What is an Artist Trading Card?
There is a secret little art world that most people don't know about. There is this whole community of artists who participate in online trading of little works of art called ATCs or artist trading cards. ATCs are miniature works of art, about the size of a baseball trading card, and can be made out of just about anything that are then traded or swapped for other ATCs, usually by mail.
I have been swapping ATCs for awhile now and I love getting little works of art from all over the world. I have a major collection now and I am always so surprised at the creativity that goes into each card I receive. As an artist, swapping ATCs is fun for me because it keeps me inspired.
I keep some of the cards I have received on a bulletin board in my studio.
How It Works
Basically how it works is you sign up for an ATC website. On the website there are challenges or groups with themes listed. You can sign up for a theme and you have to create something to fit that theme. One you are finished you then mail your ATC to someone who then mails you an ATC.
Here are some ATCs I made for people.
How to Get Started
1. First you need to get some supplies.
Most art stores carry pre-cut ATCs, or you can cut them yourself out of cardstock to the size 2.5" x 3.5". You will also need some sort of protective clear sleeve and of course, some art supplies.
2. Sign up for an ATC trading website.
ATCs for All - www.atcsforall.com
This is site is great for the beginner ATC artist. This site allows all levels and all you have to do is sign up and start creating and trading.
Illustrated ATCs - www.illustratedatcs.com
This is a juried website for more experienced ATC artists. You will have to choose a specialty, between mixed media and paint/draw, submit samples or your work, and finally be approved to start trading.
ATCs are great for painters, scrapbookers, graphic designers, photographers, and mixed media artists. And it's not just 2D art, even fabric and clay artists will love trading altered artworks. It's a great way to connect with people creatively around the world.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.