Friday, August 7, 2009

ATCs Then & Now

"Start small...
Grow a little every day...
Welcome both sun & rain."

Like many others, I jumped onto the ATC (artist trading card)train as it picked up steam and raced like wildfire through the online art community. I stayed on the train for about three to four years until I had created and traded to my heart's content. I now have a binder overflowing with incredible, imaginative inspiration. But the question inevitably arises as I peruse that collection: what do I do with all these little pieces of art? Recently, I've dusted off that binder and started looking at ways to display my favorites and to leverage the art I created over the years.

I like to assemble several of my ATCs on a sheet of paper and have them color copied onto cardstock in several sizes to use in my journals. I've also copied those ATCs onto fabric through my ink jet printer so I can utilize my ATC art in my sewing projects. ATC art could also be miniaturized (through copying) to fit in soldered jewelry projects. Keep in mind that, unless you have permission, others' work is copyrighted by the individual creators, and it is bad form to copy the ATCs you've received in trades. To avoid that sticky situation, make an extra card for yourself every time you participate in a swap and use your own art when you want to leverage it for other projects.

As far as display is concerned, I've started creating wall hangings by punching holes in the corners of the cards, attaching eyelets, and wiring the cards together. Alternately, you could also use small jump rings as I've done with this triptych of ATCs entitled "Wisdom of the Flora."


  1. are a wealth of information, and an artistic genius!!! Thank you soooo much!

  2. What a wonderful idea! I love the piece you created here. Lovely! I need to get all my old ATCs out and display my favorites in my creative room. Thank you!

  3. Michelle, this post is chock full of fabulous ideas for using these little gems! So much better than leaving them unappreciated in a binder or shoebox. Thanks for these great tips! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Love & Hugs, Terri xoxo

  4. Michelle what great ideas you have given me. I WANT to print onto fabric too. I never thought about doing that before. Bravo.


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