Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) have been around since 1997 which at time of this article is only around 23 years ago. They are the main theme behind the January 2020 Red’s Art Cart, yet I do wonder how many of the Art Carter’s have even heard of them before?
Swiss artist, M. Vänçi Stirnemann came up with the concept, based on the hockey and baseball trading cards, which have been around since the 1860’s (wow)! He based them on exactly the same size card, 2.5 x 3.5 inches (64 X 89 mm) and to always be seen to trade or gift, never sell. Initially, he created 1200 ATCs for an exhibition and on the last day of the exhibit, he encourages the public to have a go at an ATC that he would then trade with one of his from this exhibition and well, the rest is happy history!
Example ATC's inside the January 20 Red's Art Cart
Artists can create anything on them from demonstrations, experiments to fully fledged miniature artworks. Fortunately, for all us arty types, the ATCs have managed to survive, especially in this now very digital world we live in. I have searched the internet for ATC swap meets and they are there, all around the world however it looks more like ‘someone’ has had a go and it has lasted a year or so before it phases out. A perfect example of this is here in Australia. There is a Facebook page you can join however it has been inactive for the past 8 years. I won’t mention it as the owner of the page has not replied to me however it is easy to find if you look up ATCs Australia.
Here is another link to see some great examples of ATC’s.
Another page I found was Nicola Notch Fine Art http://www.nicolenotch.com/inspired-atc-swap/ Again, her last post on ATCs is over two years ago but I love the concept that she tried. Nicole asked for people to send in 10 or 20 ATC’s and then in return they would receive 10 or 20 back from other artists. It was a global ATC swap and the examples look great however yet again, seems to have had its day.
And even my own art subscription box has fallen prey to the ATC’s not continuing. For the first two years of the Red’s Art Cart I included an ATC for the Art Carter’s to do a mini artwork on, save them for a few months and send them back to me so I could post out to others. I only has 3 Art Carter’s do this and although I absolutely loved receiving them back in the mail and including them in other people’s Carts, it ended up being more time consuming for me than it was worth. I would love to get ATC’s moving again so if you have any ideas how we can make this happen please share with me and we can see if we can make it happen.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at what is inside the January 2020 Red’s Art Cart.
The Daler-Rowney ATCs do come in all kinds of different papers including the watercolour cards that everyone is receiving, mixed media, vellum and even canvas! Obviously, I went with the watercolour due to including watercolours in the Cart. Which brings me to these very cool watercolour sets!
The Superior collapsible half pan watercolour sets come in 18, 25, 33 and 42 colour swatches. The Art Carters are receiving the 18 colour swatch. I have tested these practical watercolour sets out before and for what they are and how compact they can become; they are a great travelling companion to all who love to journal. You wouldn’t use them for a professional watercolour artwork but definitely for complimenting your mixed media pieces, including doodling and art journaling. And they come with a medium nib aqua brush which clips neatly into the side of the case. These guys have thought of everything! I also included a fine tip brush, perfect for watercolours, gouache and fine acrylic work.
Sakura know their business when it comes to drawing pens and included in this month’s Cart are two Sakura pens, the first being a 01 Pigma Micron which is without a doubt one of the best drawing pen ranges in the market. They are waterproof, bleed proof and the ink is archival, meaning your drawings will never fade or discolour. I love everything about these drawing pens, most of all that you will wear the nib down before you run out of ink and it will take many many drawings for this to happen. I will note though, best not to fly with the finer nibs in the range. It may be a coincidence but a 005 and a 01 did not survive the long flights in the past (and that was two separate occasions, different pens). They were in the cabin of the aircraft, with me happily doodling but when back on land, the pens leaked ink pretty badly.
The other Sakura pen I included is the Gelly Glaze pen, in black. What a beautiful surprise this little pen is! It's a thick nib but when the ink dries it is slightly raised and glossy as ever. So easy to use and I am definitely going to start stocking all the colours in the range in the online art store www.mrsreds.com.au
I trust that my Art Carters take some time out and explore the January Art Cart and enjoy the ATCs, do some mini artworks and give them out to their friends. The idea behind the ATC is a good one and hope it doesn’t phase out all together.
If you would like more information on the Red’s Art Carts, a monthly art subscription, please click here. The Carts are a surprise to you every month, not knowing what is inside and it feels like Christmas comes around every month. There are also 3, 6 and 12 month gift subscriptions to purchase.
And beginning in March 2020, Mrs Red is launching Little Red’s Art Cart, a monthly art subscription box for ages 5+. This will be technique based projects and I am really looking forward to launching this and seeing all the fabulous artworks that the Little Art Carter’s produce! More information on this subscription will be available at the end of January.
Righto, go grab some ATCs and leave all your inhibitions at the door and go crazy on these little mini’s!