Having only really been stretching my artsy creativity since August 2010(and I use those words loosely as the last time I participated in anything crafty was when art class was still mandatory in grade 8 in public school and my artistic capabilities seemed to have peaked shortly after grade 3) I'm finding I am learning new things on a daily basis. So it was not surprising when the ScrapbookSteals site mentioned an ATC Swap that I was completely in the dark as to what that could possibly mean!
After reading through their blog post I learned that ATC stands for A.rtist T.rading C.ards and so I have challenged myself to learn and to create something I have never done before and joined the ATC Swap.
Being forever the Bookworm, I went online and searched ATC's to try and find out some more information about them.
Artist Trading Cards are little miniature works of art created by an artist on a 2.5 x 3.5 inch piece of card. They can be made using any medium and are traded amongst the art community and are not to be sold for monetary gain. They can be themed, or individual, and it sounds like the sky is pretty much the limit when it comes to making cards of your own.
I'm sure if you traced the history back ATC's must have been around forever, but they became popular in 1996 when a Swiss artist in Zurich, M. Vanci Stirnemann, wanted to keep track of all the artists that he had come in contact with, so he handmade 1200 of his own cards and then invited people to come to his exhibit to trade them with cards of their own.
I definitely do not claim to be an artist by the stricter meaning of the word but since starting to scrap, I am certainly enjoying creating and learning new techniques. The ATC Swap is going to be a challenge for me as I have never made anything like this before, but it will be wonderful to swap cards with other Scrappy Sisters and collecting little pieces of beautiful creativity from all over Canada and the States with the amazing and inspiring women I have come to know through SS!
Last night before work I sat down at my desk and attempted to make my very first ATC's:
The very first card I used different coloured inks and sponges to try and create a tie-dyed look by using scrap strips of paper, lying them down on the card then inking over top. After I moved the scraps to different spots and inked over the whole card again...not sure if it turned out how I imagined but I think I still like it. I used a leafy vine stamp in a darker shade of green in the corners, but it's very faint and hard to see unless close up. Using another sponge, I inked the edges of the card with sepia ink. The butterflies were made using a stamp with a glue pad and some sparkles.
For my second card I used a negative stamping technique, so instead of inking the stamps, the stamps are "clear" and the rest of the card is coloured. I did this by using transparent embossing powders and heat sealing them to the card. After it had cooled, I inked over the stamped images using sponges. Once the embossing powder is melted it does not pick up pigment so the colour is only picked up on the parts of the card that were not stamped. Again, I'm not sure if I like how they turned out but for my first attempt I'm happy :) I also broke out my I-Rock tool to add the gems on the flower!
The great thing I am liking so far about ATC's is that they are not time consuming! They are meant to be put together quickly instead of poring over them for hours which I like when I only have a small amount of time to sit down at my desk.
So 2 down and a few more to make and then mail away to swap with all my other Scrappy Ladies!
I believe there is still time to join in if anyone is still interested in giving ATC's a go! All the info can be found here