ATCs or Art Trading Cards are miniature works of art that are a lot of fun to create, collect and swap. Originally meant to help artists share samples of their work, the practice has become a popular hobby for crafters and there are ATC workshops and trading events held worldwide.
While most ATCs are the same size as other trading cards (usually 2.5 X 3.5 inches) the limitations end there. You can paint, draw, or collage your cards- even add 3-D elements.
John Dyhouse created a wonderful ATC tutorial for crafting.squidoo.com that features one of our lovely ladies in white! Here we've reposted the 6 basic steps he outlines for ATC success, but he goes into much greater detail so be sure to visit the full page: A Simple Collaged ATC Tutorial.
1. Find Or Create A Background Image
This could be :
- a printed image such as a photograph
- a downloaded digital image
- a page from a book or magazine
- a coloured card or piece of wall paper
- commercial patterned craft paper
- an off-cut of fabric
- a painted image
- a stamped image
- a collage itself
- or anything else which you find interesting
2. Find & Select The Main Image For the Collage
This image of a "victorian women violinist" seemed to me to complement the vintage patterned paper, and so decided to use it as my main image. It was actually downloaded from Dover Publications samples, printed and cut out from the sheet of paper.
3. Select Potential Images To Enhance The Artwork
Choose from paper based images, stamped images, ribbons or threads or even small 3-D embellishments; the range is only limited by your creative imagination. Anything which helps to bring out a "theme" or "story" which the ATC is trying to convey to the viewer.
Step 4. (Optional) Select Text to Enhance The Theme Of The ATC
Maybe a quote or famous saying or some philosophical gem.
5. Compose The collage On the ATC
Now you have all the graphic elements in place it is time to finalise the design of the card...Lay out the background and move the other elements around until you achieve a pleasing appearance.
6. Time To Get Out The Glue and Create Your Masterpiece