ATC – Artist Trading Cards

ATC or Artist Trading Cards originated in Switzerland and have been used by artist across the centuries for many different purposes. Back in the 14th Century artist used these 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ miniature pieces of art to promote their work. Later, wealthy families used them to help arrange marriages. They were even used by artist as training tools.

Today, ATCs are still being created across the art industry. Stampers and paper crafters use ATCs as a method to share new techniques, demonstrate the versatility of products, or just for the pure fun of the swap. Typically, a swap starts with a theme (i.e. Asian inspired). The participant would make 9 originals of the same design. Each would be labeled on the back with the edition of the work (i.e. 1 of 2, 2 of 2…), date, artist signature, and title.

The cards would be gathered by the ATC host and then redistributed to each of the 9 swap participants. In the end you would receive 9 (including one of your own) ATCs back. Being 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ in size, the ATCs fit into standard sized card collector sleeves/sheets. These small pieces of art are a nice way to be exposed to different styles of stamping and paper crafting. It is amazing to see the variations on a given theme that each designer comes up with.

I have included a picture an Asian Themed ATC that I recently made.


Check out some of these ATC examples on the Papertrey Ink Blog. Happy Stamping! L.

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