Level Goes Here
D e p t . N a m e G o e s H e r e
A r t E d O n l i n
WEB	 SchoolArts	 August/September	2006
Looking	for	something	new	for
your	curriculum	this	year?	Art-
ist	trading	cards	(ATCs)	may
be	just	the	ticket.	ATCs	are
a	rather	new	art	form	that	began	in
Europe	in	1996	and	have	since	spread
around	the	world	with	the	help	of	the
Internet.	ATCs	can	provide	your	stu-
dents	with	more	choice	in	terms	of
media	and	subject	matter,	and	can	also
reinvigorate	your	own	artistic	practice.
What	Are	ATCs?
Simply	put,	artist	trading	cards	are
miniature	works	of	art	that	are	traded
between	artists.	They	can	be	about
anything	and	made	with	any	media,
materials,	or	techniques.	They	can	be
produced	as	one-of-a-kind	originals,	in
limited	editions,	or	in	a	series	based	on
a	particular	theme	or	subject.	It’s	all	up
to	the	individual	artist.
While	the	artistic	freedom	of	art-
ist	trading	cards	is	perhaps	their	most
attractive	feature,	there	are	some	sim-
ple	rules	you	need	to	follow.	See	previ-
ous	page	for	details.
ATC	Materials	and	Media
ATCs	can	be	made	with	markers,
watercolors,	rubber	stamps,	pattern
papers,	old	photographs,	newspaper
clippings,	stickers,	digital	images,
found	items	like	tickets	or	stamps.	The
more	varied	materials	and	media	you
can	offer	students,	the	better.	Joumana
Medlej’s	excellent	primer	on	ATCs	at
lots	of	techniques	and	ideas	to	try	on
your	own	or	with	students.
Many	ATC	artists	use	photo-trans-
fer	methods	to	add	images	which	have
been	photocopied	or	printed	on	an
ink-jet	or	laser	printer.	Instructions	for
doing	photo	transfers	can	be	found	in
many	craft	magazines	and	at	www.liq-
While	ATCs	are	usually	made	on	a
card	stock	base,	they	don’t	have	to	be.
You	can	also	use	foam	board,	canvas,
watercolor	paper,	discarded	greeting
cards,	cereal	box	cardboard	primed
with	gesso,	and	many	other	materials.
ATC	Swaps	are	sometimes