Artist Trading Cards, Collecting And Displaying Them
How I started Collecting Artist Trading Cards Collection
As an artist I decided that I could do just as well, and became addicted immediately and now produce my own for sale, and also collect other artists' work. I have a large collection running into the hundreds now. It is a great introduction to a number of different styles and so much more personal than looking at work on gallery walls. As someone said:- they don't have to match your wallpaper. Because of my interest in this format, I also started to work in mixed media and collage and now this accounts for 75% of my artistic output
What is an artist trading card? It is a small artwork, which is exactly 2.5 X 3.5 inches. This format is similar to the many baseball and other collectible sets of cards which abound these days. and this means that there is a whole industry supplying plastic pockets, album sleeves and other ways of holding these collections. This will help to keep the cards clean but how to display them so that they can be shown off and enjoyed. The artist trading card format was originally selected to be used for swapping between artists in the manner of business cards, but now the sale of art in this format is a growing trend.
Please note, unless otherwise stated all photos and artwork by the author. All other images used by permission
Keeping Your Artist Trading Cards On Display
Keep Your ATC Collection Tidy
There are of course many ways of keeping your artist trading cards in one piece and in good condition.It is a generally good idea to keep any artwork in a cool, dry and low light environment but Artist Trading Cards are so inexpensive, there are some times when we can forget about this. Some of the methods I use are:-
1. plastic wallets
It is possible to purchase flexible plastic pockets or semi-rigid top-loaders to keep the cards fresh, clean and uncreased. Many retail outlets that sell the popular trading cards will also sell these.
2.loose leaf wallets
For convenience, you may want to use A4 loose leaf folders which feature 9 pockets per page. These do need to be used thoughtfully. Note here how the cards are in both landscape and portrait format which means the viewer has to keep twisting the book around.
Also there is no separation between the cards. Quick, but needs thinking about to give a good effect.You can see the rear of the cards on the left-hand page. Where you will see various information that the artist has included, their signature, date, media, etc.
3. Mounting with card mat
I often mount my cards and put them in a suitable container for display when I am attending sales or exhibitions.
4. Simple cardboard box
The cards can be stored in a suitably sized box, which can of course be decorated to your own requirements.
It is best if stored in plastic wallets to avoid contamination from greasy fingers.
But it is great to be able to shuffle them in your hands and really feel them between your fingers. So much more personal than staring at gallery walls.
5. For a personalised envelope, try making your own using a template designed by Mirkwood Designs.
Don't forget you can paint or collage the envelope in any way that you like.
Things That You May Need To Help With Your Artist Trading Card Collection - some consumables for collectors
Sometimes it's a drag searching, so here's a little help, first flexible sleeves.
Displaying your favourite Art cards
Let Your Visitors Know You Make ATC artist Cards.
Why not make sure that all your friends know that you are an art collector. It may not have cost you very much but if you've got it ... flaunt it!
a pair of photo frames displaying two artist trading cards
A single frame with a pair of complementary art trading cards
the mounted pair from the last shot
Of course, I have been talking about paintings here which are nice and flat. But you can frame mixed media collages, etc which may have 3-D embellishments on them. I give a few examples of framing without using a mat with an aperture which fits over the art card in another lens. this also includes more ideas on framing your art cards.
More Useful Items From Ebay For Collecting Art Cards - Some Consumables For Collecting And Displaying Art cards
and nine pocket, album pages:-
Neat Ways of Displaying Artist Trading Cards
Show Off Your Collection
K. Madison offers a new way of collecting & protecting your new art cards with a custom designed CD case and inserts.
You can open the case as a frame and display the artist trading card in a color co-ordinated mat. A description of the Art is displayed on the left inside mat panel Label.
The CD Cover has a Side Title Label for easy access if you would like to start collecting art cards in CD Form.
Another neat alternative is to use a small (custom made?) artists' easel, to display the artist trading card. Again it can be matted, framed or if it is suitable, just as it is. Very similar to the plate stand idea below.
A novel way of displaying your collection of art cards is by pegging them to a cord or ribbon hung across a wall, in the manner of greeting cards.
Just use your imagination, the skies the limit.
A cute ( but seldom used way of utilising the artist trading cards is as doll's house artworks. You would need a custom made frame for this I suspect.
- use as a bookmark
- put under a glass-topped coffee table
- use as a scrapbook embellishment
- use as a gift tag
- or what about making greeting cards
More Ideas For Collecting And Displaying Artist Trading Cards - An Eclectic Collection From The Internet
Some times an idea hits you when reading someone else's site or blog. This module contains a number of sites which either reinforce or expand on ideas I have already mentioned above. I lay no claim to originality for these ideas.
I have seen a number of fancy greeting card holders whilst searching for this section, it would be possible to use these for your art cards. If you have one then perhaps it could be used for ATC's rather than packing it away for christmas. The only issue is wether it looks like a christmas deciration, I guess.
and what about those little desktop photo holders, you know the ones with the crocodile clip on a snaking arm, it's a possibility.
- bathroom art
An aceo is framed and displayed along with a number of other small works of art. It is rightly suggested that as they are inexpensive, you can easily ring the changes. I am not too sure however that buying art to match your décor is quite what I had
- A new hobby - ebay review
Some ACEO's can be three dimensional, e.g. collage or Altered Art, or clay tablets. In cases like these simply attaching a thread / wire to the card anables it to be hung for display as shown in this example. Alternatively use one of those miniature
- ACEO Cordelettes
A novel way to hang and display your Art Cards.
- blank cardboard frame
This describes a cardboard frame that you can decorate yourself, maybe to enhance the artist card you are displaying.
- Tree branch used to display trading cards
This link will not work! I have seen a sprayed tree brach used like a jewelry holder. E.G. set the bottom of the branch in a holder, and hang the cards from the tips of the branches. My original source seems to have disappeared and I am lokking for t
- A rotating ATC card holder
A commercial product by 7-Gypsies. Like a rollodex but the axis of rotation is vertical. Holds 50 cards. ( See the Amazon module on the right hand Side.
- Re-cycled CD case
In this blog post Melody Lamb describes using a CD case in a very similar manner to that above. Although there are subtle differences including using a hook on the back of the case to enable the whole thing to be hung on a wall, etc.
- MIniature card ( photo) holders
From right here on Squidoo, is another simple idea. Those photo holders which have pegs, etc, on the end of a long wire so that they can be positioned to display a card to full effect can be utilised. [url=http://www.squidoo.com/aceo_collecting#modul
- Using Miniature Clothes Pegs
Just like stringing christmas cards up! Sebenta has discussed this on a blog post; in a list of ways of displaying art card. See #13.
some of these uses, would be easier and cheaper with prints but check that you are not breaking copyright laws. You may buy the aceo but the copyright remains with the artist.
Please contact me if you have any other ways of displaying or storing your aceo's, I would very much like to grow this list.I would of course make reference to any contributors.
Photo Holders From Amazon
These could be utilsed to hold artist trading cards, other shapes and formats are available based on special occasions. Click on a product to get to Amazon and use their search function for many more ideas.
Not really designed for a collection but can be used for individual cards. I have made cards with individuals names on them and then these would come into their own for a small gathering
Some Of My Own Abstract Art Trading Cards - As Shown On You Tube
The majority of these images are artistist trading cards but two , I think, are larger works but hey - who's counting
A Hand Made Book
A Novel Way Of Displaying Artists Trading Cards
This is not a new Idea, I have seen it before on the Internet, but I recently won what is in effect a raflle. In one of my Groups for swapping artist trading cards we held a "winner takes all" challenge. In effect your entry is an artist trading card, the prize is all those entered. My particular theme was not greatly subscribed to but I did win a total of nine cards including my own entry. What to do with these to keep them together? Put them into a book! Not inside the usual loose leaf folder but I just happened to have available a small hand-made blank book. I collaged and stamped a minimal backing and glued the cards onto the pages of the book. I will be writing a lens on this because I see this as a wonderful idea for keeping a group of themes artist trading cards together.
That is as long as you don't mind glueing them down. But of course there are ways of holding the cards and I will be describing them in the lens I have just referred to. From photo mounts to transparent pockets and more. I will add the link as soon as it is published. I have made several of these now and just love the idea. Since I first mentioned the idea of a book, Sebenta has made a blog post about ways of displaying art cards and #14 is a blank journal. The cards are held in by photo corners.
A Presentation Pocket For Art Trading Cards
Talking of single pockets in the home-made book above, why not just a simple (or not so simple pocket) The first image here is a delightfully created lace pocket for an artist trading card.
Lydia (AKA Kenning Stone) has a more artsy approach to atc pockets, here is one that caught my eye, a full pocket with a tie to close the flap over the ATC.
and another with a wrap around cover, again a tie to keep the wrapping closed.
The wrapping paper is also hand-made by Lydia.
Make your Artist Trading Cards A Little Special
Delight You Trading Partner With A Little Extra Effort
Of course you can use the idea of a hand-made book for presenting your trading card to your trading partner. This would obviously delight any artist receiving one of these, I know as I have recently traded with Tee Hall who sent me this delightful hand-made book containing two art cards. (Tee was good enough to post a tutorial if you want to create one of these for yourself)
The inside simply contains two pockets for two art cards - couldn't be simpler and so good looking.
Although a great idea for presentation of two art cards it could be used with just one pocket as an alternative.
Some More Involved Methods Of Displaying Art Cards - Craft Ideas For Display Holders
Here is my first effort to make the display holder shown in the tutorial below.
- Art Card Display Holder Tutorial
A beautiful way of diplaying art cards, I have made this for small "row houses" but it can be adjusted for any size or shape of art card. I plan to do one for ATC'c and write a lens on the process with specific sizes for this application.
Any suggestions to improve this lens will be greatfully accepted. I know most collectors will have their own variations of the above methods, is yours worth noting?