ATCs can be done on cardstock, canvas paper, fabric, metal, or anything else you can think of. The only rule is that they stick to the 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" size. You can design them in either portrait or landscape orientation. You can use anything on them: paint, pencils, crayons, charcoal, wax. You can embellish them with 3D elements. Usually the back side will have your name and maybe your website. You can trade in person, like we did, or join an organized swap where you mail in your cards to trade. Many artists who are into trading cards have hundreds in their collections. ATCs are a great way to collect art for free from other artists, and they're also a great way to challenge yourself to try a new medium or technique. There's not much risk of failure when you're working so small. However, the small size can be very challenging for some artists. Why don't you try it some time?
BettyJane Zedonek made these beautiful Spring cards. (Guess what? Our theme was "Spring." It's a simple theme, and yet all the cards are so different.) She took photos of flowers from her home, and used pencils and paint for the frames.
Suzanne Redmond covered cardstock in painted tissue paper. Then she added a saying about Spring, and embellished them with ribbon. The edges of the card were shaded with ink.
Marie Lentine raided her stash of magazine clippings to create these beautiful collaged cards.
Huguette Berzon pressed flowers from her garden to make these cards.
Donna Donelan painted beautiful Spring scenes on her cards.
Leslie Pfeiffer used encaustic wax techniques for her cards.
If you'd like to see more examples of Artist Trading Cards, check out these websites:
Artist Trading Cards
ATCs for All
How to Make ATCs