Saturday, June 5, 2010


One of the many groups I participate in is an ATC group. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. As their name indicates, ATC are collectibles, a brilliant idea born of the older sports-themed trading cards. The one rule that makes an ATC derives from their origins: the dimensions of the ATC must be 2.5"x3.5", or 64x89mm.

First, an ATC must not be sold, only exchanged, as the whole essence of these tiny works of art is about artists meeting (by correspondence or online if need be) and exchanging their works, thus meeting many artists and being exposed to several personal styles. Second, on the back of each ATC the artist writes part or all of the following information: name, contact information, title of the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8...) if it's part of an edition. By definition ATCs are made in limited numbers, often no more than one of a kind. Unique ATCs are called originals; sets of identical ATCs are called editions and are numbered; sets of ATCs that are based on one theme but that are different are called series. Don't be intimidated by the concept of small editions or originals: very few people are anal about this. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Some ATC swaps have themes and some are just "anything goes".

I was quite hesitant to join because I tend to work on a larger scale. Often my cards end up being over sized for even a 6 x 6 envelope and I have to make special sized envelopes. I like challenges, so I joined AND I am so glad I did! I managed to keep one of my cards and thought I would share it with you. I was drawn to Jolee's Boutique Parcel Vintage Bird Cage 3-D stickers at one of the gathering with friends at a local scrapbook store. I purchased them and they sat around waiting for the vision to come. About a week later I knew what I wanted to do with the bird cages. I incorporated one of my favorite pictures from our wedding album in Hawaii, added music notes to resemble the lovely songs that birds sing and the title "Lovebirds" was born. Lovebirds are fierce and loyal and do not switch affection or loyalties easily, much like the mutual love and respect Mike and I have as a couple for each other. My set of 12 cards were in two different colors as seen by the pictures. What do you think about my first ATC card?? What would you change to improve it??

Have a lovely day!