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During your card making journey you may have heard the term ATC's or Artist Trading Cards.
So what are they and what use are they to card makers.
ATC's are small pieces of artwork that are traded between artists. The cards measure 2 1/2 " x 3 1/2" (63mm x 89mm) - the same size as a standard playing card.
They can be made from any medium including inks, paints and paper.
All things that card makers have in their craft stash!
Make a batch and use them to pop onto a card front or into a journal.
The cards on their own make great tags - just pop a hole into the top and add some ribbon and voila! You have a tag.
ATC's are also an opportunity to practice new card making techniques and ideas. By starting small you aren't committing too much time or cost for materials.
The term "Artist" can be off putting to some. Don't let it discourage you having a go. We are all artists of the things that we create. It's about having FUN!
The most efficient way to make ATC's is to use a large sheets of card for the background and then cut to size.
Here are a few pointers to get you started...
Once your ATC's are completed add your details to the back. This can be done with a pen or with stamp. Quite a few of the stamp companies sell a stamp specifically sized for the back of ATC's.
There are no rules when it comes to making ATCs, so you can let your creativity run wild.
You can make ATCs that are simple or complex. They can be abstract or representational, and serious or whimsical. The possibilities are endless!
Working to a theme will focus your mind to the design, colour and materials to use.
Themes can include holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving or a favourite season. Others themes can include....
The list is endless!
There is an excellent gallery of ideas on the Darkroom Door website . They also run card swaps.
Even more ideas can be found on ATC's for All Swap Gallery.
Joining swaps is a great way to grow your ATC collection.
So, how do you swap your cards?
Many artists are happy to trade their cards with anyone who is interested. They may attend ATC events were artists get together to swap their cards. There might be a theme such as "holidays" or "Steampunk" .
Some artists trade their cards blindly. This means they send out their cards without knowing who will receive their cards and what they receive in return.
Google "ATC Swaps" to find out if there are any ATC swaps in your area. There will be in person swaps and postal swaps.
For postal swaps, you will need to send in your ATCs. Be mindful of the area as if posting overseas it will cost more.
Store your swaps in plastic wallets. The plastic sheets sized for baseball cards or coins usually fit ATC's. These can be found on Amazon.