Artist Trading Cards or ATCs originated in 1997 in Switzerland. Artist M.V. Stirnemann exhibited a collection of his own ATCs and encouraged artists to take one of his and replace it with their own. Traditionally, the Artist Trading Card is only traded or given away but never sold. An offshoot is called the ACEO-Art Cards, Editions & Originals. These are sold and many artists and collectors love the tiny format. ATCs and ACEOs are 3.5″ x 2.5″- the size of a playing card.

I love creating ATCs. It’s a great way to use up small scraps and hone my compositional skills. One year I did a 1000 Artist Trading Card Challenge and finished them all in four months! This small collection featured here includes recycled paintings, fabric, jewelry pieces, faux postage, and various bric-a-brac. Some of them are actually recycled paintings. When a painting is less than successful, pinpoint the great parts and cut them down to ATC size. Voila- a new mini masterpiece!