In recent weeks I have started to become interested in ATCs (Artist Trading Cards).
These are miniature artworks created on 2 ½ X 3 ½ inch card or playing cards. They are not supposed to be sold but are traded with other artists for works of their own. The original concept began in Zurich, Switzerland by a performing artist named M.Vanci Stirenmann in 1997. He created a collection of ATCs for display in his bookstore. On the last day of the display he gave one of his cards away to each person who could offer him one of their own in return. Since then thousands of people have started creating these miniature originals and trading them at trading sessions, through the mail or via Internet ATC swap groups.
I find the concept of swapping my work with other people a fun and exciting thing and because the only constraint on ATCs is the size, they are created in a multitude of different media so your collection doesn’t need to just contain pieces similar to those you make yourself. You may have spotted the word ‘collection’ in that last sentence. Those that have been reading this blog for a while will know what a sucker for collecting stuff I am. And this is too good an opportunity not to combine my love for collecting with my love for scrapbooking.
Another motivation for me is to try some experimenting with paints and stamps etc. which I never do on my layouts. To help me get out of my comfort zone a bit. Having said that, the very first ATC I created was one which was a hybrid of digi and paper scrapping (see right). Firmly and squarely in the middle of my comfort zone. I’m actually happy with how it turned out but I felt that for me it was a bit ‘safe’ as digi and hybrid are what I mostly do. Whereas pulling together random non-digital elements into a cohesive layout I find far more challenging.
So I’ve begun pushing myself to do this and I find I’m really enjoying it. And I’m pleased with the results too. If you’re interested in seeing some of my creations check out my ATC Gallery on Flickr.
I’d be very interested to know if any of you already make your own ATCs. Particularly if you like mine and would like to trade. And for those who haven’t tried it have a look and see if it presses your buttons. What do you think? Are you interested?