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Artist trading cards, or ATCs as they are often referred to as, are mini works of art made by and traded among artisans and crafters worldwide. The trend has been spreading quickly into the crafting world in recent years. The only real rules for the cards are that they must be exactly 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches or 64 by 89 millimeters(the size of a standard poker playing card or collectible baseball card) and may only be traded or given away and never sold. They also should be thin enough to fit into a standard card collector's album.
Any arts and crafts medium can be used to decorate artist trading cards. Most of the time, they start with a card stock base but thin metal, card board, wood or polymer clay could also be used. They can be mini oil paintings on canvas, pencil drawings, miniature cross stitch designs, decoupage, stamping, pyroengraving, collage, beadwork designs, sewn or quilted, the possiblities are only limited by your imagination. Anything that you can keep thin enough to fit into a plastic collectible card album sleeve is acceptable.
Ideally, ATCs are swapped face-to-face with other artists at trading sessions. These are hosted in many major cities throughout the world. Trading cards by mail has also become a very popular way to swap. The links in this category contain both information about face-to-face trading sessions and information about swaps arranged online and sent through the mail.
ACEOs, or Art Cards, Editions and Originals, are similiar to ATCs but with one major difference, they are sold. These became popular when those outside the arts and crafts community became interested in collecting regular artist trading cards but had nothing to swap in exchange. Some artists began making these miniature cards to offer for purchase but since artist trading cards can never be sold, they became known as Art Cards, Editions and Originals (ACEOs).
In this category you can find out more information about artist trading cards and find crafters and artists interested in swapping. You can also find online stores that carry supplies specifically for making ATCs and sites that deal with ACEOs.
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