Creative Inspiration - Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

Artist Trading Cards:

a wonderful by-product of your practice art that you don't like!

(and scraps from collage and so on)

In my fundamental workshop: Energizing and Experimental Abstract Painting in Acrylics and Mixed Media we all work on lots and lots of little 9 x 12" on loose canvas paintings. Adding paint, removing paint, splatting paint. We may make mini masterpieces but mostly we make a lot of rejects or practice pieces - which I encourage as it really gets participants into process. The challenge is we end up with a lot of unwanted art!

This blog is just ONE of the many things you can do with your little practice pieces when you are finished working on it. My litmus test for whether you should keep working on an art piece is this: if it de-energizes me (ie it ain't fun no more) I know it's time to put it aside: WHen it's not working, give it up! and in this case - turn it into something else.

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are simply small little pieces of cut up heavy water color paper (or you could use loose gessoed canvas) in the size of a business card that you can embellish and decorate with scraps from your reject loose canvas pad paintings, among other things - collage papers, found objects, string, yard….the list is endless. My recommendation for adhering things is YES! glue which has a claim to fame of drying flat, that's why I prefer it.

(These pieces were fun as I added in stamps and words)

One year my daughter (I think she was in grade 1 at the time) and I made home made ATCs for every child in her class for valentines day. Hopefully by the time this blog post is due to post I will find them so I can share them with you.

Another thing I sometimes do is make a card and then glue my business card to the back of it and give them away as gifts.

If you need some inspiration for designs of your cards, check out this book: "The Artist Trading Card Workshop" which has tons of images that could leave you creating for hours.

(found the photo - I think we made nearly 30 cards that year for every
child in my daughter's class and both her teachers!!)

Lastly, keep on eye out for my "Creative Inspiration" blogs as I will post more ideas on cool things you can make with your practice pieces/aka unwanted art!