Artist Trading Cards

Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

An artist trading card (or ATC) is a tiny, original piece of art created with the intention of swapping or trading it with another artist similar to a baseball card. There are two rules when trading theses tiny perfect pieces of art. #1 An artist trading card must be no larger or no smaller than 2.5 x 3.5 inches or 64 x 89 mm. That is the actual size of a collectible sports trading card. and #2 You must never sell them.

An ATC created with the intention of selling it is known as an ACEO (short for Art Cards, Editions and Originals). ACEOs are often sold on EBay or Etsy, or individual artist websites.

On the front of an ATC an artist will create an original work to showcase their art. It can be one of a kind, part of a series, or a limited edition. On the back the artist puts their name, contact details, title of the ATC, number if it’s a limited edition, the date it was created and the group it was traded through. Some artists like to keep the back very plain and some artists will give you double the fun.

Artist trading cards can be made in any medium and using any technique, whether it’s painting, drawing, collage, or pen and ink. Anything goes!!

Some groups require you to trade two cards at a time with a theme in mind and some trades done separately could be for just one card. There is one group called Sister’s Trading Cards that requires that you complete 20 and send them in. They will then in turn send you twenty back. Copy Left is another international postal trade in which you submit 20 cards and get a mixed set back. Some cities have face to face trades. but mostly the trades are done via snail mail. You can find other ATC creators through groups such as the Flick Artist Trading Cards.

With the economy being as it is, many people do not have the financial ability to purchase works of art. ATCs allow you to own a small piece of art from anywhere in the world for the price of a trade. It is very addictive once you get going. You will LOVE it!


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