Artist Trading Cards

I’ve recently started making artist trading cards (ATCs). These are small little works of art the size of sports trading cards — 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches (64 x 89 mm). There are only two rules for the cards: (1) they must be exactly the specified size, and (2) they must never be sold. Most people put some information about themselves on the back — their name, e-mail address, website, whatever. Sometimes they write a bit about the way the card was made or the topic.

Thousands of artists and crafters all over the world create these little gems and freely trade them, on line and in person. They are made of every medium imaginable. I’ve made them with collage, paint, and embroidery, and I’ve seen ones made of clay, fabric, drawings, paper mache, metal, and wire. Any material is free game. I’ve made about 50 cards total, and these two are my favorites:

Saffron E is for Eyeball

(You can see more cards I’ve made in this Flickr set). But I don’t have these two cards any more — I traded them away for little works of art made by other people. I have this little collection of art that delights me every time I look at it. How wonderful to have these carefully, lovingly made jewels in my home! Here are my two favorites of all the cards I’ve received:


One of the nicest things about ATCs is how easy they are to make. Because of their size, they can be made quickly, no matter what technique you use. They are extremely satisfying projects.

Posted on December 8th, 2006 by Katxena