Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's an ATC?

For many of you artists out there, you know exactly what it is. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. I don't know who invented it, but I'm guessing it was a very generous artist. You see, Artist Trading Cards are small works of art, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" (the size of a playing card). The idea is to make a small piece of art and trade it with another artist. No money changes hands. You are giving your art to another, but then you are getting one of theirs in return.

Sometimes they are traded in organized swaps. If a dozen artists say they're going to trade, then you need to make a dozen ATCs to have to trade.

Sometimes you trade in person, and sometimes you trade through the mail. You may not ever meet the artist, but it sure is fun when you receive that package in the mail and you know it's someone's wonderful art. An artist may choose to be a host or hostess of a swap. Usually that means that all of the ATCs will be mailed to her home. She then splits them up so everyone gets one of each, and mails them back to each artist with the postage they have provided. At the Wellington Art Society, we go out to dinner together to swap. We get an idea of how many people are coming, and then we email everyone so they know how many to make. There are about 20 of us in the group who make ATCs, and 8-12 will participate in any given swap. Our latest swap/dinner was held at I'm Greek Today in Royal Palm Beach.

We choose a theme for our swaps. This time, the theme was Dreams.

Sometimes ATCs are interactive. They have some movement, an insert, a puzzle. This next one shows someone dreaming of inner peace.

This one uses a song lyric as inspiration. Who can remember The Eurhythmics singing "Sweet Dreams are Made of This" back in the 80's? I brought it forward to this decade and crafted the latest trendy treat, a cupcake.

This artist looked into the meanings of dreams. That generated a lively conversation over dinner.

Who hasn't at one time dreamed of flying?

We do 3 - 4 ATC dinners per year. We haven't scheduled the next one yet. Do you have any suggestion for a theme?

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