentionally.
    I love ATCs, ACEOs, Sketch Cards, really you name it though! I canโ€™t really afford to give all of my cards away due to my health.
    Wonderful video!!! Thanks for sharing!!! Sharing is caring so why donโ€™t we all share every card name!? Just a thoughtโ€ฆ
    Angela Taylor
    ACEO Magazine Online

  10. Thanks for the inspiration! I can see my son and his friends getting excited about trading their own cards. They love to make pictures of swords and power-ups and use them to play live-action games. They're all about 11. I bet they could be very creative in their art, enjoy the trading, and channel some of that energy they're exploding with.

  11. Thank you so for all of the info. I have wanted to start trading cards but didn't know where to start. I can't wait for this exciting journey!

  12. ATC are traded and ACEOs are sold, almost the same except ACEOs are generally done in editions for sale, barter, etc… ATCs were generally hand done examples of your work/style that were art that acted like a business card to get you more work.


  14. love your video, Was wondering if you do anything ti the backs, considering it is a cereal box eg. or do you cover that print with the art work leaving the plain carboard to the back?

  15. This is a very informative video on ATCs. Thanks so much for posting ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm new to ATCs and was looking up some information on them. I always have ideas that wouldn't work for any other media and ATCs just fit that bill. Like cards of my favorite quotes. Thanks for the info!

  16. Thanks for this fabulous video! I will participate!

    Although I have never in my life had an artist BLOCK I do have a block on coming up with names for my paintings and little descriptions and verses… Could a group of word-smiths or verse traders be started to inspire naming paintings and writing verses to go with paintings? I have had this dream or desire for years! How would I start such a thing? Do you think others might be interested?

    Have fun you all!!

  17. I got them from the internet. Search under royalty free vintage or victorian images. I can post a whole bunch that I have on a site to download if you'd like.

  18. Thank you! Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. Everyone has to start someplace and I'd be happy to help you!! Thanks for watching & subscribing.

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