Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making ATC's

I have really been involved in the making and trading of Artist's Trading Cards for the last 8 years and have about 5 large three-ring binders.  For those who do not know what is an Artist Trading Card, it is a 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" card that you create your own masterpiece on.  It is the size of a standard playing card and when the craze first started out, that is what people used as their base.   It is amazing what one can come up with and it's amazing that every single one is different.  I do have a heck of a time displaying them though.  I have framed them, put them on cards, put magnets on the back and put them on the refrigerator. I could use any suggestions you may have as it is a shame to leave them in a book.

I used to go to trades all over the area, Seattle, Lynnwood, West Seattle, Bothell, Bellingham and Arlington and there were anywhere from 6 to 20 people participating.  It was a great opportunity to share ones art and make new friends.  In fact it had actually become a family affair.

When I first started with this art form, my daughter and her family lived in Berkeley, California and when I would go to visit I would take my oldest grandson, Duncan (who was 3 at the time) on treks to look for stuff.  I had told him all about ATC's and though he didn't have a clue what I was talking about, he so loved to make art with his grandma.  We would set out on our daily walk around the neighborhood and you could always find us with our heads down looking for really cool stuff to make our cards with.  Once we found a bottle cap that was rusty and wasn't all bent up, we found nail, a receipt from the local store, etc.  We would take our goodies home and pull out the playing cards and begin the journey.  At that time Duncan was really into using Scotch tape, so when I looked from working on my own card, he had piled and taped all of his treasures on his one card.  I would say, it was about six inches high.  He was so proud of himself.  He picks up his card, takes it to his mom and says, "look Mom, I made art."  It was the cutest thing.  It started a long road of creating for us and although he doesn't do art with me anymore (he's 11 now), he loves to create and build.


  1. Oh love your story about grandson Duncan and your ATC cards. I have never tried them, maybe in my other life I will have time. xo

  2. I think with your creativity you would do great.