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Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'll Trade You Two Whistlers For A Piccaso

I have a knack for getting into trends only after they are passe.

I recently heard about Artist Trading Cards. If you remember baseball cards as a kid you have a good idea what these are. They are cards the same size as baseball cards only they are created by artists. As near as I can figure out, it seems way, way back in the late 1990s someone made a bunch of these cards and gave them away. Other artists got in on the trend and the only stipulation was that the cards be given or traded, never sold.

As was inevitable the cards moved from the realm of art to the area of scrapbookers and rubber stampers. Which is not to say the cards aren't still lovely little things to have, they have just evolved from what they were.
I discovered them through some random google search and decided to try making some. The results were not bad so I decided to see if I could get in on a "swap".

Groups would host swaps sometimes as part of a quilter's convention or some other auxilliary activity. Artists or crafters would bring a supply of their cards, often linked by a theme, and trade them for other cards. There are on-line swaps where the crafter must send their supply of cards (enough to swap and one for the "pot") before the swap deadline. The swap organizer would then randomly sort the cards and everyone would get back a selection of cards from the other artists.

It seemed the cards were hotter than Matchbox cars and that crafters and artists everywhere were creating and collecting them. I decided I had to get into a swap but first I had to find one and then I had to make my cards.
Cards are made by several methods including rubber stamping, collage, paint and just about any other technique. Some are even made by computerized graphics. Cards can be made individually or a whole sheet of paper can be made into one design and then cut apart into the individual cards.

I found a swap organized by a beading shop not far from me. It was handled by mail. As directed I made my selection of cards - enough for the swap and one for the shop - based on the theme announced on the web site. I didn't cheat. I even tossed the "not good enough" cards and made extras that were up to my standards.

I sent off my cards as directed in the appropriate sized envelope with sufficient postage and a postage paid self addressed envelope enclosed. And I waited. I waited. Waited.

I never got my cards. I called the shop and was told they had never received them. I did check the web site a few times to see if any of my cards appeared in the postings but I never saw them.

That was my first and only attempt to swap them. Too bad because I made enough cards, according the the posted themes, for the next few monthly swaps as well. But I couldn't bring myself to send them. That's a lot of postage to let your precious works of art disappear into post office oblivion.

So I kept the cards and showed them to a few people. The best one, Turkey Girl, I gave to my sister. She loved it, of course, as I knew she would.

Maybe I'll make some more cards some day. They are fairly easy and quite a bit of fun. But I don't think I'll try swapping them unless I find a live swap, which isn't likely since nobody seems to be doing the swaps anymore. They seem to have faded away. Too bad. From the examples I have seen on the web sites, I would really like to have a collection of these cards, just for fun.

If you are reading this and would like to swap cards with me let me know. Maybe we can work something out. In the meantime, google Artist Trading Cards and marvel at the images.

Quotable Quotes; in the category I Don't Know Much About Art But . . .

"I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso."
Diego Rivera

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If anyone would like to know more about artist trading cards and their history, or how to make artist trading cards, they may also be interested in a couple of articles that I've written.