Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Make an ATC

As their name indicates, ATC are Art Trading Cards and they are collect able, 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".
There are a couple of rules to follow. First, an ATC mustn't 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 getting exposed to many 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. What most collectors really want are cards that were made with care. Based on that, numbers are meaningless.
That's all! The above is all you need to know to start making your own ATCs. Common sense dictates that they should be sturdy enough to survive mailing, and of reasonable thickness (unless you specifically want them otherwise. Transparent card sleeves are useful to protect the cards if need be. This is particularly true if they can easily get smudged or if the medium might stick during transport. I always put mine in sleeves and add a information card slipped into the back and it is numbered, even if its just for me.
I store my ATC's in a baseball card collector album. It keeps every together and easy to carry with me and show off!
I use Royal Coat as a finish on the cards I make. It's made by Plaid, the same company as Modpodge, but better. I like to make sure the elements I glue on will stay on and I like the decoupage style look! I also heat set my items after coating. I apply a coat of Royal Coat as a base and immediately lay my art or decoupage pieces on to the card and smooth the bubbles out with a brush. Then I brush some more RC on top to make the piece to look thick and white. While I am doing that, I am preheating my oven on WARM. After coating, I place the card in the warm oven, directly on the rack, close the door and shut the oven off, let sit for 10 minutes. After 10, art should be clear and the paper is sucked down on the ATC card without wrinkles. You may have to play around with your timing or the amount of glue you apply.
Let me know how it works out!

1 comment:

craftymug said...

All your atc cards are beautiful!
You are so talented.

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