Thursday, December 3, 2009

I love ATC's (click to enlarge photos) & a Chance to Help

Last week, my wonderful sister-in-law asked me to explain what an ATC  is.  An ATC is an artists trading card.  It is a 2.5x3.5 inch work of art that is meant to be traded (never sold).  It has become a very popular format during the last several years.  Other than the size, there really are no rules for ATC's.  You can make them with stamps, paper, photos, paint, fabric, etc.

I have, literally, hundreds of ATC's!  I use them as a way to experiment with new ideas and backgrounds.  I also use them as ways to swap with other artists, and I make them when I feel a need to do something a little creative. The best book I found about ATC's is Artist Trading Card Workshop by Bernie Berlin.  It has lots of great ideas, well-illustrated and very well explained.  You can also check out Emily Falconbridge's Mini Art Journal, which is basically a deck of 52 ATC's.  ATC's are easy to store - I put them in baseball card holders and then put the holders into a three ring binder.

Here's several examples of ATC's that I have created:

  • The "N" from a swap where each participant took a letter from the word "Valentine" and used it to illustrate a valentine-themed word. This was done with stamping and masking.
  • A "get to know you" ATC where you needed to include a picture of yourself and some information about yourself.  That's me on the Eiffel Tower.
  • A card for a "fabric" swap. I stamped on fabric, cut it out and added a button.
  • ATC with "friendship theme." You should click on it and read the saying!
  • An ATC for an "alcohol ink" swap.  The background is alcohol ink. 
  • Alice ATC was done in a collaborative "threesome."  The first person made the background (patterned paper with acetate), the second person added the focal picture (Alice), and the third person added the embellishments (beads and A).
  • The "Summer" ATC was for a swap where you needed to use some sort of textured background.  I used gel medium, painted, then added some stamps and collage images.
  • Finally, the last ATC is made simply with paper and a collage image.


There are so many ways to make ATC's, and I love them all.  Do you have a favorite ATC technique or story? I'd love to hear it. Tomorrrow, and I'll have the first of my Tim Holtz tags to show you, as well as the beginning of my Christmas Journal. The Weekend Give-Away will be for a selection of the ATC's shown here.

Now, for the chance to help.  Bernie Berlin, who authored the seminal ATC book also runs an amazing no-kill shelter called A Place to Bark. Read her story.  It's amazing.  If you love animals and want to help, she has an opportunity to greatly expand her work with donations made during the holiday season.  Check it out here, and consider making a donation.

10 comments:

humel said...

Love your ATCs, Rinda :-) And how lovely of you to promote this charity too x

Sian said...

Your ATC's really are beautiful. I would love to see your binder and hear some more of the stories behind the cards

sharyncarlson said...

Absolutely beautiful! I think my most favorites are the N-Valentine one and the last one with the photo and music note paper. Just gorgeous. I have never made an ATC before but you've given me the inspiration to try!

scrappyjacky said...

They're just wonderful,Rinda...I love that you can work on such tiny pieces of art....something I find so difficult....but you have inspired me to have a go at a Tim Holtz tag.....I've already started it.....as his first tag goes well with today's Weather prompt from Shimelle.
And my favourite ATC....the last musical one...and love the quote on it.

Tracy said...

Wow, those are gorgous, havent really got into atc's

Tracy said...

Wow, those are gorgous, havent really got into atc's

Nancy Y said...

Great ATCs. Here's my ATC story:
Many years ago I joined some ATC swaps through an online bulletin board. Most of the ATCs I received were really nice - some more than others. One day I received one that totally struck me, this person was doing art I really liked, had the same vibe as what I was trying to create. Her e-mail was on the back of the ATC so I boldly wrote to her. She lives in Indiana and I live in CA. We became fast friends through emails and shared artwork. We have met twice in person - once at the Carson convention and once we went on an Arts de Mer cruise together. All because of an ATC!

Mommy2CVC said...

Thanks Rinda! I have followed Emily Falconbridge, but she was the only one I knew of. I really love to read your blog! You are so creative!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria ~ Excellent blog you have :). !! This is Lisa from our Wed gatherings. Atc's ~ Ahh, my favs. I love them because each time I do them, I may have started with something in mind, but it never ends up like it. They are small enough to play with all sorts of techniques and I like that I can also incorporate some kind of fabric or stitching too.
Thank you too, for talking about Bernie! I LOVE what she does, have donated numerous times, and try to tell anyone who will listen about what she does. What an inspiring spirit she is. See you soon ~ L.

Carrie said...

You are so talented! Just great work and great charity to promote!