Guest Post: Artist Trading Cards Craft



What are artist training cards?

Modern Artist Trading Cards (also known as ATCs) began in Switzerland in 1996. ATCs encourage artists of all ages to create and socialize with others. The cards can be traded in person, through organized swaps, and online. The possibilities for creating Artist Trading Cards are endless! Follow these simple guidelines when creating your ATCs:

  1. ATCs should be 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches (the size of a baseball card)

  2. ATCs should be signed and dated on the back by the artist

  3. ATCs can only be traded, never bought or sold

  • Ruler (for measuring out your own ATCs)
  • Your favorite art materials: paint, markers, crayons, stamps, stencils, etc.
  • Collage materials: stickers, sequins, small pieces of yarn, paper scraps, buttons, doilies, fabric, old photos or magazines to cut up, puzzle pieces, colored tape, foam stickies, origami paper, other found supplies
  • Glue or glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Paper punches
*Blank Artist Trading Cards can be bought at most art and craft stores, BUT you can also measure and cut out your own by using cardstock (white or colored) or another material (like recycled cereal boxes). You can also use the attached template to print out a whole sheet of blank ATCs. Most playing cards are also 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches and can be used as a base for a collage ATC.

  • Start out with a blank Artist Trading Card.
  • Create your ATC by using your favorite art materials or methods.
  • Make more cards! The more you make the more you can trade and the faster your collection will grow!
  • Don’t forget to sign your name and add the date to the back of your ATC. You can also give your miniature piece of artwork a title if you like.

  • No one to trade with? Bring your ATCs to MOCA and trade with the cards created by visitors in the ARTLab!

Things to remember:

  • The great thing about ATCs is that you can use whatever you have available at home. ATCs are also an easy way to use up little bits of things or recycled materials – wrapping paper, the Sunday comics, fruit stickers, or the last drop of paint.

  • If you mess up (or think you messed up) – It’s OK! Turn your “mess up” into a “happy accident.” Some artists create their best pieces by working through a mistake or by turning their mistake into something else. You can also always cover it up with a collage!

  • ATCs are also great for practicing those fine motor skills! Challenge your child to practice tearing or cutting up small pieces of materials to use for a collage.

Other ideas:

  • Be adventurous with your art materials – create a card using only things found in nature or the junk drawer.

  • Have an Artist Trading Card birthday party.

  • Create ATCs at a family gathering.

  • Document a summer vacation by creating a new card each day.
Helpful websites:

Visit MOCA before August 18th, 2013 to see the summer exhibits that inspired this activity!

2200 Parks Avenue | Virginia Beach, VA 23451 | 757-425-0000

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Tags: Virginia MOCA Guest post
Category: Guest Post

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