Thursday, May 03, 2012

The ATC Dilemma

Back in January I was inspired by the Japanese legend of a thousand cranes and my love of cards to commit to a creative project for 2012: use as many artistic skills and techniques as I could to make one thousand artist trading cards before December 31st.

This idea was a bit more ambitious than my last year-long art project back in 2009, when I pledged to take at least one photo of something ineresting every day. I wasn't sure I could keep up, but over the last four months I've been working steadily and posting to the photoblog pics and monthly updates on the project. I'm more than a third of the way toward my goal; as of tonight I have 342 cards finished.

Actually the project has been a blast. I'm trying all sorts of old and new techniques, and I've already sewn, quilted, sculpted, glued, recycled, painted, photographed, beaded, pressed, sketched, written, hammered, woven and/or assembled 342 cards. Because the cards are small (ATCs are 2.5" X 3.5"), and I'm always doing something different with them, I haven't gotten bored. If anything I could probably make five thousand ATCs.

Over the weekend I put the cards I made in April into the desk-size storage chest where I'm keeping all the finished cards, and I realized two things. One is that the chest already is getting pretty full:



The other thing is -- after I've finished the project -- what the heck am I going to do with a thousand ATCs?

Yes, as it happens I didn't think that far ahead. I could keep them, of course, but the whole idea of Artist Trading Cards is to give them out, usually by trading with another artist. Only I don't know a thousand artists. I don't want to sell them or auction them off because I'm doing it for fun, and art-wise I'm strictly an amateur anyway. For various reasons a few of the cards are too personal to give away, so I will be keeping those, but the rest I'd like to send out into the world somehow.

Considering all of the above, what do you think I should do with the cards I am willing to part with? Let me know in comments.

19 comments:

  1. Give away to students, teachers, readers. Donate to an auction. Have a contest?

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    1. A contest might be fun -- at my current rate of progress I'll probably finish up toward the end of November, so maybe I could tie it in with NaNoWriMo. Or the holidays. Thanks, Robin.

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  2. Well, keeping in mind I hadn't ever heard of ATCs before this... these are really lovely. I'd be willing to be that there are soldiers out there who'd love to get such a personally made beautiful card... or some type of group of people (thinking people in the ICU, or kids in cancer hospitals, etc.). It'd be such a beautiful thing, to share your art with those who may be lost, lonely or forgotten.

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    1. People in hospitals during the holidays definitely need cheering up. Much to think about, thanks Toni.

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  3. You could try just hosting a giveaway for them?
    Or give them out to relatives of yours.

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    1. I am tempted to combine the ATCs with a giveaway for my December release, but my art stuff is personal, and I don't really want to use this project as self-promo for my work. It started in fun and I want it to stay that way. If it was for promo then I'd put a lot more pressure on myself to make it better/fancier/more polished versus just having a good time exploring art techniques.

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  4. I dunno if it appeals to you, but I know a lady who handles one of the Support our Soldiers groups. I'd imagine something like that would be a ray of sunshine.

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    1. Soldiers overseas during the holidays absolutely need cheering up. Thanks for the idea, Shiloh.

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  5. I really like the idea of giving them to soldiers! The ATC's are so small they could easily cheer up any space that a soldier overseas has to call their own and if anyone needs as many bright spots in their lives as they can get, it is for our troops.

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  6. Hold a giveaway or like some of the other commentors have mentioned, give the to people in hospitals (long term) or during the holidays, send some to the soldiers stationed overseas.

    Smiles~
    Marilyn

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  7. Wow... those all look amazing. I'm just going to 2nd the idea of sending some to soldiers or sick kids or shut-ins or others who could use some color and beauty in overcast lives.

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  8. I agree with the other suggestions of sending them to people who could use a little cheer. And you could do an exchange with your blog readers. (Hint, hint, waving hand.)

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  9. They're Artist Trading Cards, so how about... trading them? :D You'd still end up with a ton of cards, but you'd have lots of examples of other people's work and you could actually still do the give-aways that others have already mentioned.

    Just a thought. I'd love to own an example or two of your artwork and would love to know some of mine was bringing some cheer to others. (The down side to my idea is that it would take a lot of logistics to make it happen.)

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  10. Anonymous8:58 PM

    Can you glue a bunch of them together and make it a new headboard for your bed, or a center piece in the living room?

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  11. Soldiers?
    Charity auction donation like Brenda Novak's Diabetes auction she does yearly. All authors. All donations. Fabulous stuff. Animal rescue charity auctions?
    Children's summer art camps?
    Gift decorations tied on with ribbon?
    One or two to me?

    ;o)

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  12. Have you looked at the website Operation Write Home Stars and Stamps? http://www.owhstarsandstamps.org/ They send handmade cards to the troops so they can in turn send them back to loved ones in the states.

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  13. Anonymous8:54 AM

    Lynn,
    I especially like donating to soldiers as my son-in-law will be deploying for the 3rd time this summer to Afghanistan (he's already been to Iraq twice). But, how about letting some of your readers have the chance to get these cards? I would be more than willing to send an envelope and postage to have you stuff a card in it! Another author that I love, not as much as you of course ;-), does this for her readers. She does book trading cards and lets readers send in the postage and envelope pre-filled out to her. Just a thought!
    Tami
    Jacksonville

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  14. How about giving them to people in nursing home?

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  15. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Go into various bookstores and put them inside of different books...kind of like a prize at the bottom of Cracker Jacks (where did all the good tattoos go anyway? lol). Although donating them to soldiers is an awesome idea.

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