When I was sorting out my Ikea wooden drawers at the weekend I came across some remnants from a craft which I very much enjoyed a few years ago pre-children. Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs, are miniature works of art, about the same size as a trading card (64mm x 89mm). You can use all sorts of media to produce the art - collage, paint, ink, even fabric.
I used to belong to a Yahoo group to do with altered art, as I was also interested in altered book making. I received the messages as a daily digest, and I loved spending my time reading through everyone's ideas. I don't remember sharing so many pictures on-line in those dark days before Pinterest, but I took part in several swaps and in my collection I have some gorgeous cards which I received from people around the world.
For the swaps I cut cardstock to the right size to make my cards, but for my own cards I used old playing cards. I generally made collaged cards, using pictures and text from magazines and scraps of coloured paper. I found that I could make up a whole bunch of them pretty quickly, and I loved matching together different words and pictures.
My favourite cards were made using some miniature playing cards which I bought in a toy shop. They each measure about 4cm x 3cm. As I remember most of the text and pictures in these cards came from a single magazine, and I made them all in one crafting session.
As for what to do with them when I'm finished, I'm not sure yet. I used to leave some in geocaches, which was another hobby that we were enjoying at the time. I'm sure there are still plenty of swaps going on if I look into it. I've also toyed with the idea of making my own business cards with my URL and Twitter handle, although I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to hand them out!
I'm planning on having a go at some more cards soon, and to get me started I've began (what else!) a Pinterest board which will soon be filled with inpiration! I'd really like to move away from collage a bit, and perhaps incorporate some drawing or painting. See some of my inspiration below!
Follow Jennifer Jain's board Artist Trading Cards on Pinterest.