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A Short Introduction To Art Cards

October 29, 2013

Anyone who has fallen in love with a unique piece of art and has been fortunate enough to be able to bring it home with them understands how special an original work can be.

I am often surprised to learn how many people aren’t familiar with Art Cards because they are inexpensive and easy to acquire, as well as simple and fun to make. A great small commitment project for anyone who enjoys creating any sort of 2 dimensional art.

The mediums that are used for making Art Cards are vast and unrestricted. The only rule for creating an Art Card is that it should be able to fit inside a standard trading card sleeve (2.5 x 3.5 inches) however this rule is occasionally broken when people start using strange and inventive, lumpy bumpy mediums.

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There are two different types of art cards, ATCs and ACEOs.

ACEOs are actually an offshoot of ATCs. The acronym ACEO stands for Art Card Editions (prints) and Originals. ATC stands for Art Trading Cards. The difference between the two is that ACEOs are meant for selling as well as trading where as ATCs are expressly created with the intention to trade.

Regardless of whether you can draw or paint there are many different ways to make Art Cards. Some people use rubber stamps and stickers to create an attractive arrangement of color and texture. Some people even make designs using polymer clay and beads!

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Your template is a 2.5 x 3.5 bit of paper or card and the only limitations that you face are the restrictions of your own imagination.

Besides being particularly awesome, amusing and all together wonderful, Art Cards are also highly collectible.

Collect by artist, subject matter, medium or even by color. Β Just be sure to read what you are purchasing very carefully to ensure that you are clear on what it is you’ll be receiving.

Original artwork sells for far more than limited edition prints. If you think that you’re getting one hell of a bargain you very well may be, however be sure that you read the fine print!

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Selling Art Cards

I’m not an expert on selling Art Cards. Mostly, I just dabble however; here are a few tips for selling Art Cards on eBay that I’m confident in passing on.

1. Research what other people are selling and how they are selling.

2. Use keywords in your item title.

3. Always package your work very carefully. I usually put mine inside a note card.

4. Create a small certificate of authenticity to accompany every card that you post.

5. Don’t sell yourself short! Find a price range that you’re comfortable with, taking into account the time you spent on the piece and the cost of materials.

6. Be sure that you are marketing WORLD WIDE rather than just on your own regional eBay to increase your odds of finding buyers.

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Giving The Gift Of Miniature Art

There are two different ways to go about doing this, making to gift or buying to gift.

The primary reason why I like to give Art cards away as gifts is because they’re very personal and unique. (I am an absolute sucker for unique and unusual gifts.) Art Cards are also extremely inexpensive to make and frame. In my experience, most people appreciate and treasure the thought that is put into creating a handmade gift regardless of the level of talent behind its creation.

For people who prefer to buy to gifts rather than to create them (or in addition to creating) the benefits are similar. When you purchase a piece of art, whatever the size, you are buying hours of someone’s life when all of their creative energy was entirely dedicated to the work. There is a magic in that which you will never gain from anything manufactured, and sharing that magic with someone else is a gift in its self.

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Commissioning Art Cards

Casually browsing the internet (particularly eBay and Etsy) will reveal millions of Art Cards available for purchase and most of the artists you will come across are willing to take on commissioned work for a wide variety of price ranges.

Commissioning art for either yourself or with someone else in mind is taking the personal aspect of the purchase one step further. Commissioning work gives you the power to specify what the finished piece will be composed of (subject matter or color schemes) combined with the artists’ unique style to make something entirely independent.

Artists will normally charge a bit more for a commissioned work but if you are interested, contact them for a price quote and don’t be shy!

It’s a compliment, honestly.
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If I have peaked your interest and you would like to explore the world of trading art cards there are a few groups on the internet with large communities of art card creators and traders. This is the best group I’ve come across so far:


All of the images featured in any of my blog entries including this one are my own photographs or my own artwork.

Do not redistribute without permission.

From → Arty Crafty

  1. What a cool post! Loved the pics and extremely well-written content! Thank you for posting :-)

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