Today we will do some finishing touches and I'll give you some links to places where you can go if you want to trade your atc's. I mean, as pretty as they are, you might want to actually trade them, after all they are artist trading cards! So get to your worktable and roll up your sleeves for the final part of our Big ATC Tutorial!
The Big ATC Tutorial - part five - backing and beyond
Now the front of the cards is finished you may want to think about the back of the cards.
In fact they may need some extra backing. The reasons for this can be that:
- your card is too flimsy and needs some sturdy paper to literally back it up, remember these cards are for trading and are indeed cards, not thin pieces of paper that already bend by looking at them
- your card will need information on the background, but you can't write on the material (if you use ready made stickers on the back of your cards this reason does not apply)
- your card is warped and some extra backing will make it flat again (very warped cards will not go well in envelopes and pockets for safekeeping)
- your card is not as clean on the back as you would like it to be (this is mostly my reason) and looks something like this or worse:
|I'm a sloppy worker, so most of the time whatever materials I'm working with will also end up on the back of the paper. You can also see the card is slightly warped, so it can totally do with a little extra backing.|
So today I thought I'd show you how to make a backing for your cards. Consider it a bonus of my tutorial, becasue originally I wasn't planning on doing this, but it seemed only fair to show you the entire process I go through before trading a card.
- a sturdy paper with at least one side that is clean and in one colour (I used the covers of all kinds of reports that get tossed at work, but you can use anything from packaging to cereal boxes and from scrapbook cardstock to expensive watercolour paper, just make sure it's sturdy and ads thickness to your card)
- some clean paper scraps (the clean part is very important!)
- acrylic gel medium (or another good glue you can brush on thickly, don't use something like rubber cement, it will not hold over time)
- a brush
- a pen for writing your information on the back
|I cut them up in smaller pieces that are somewhat larger than the atc's so there is some extra space around them.|
|Now I put the glued atc side on the printed side of the backing paper. It's important to move quickly now, so the medium doesn't dry before you're all finished.|
|When all the cards are dry you should have something like this. That's not exactly how we want our wonderful atc's to look, is it? ;-)|
|And there you have it: twelve lovely atc's, all ready to go! Um...well...allmost...|
|A series of twelve cards, all called ' Botanical Bliss'. I think the hand written back ads an extra personal touch, but that's a matter of preference. Do what feels right for you.|
|Here are my cards all ready and filed in their little pockets.|
Of course keeping your own cards in a little thing like that is fine, after all they will leave your house soon enough if you really want to trade them. But for storing the ones you receive you might indeed want to spend some money on a good album or make one yourself. There's all kinds of people making all kinds of atc holders/folders/albums on the internet. Again google for it. There's so much out there up for grabs.
In order to receive cards you are going to have to join a trading community. This can be real life or online. I have no experience in real life trading, but I do have some online. There's several groups on yahoo devoted to atc's. They will hold themed swaps where a host chooses a prompt and the amount of cards to make, but you can also go for one on one swaps with a card maker that appeals to you. Just go to groups.yahoo.com and search for 'atc's' and see if there's a group that appeals to you. I made a link of the search, so you just have to click here.
Another option is swapbot, where just about anything on the planet that can be swapped through the mail, is indeed swapped. This includes atc's. If you follow this link, you will get to their current swaps page.
Another site for atc swaps is atc's for all. Here swappers of all levels can swap atc's. It's a good place for beginners and advanced alike. You can find them here.
The more elite sibling of atc's for all is Illustrated atc's. Here you actually have to apply and be accepted before you can trade. Their standards are pretty high. It's a good place for advanced artists who draw and paint and want to trae atc's. You can find them here.
A wonderful source for art traders is the free (!) digital magazine Art Trader Magazine. You can download the magazine as a pdf and print it if you like. It's full of inspiration and ideas and interesting articles on art trading, with a lot of info on atc's. On their site you can also find a bunch of links to atc trading sites. You can find the magazine here. All twenty back issues are still available online.
I hope you'll give trading a try if only to receive some amazing snail mail in your mailbox. If you don't like atc's you might like other kinds of art trading, there's a whole world out there to explore. And if you want to trade for one of my atc's you're welcome to send me an e-mail. You can find my addy in my profile info (please don't do it through the blog).
And with that we come to the end of our five day atc frenzy. It was a humungous job to put together, but I'm very glad I did it and I hope it provides a resource you will like referring to from time to time. I will put a link to these tutorials on my tutorials page next week so they can be found more easily as time goes on.
For now I just hope you enjoyed it and that your are inspired by it. And with that there's nothing left for me to do but to wish you a wonderful and artsy day!