Artist Trading Cards? It’s perfectly simple!

This week’s Artist Trading Card Swap guest blog post is by Debs (you might know her as @daisybuttockup on Instagram) – one of the few ATC swappers I have met in real life (and very nice she is too!), I love her thoughts on balancing out simplicity against perceived lack of effort. 

I love ATCs. Bite sized pieces of art with endless possibilities. Years ago I used to trade paper craft ATCs, but using fabric is so much more fun!

However, everytime I sign up I am faced with the same anxiety: as a lover of simplicity I like things clean, uncluttered and unfussy, so how do I balance this with making an ATC that my partner doesn’t think lacks thought or effort?

When I heard the theme for the current swap – “Say Something”, I knew immediately what I wanted to do and sketched it out:

Say Something ATC idea 1


I liked the idea of using the empty speech marks to enable people to say their own thing when they looked at it.

And then I looked at the design and the old worry kicked in – it’s going to look like I didn’t spend very much time on making it!

So, back to the drawing board to see what I could come up with:

Say Something ATC idea 2

Again, all fairly simple and quick to make, but I can’t bring myself to clutter things up with frills and furbelows!

What’s a girl to do? Ideas come to me quickly and I am quite a quick sewer/crafter, but that doesn’t mean I’m not putting in the effort – I just worry that it doesn’t look like I have! I expect all this is in my head, as no one has ever suggested that they’ve received an unsatisfactory ATC, and I certainly don’t assess how much effort I think a partner has spent when I receive an ATC. However, when I think about it, whatever design and technique I use, there is only a finite amount of time that can be spent embellishing a 2.5″ x 3.5″ space!

I haven’t decided which of the designs to run with yet, but if you’re my partner for this swap, please be assured I have thought about the design and crafted it to the best of my ability, however simple it may look!

Thanks Debs! I love all your ideas! Especially as I still have to think of one….

4 thoughts on “Artist Trading Cards? It’s perfectly simple!

  1. I am always excited to see how others interpret the given theme. I really like your first idea, Debs, with the empty speech marks. I love the simplicity about it and the creativity. This one tickled my imagination I should say. 🙂

  2. Debs – I love your ideas – the quotation marks and the speech bubble. I can’t wait to see what you go with – I would love to be the recipient 🙂

  3. I think you are worrying too much about what your recipient will think about your ATC!!! If you don’t judge how much work went into the one you receive, your recipient probably won’t judge yours either!! I really like your quote marks, I think that is very clever, and if I ever got one of your ATC swaps, I would be thrilled 🙂
    When I read about the swap I thought, “ye gads, all that creativity on a business card size swap??!!” I was too chicken to even try it!!! 😀

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