Thursday, 28 August 2008

Monthly Guest Article "Art Cards - What, Why and How"

Once a month we will be featuring an article about non UK Street Team members :) August's guest article is by the lovely Jennifer Rose of Fuzzy Dragons.

There are many ACEO artists that live and create in the UK. ACEO stands for "Art card, editions and originals" and are, on the whole, sold in either fairs, galleries, or shops. ATCs are "Artist Trading Cards" and are traded back and forth. It's a nice way to start an art collection and perfect if you don't have lots of room to hang art on your walls.

Snow Leopard Eye Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip

There are so many ways a person can make an ACEO and as long as it is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches there are no rules as to what they are made of. I have picked 3 artists to ask them questions on how and why they have decided to work so small.

1) thecyclingartist "Original abstract seascape paintings and drawings inspired by the English Coast". Tima Mamoser's work is gorgeous so go check it out...I have a really nice piece of her work that sits proudly on my shelf :)

For Sale here (thecyclingartist)

What materials do you use to create your ACEOs ?
All of my paintings are acrylic and for my ACEOs I work on commercial canvas board that I cut down to size. I sell original works so my ACEOs are all one-of-a-kind paintings too!

Why did you decide to make ACEOs?
I resisted ACEOs for quite a while but then did some as an experiment with the ACEO and 'painting a day' movements on eBay. While they weren't big sellers I decided I really enjoyed making them in order to explore colour combinations. So for me personally, they've actually become quite an integral part of my studio practice - they are small studies done in the process of preparing for my larger gallery work.

Favorite ACEO that you have made?
My very favourite ACEO has always been this one, with very dark wispy waves against a pale pink sky.

Grooveycrafts makes great ACEOs that use embellishments to make the cards 3D. Grooveycrafts shows that not all ACEOs need to be flat! :D And she has a great tip for people just starting to make ACEOs.

For Sale here (Grooveycrafts)

What materials do you use to create your ACEOs ?
I have started off with some of my ACEOs using poker cards as I like the rounded edge but I also have some pre-cut card in a variety of colours so it's always quite a task deciding which colour I want to use. I then select which image I'm going to use and work around that... so it could be buttons, ribbons, distress ink, rubber stamps, brads, paper etc.... so as you can see I use a variety of material. It all depends on the image and what inspiration I get from it.

Favourite ACEO that you have made?
That is quite hard to choose but I'm choosing this one to show you since it fit in well with Autumn coming up :).
Any advice to people wanting to start working small?
If you're just testing the water to see if ACEOs are for you I wouldn't recommend going out and buying all the supplies you feel you need as I can tell you it is so easy to do as you feel you need everything and everything looks great.

I would recommended buying a pack of playing cards, they only cost about 50p a pack and are the right size for ACEOs. In places like Tescos, Morrisons etc... they have packs of small cut paper at about A6 size with 5 or 6 varieties of colours, designs etc..., you should get quite a few ACEOs using those papers. The other thing you can use is newspapers and magazines for the writing but be careful as some let ink off.

Then, onto Embellishment, its now time to go through your wardrobe... yes I sound crazy I know! See what you really don't want anymore, what your partner doesn't need or your kids have grown out of and cut the buttons, ribbons, flowers etc off and work with those. For images you can get some very nice ones off Etsy from people who will e-mail you them. I haven't bought from anyone yet to be able to recommended any one.

Now you're ready to start creating. For sticking down items I use double sided tape, pritt stick (pritt stick and uhu glue sticks are the best for sticking) and glue dots. If you decide that ACEOs are for you then you can splash out on supplies but if you decide they aren't for you, you won't have spent more then £10 so you don't need to worry.

3) nuvonova makes ACEO albums that she can customise for you, and some gorgeous ACEOs to put in them.

For Sale here (nuvonova)

What materials do yo use to create your ACEOs and books?
I like to use silver pearlescent card as the front and back cover for the album, and grey, black or white (or all together) as the body of the book... this is so that the book acts like a blank wall as if you were in a gallery, and the ACEO's are like the paintings! The book is bound with satin ribbon and the front cover has a custom title. I name mine 'The Little Book of Art'. I have my ACEOs professionally printed onto archival paper so they last many many years and then I mount them onto pearlescent card to make them nice and sturdy!

Why did you decide to make ACEOs and your albums?
I loved the concept when I first found out about it and as I was already in the Art/Design/Fashion field, I had a lot of my own illustrations that I wanted to turn into mini pieces of art... and for people to hopefully buy them, which they do, so yay! Not only did I make ACEOs, but I bought them too, like crazy. I like to have empty walls and I get bored very quickly, so keeping them in albums makes them fresh to my eyes each time I look at them... so I made my own to store them in as I didn't like the typical 3x3 plastic slots you get to put in folders as it looked too cluttered.

For Sale here

Favorite ACEO that you have made?
My favourite fashion illustration that I turned into an ACEO is 'Twilight IV'. It's one of my most favourite drawings which I have turned into my own little mascot and actually, the original is in my fashion portfolio and every time I go on fashion job interviews, that one always gets the 'Oohs'.


So great advice. I encourage everyone to try doing a few ACEOs of their own, but be aware that they can become addicting to make. Of course you could just buy from the lovely people here and support the artists. Lots of different types of cards being made and all at different prices.


nuvonova said...

Oh thanks so much for including me! It was funny reading my own comments!

David said...

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

Jennifer Rose said...

nice articles david :)

Lemon Shortbread said...

great interviews, love reading about how other artists create their aceo masterpieces!