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All You Ever Wanted to Know About ATCs

Lynn Ray, Design Team Card Coordinator at Memories from the Attic, is our Guest Poster for this article on the popularity of ATCs – Artist Trading Cards.  Read on below for some interesting information and perhaps you will be inspired to try them out yourself if you haven’t already done so.

ATCs – A Growing Interest at Memories From The Attic

By Lynn Ray, Attic DT Card Coordinator

At Memories From The Attic, there is a small little art form that is growing in popularity. That art form is called the Artist Trading Card, better known as an ATC. This is an art form fast growing in popularity, not just at our site, but also in the art world in general. Originally more popular in the world of altered art, ATCs are expanding to scrapbookers, card makers, and paper crafters of all kinds.

If you are not familiar with ATCs, they are cards that are made into small works of art using any medium, such as collage, stamping, painting, etc., with the only real stipulations being that they are 3.5” x 2.5” in size, and that they are for trading. So basically they are the size of baseball trading cards and artists (not just professional artists, but artists like US!) swap them with other artists all over the world. You will see ATCs that you can buy on Ebay and such places, but technically these are called ACEOs, or Artist Cards, Editions and Originals.

Sometimes people are intimidated by the small size of the ATC, but you will be amazed how much art you can fit on one little card. If you are interested in making ATCs, you can buy already made blank ATCs, make them yourself out of cardstock or many people even use paint chip samples. Then I would suggest going to the web and having a look at ATCs and some of the swaps being held to get a better idea of what it is all about. One site that is really fun, plus with a wealth of information, is right here. Remember, you can put dimensional elements on ATCs as long as they are not too thick, as they will most likely be going through the mail. At MFTA, we have had several swaps. Each swap has had a different theme, which is the case with most swaps. For instance, we have had a Spring theme, a Travel theme and a Fairy Tale theme. Here are a few examples of an ATC done for each of those swaps by some members of the Attic.

Just these three cards can give you an idea of the variety of ways to make an ATC. If you would like to see some of the cards from our swaps, click here and scroll down.

We plan to continue having ATC swaps at the Attic. Each month, those that wish to participate make three cards each, based on that month’s theme. Then you have the fun of getting three awesome never-before-seen cards back in the mail! Those who get addicted to ATC swaps (which most often is the case!) then have do decide how to store all those cards. Some people do use baseball card holders, but there are several awesome ATC storage tools on the market that allow your ATCs to be displayed so that everyone can see them, such as one made by 7 Gypsies and available in our store. If you look at the link to our swap (above), and scroll past the ATC pictures, you will see it. You will probably want it, too!

I hope I have sparked your interest in the amazing world of small art cards known as ATCs. I also hope I have sparked your interest in our ATC swaps at the Attic! We would love for you to join us in our next one, coming up in October. Our September theme is Women from the Past Who Inspire. However, the October theme has yet to be decided. Aren’t you curious? I hope so! So if you have been swapping ATCs for years or are a newbie, we are cordially inviting you to sign up for our next swap. In other words, pop on over and we’ll meet you at the Attic!

Lynn Ray

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  1. Edelmira
    September 26th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    I really love ATC’s… This is really something that I like… I have participated in some swaps locally and these related to ATC’s are the ones I enjoy the most. Thanks for the information.

  2. September 26th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Thanks for this… I love ATCs!

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