Friday, August 24, 2007

What are ATCs and ACEOs?

First of all, they are acronyms:
ATC stands for Artist Trading Card and ACEO stands for Art Cards
Editions and Originals.

They are small pieces of artwork done in any medium. There is much
freedom in the creation of the cards. Paint, ink, feathers, collage,
fabric, metal, ceramic- really anything goes. The only constraint is
the size, they are specifically 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches. Like baseball
cards, they are traded, collected, and sold. Some artists expand the
canvas by using them for triptychs or by having a common theme or
background throughout many ATC's.

The ACEO meaning is not exactly intuitive, so far as I understand they
are simply ATC's that are sold instead of traded. Also, many artists
use the ACEO designation for printed digital art or a reproduction of
an art piece.

The back of the cards are usually used for artists signature, date,
the title of the piece, the number if its an edition, and contact
information. They are also perfectly sized for a business card to be
glued to the rear of the card. There are convenient plastic sleeves
that can be found in trading card shops or in art supplies stores
online, and used to protect the art in a nice acid-free and
fingerprint-free manner.

If you have made ATC's, feel free to link to some images in the
comments section, so our readers can get a sense of the true variety
of these wonderful things.

For people looking to collect original and digital art that is
affordable, portable, and widely varied, ATC's are a great way to
start. You can do a search for the term ACEO on, or make some
of your own and trade them!

-by Jaye Frisina, the artist behind


  1. There are zillions of atc's on Flickr. Here is a link to my gallery-
    also a more general gallery-
    and here is a gallery for a swap I participated in-
    Here is a tutorial about making them with fabric-
    Careful though- they are addicting!

  2. Thanks Jaye for the article. It will help me when I make mine. Instead of emailing you dozens of times with questions.

  3. I've made lots of ATCs and traded them all. You can see some in my ATC album:

    I have just joined Etsy last month and have a few ACEOs for sale in my shop

    I would also love to join your group as I live in Cambridge. Please let me know if and how I can join.

  4. sounds so fun... i can see how they would be addicting!


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