Saturday, June 21, 2008


I received this information from my friend Vickie at Whispers of Inspiration awhile back and forgot about it.
My friend Nancy at More Than Enough brought up the subject again so I thought that it was interesting and wanted to share with all of you. Most of you probably already knew the "Rules" but in case you didn't the following are the rules on how to make an ATC.

ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. This article is both a primer and an idea bank intended for those who wonder what an ATC is and how to make one.

The very basics is what their name indicates, ATC are collectables, 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", or 64x89mm.

To this rule are appended a couple of conventions. 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. Don't be intimidated by the concept of small editions or originals: very few people are anal about this. 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.

In the words of Paul Harvey......Now you know the rest of the story


Debbie said...

Hi Patti,

I'm fine and thank you for asking!
First, I misunderstood OCEAN! LOL

I should pay more attention to what I'm reading. Just seeing the word evokes pleasure :)

Second, the ATC sounds beautiful, but I'm just not a crafty person, but still plan on doing something with the wonderful gift you gave me :). I've been neglecting so much lately. Could be blog reading too much, but it's fun!

And lastly, you have been TAGGED by me for a few random things about yourself! ((HUGS))

I hope you too have a great weekend!

Just Joni said...

now it is clear what an ATC is...I actually was I wish I had more time on my hands so that I could try out my creativity...maybe in a few weeks when summer school gets out...don't be surprised if I send you a question or two! This looks like fun and something I would enjoy.

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

Patti, I love how informitive you are! You really do your research.
Thank you for the wonderful comments you left me my friend..
I think of you daily. And I took more barn pictures today coming home from the lake. I thought of you when I was taking them.
Sending you lots of love, Nita

Anonymous said...

I love that you posted this information. You're so helpful. Hoping you have a restful weekend although it sounds like you'll be busy getting ready for the Blackberry Festival.

Jann said...

This is very useful and interesting info--thanks so much for taking the time to post it--I knew some of this but not all of it, and I will copy it and put it into one of my art boxes!