a discussion and explanation of ATCs

ATC chronic pain a high pain day

this is an ATC aka Artist Trading Card. they are meant for artists to use what ever medium and style they want on a standard size card, 2.5″x3.5″ the same size as most trading cards like sports cards and comics trading cards, and trade them to other artists who have done the same. i don’t make them just to trade. although i’ve made some wonderful trades. a lot of the time i like to use them as a little piece of orginal art to give as a small gift.


the cards have lots of accessesories like plastic sleeves to protect them, little bitty envelopes, rubber stamps to use on the back for a place to put the title and medium, etc. if you have are collecting them, it’s great to get a 3 ring binder and plastic sheets, again for sports cards, but they work becautifully for these cards, too.

ATC the spot

i use watercolor paper for the cards, usually. you can buy the cards premade, in packages of 10. they’re really expensive that way. i tend to mess a lot of them up or use them to expieriment with so i cut them myself out of bigger sheets of watercolor paper. i use a paper cutter to do that, so it’s easy. i could never do it well by hand, but if you can, or have a paper cutter, it’s waaaaay cheaper.

ATC feathers for ms. cd

i really enjoy making ATCs. i make the same kinds of paintings that i make in larger sizes. it’s not the kind of thing you usually find on a trading card. i think my ATC paintings are better than my larger paintings. i like working small. i can make a lot more detailed work on something so small.

ATC black squiggles

when i paint on the cards i usually use watercolors, inks, or high flow acrylics. it’s partly because i use watercolor paper and those mediums work (for me) best with it. once in awhile i’ll use regular (heavy body) acrylics with them.

if you’re an artist who hasn’t tried them, you should give them a try!

here are a few more for your viewing pleasure…lol…

ATC chronic pain break through pain

ATC let the diamond show

ATC color in the dark

ATC commision quartet 1


4 thoughts on “a discussion and explanation of ATCs”

    1. i don’t know how many i have at a given time. i make new ones all the time. and then i trade them and give them away all the time, if you wanted to make a trade, i’d be up for that!

      they are fun! i love making them. 😀


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