Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen .... Zenobia Southcombe!

Welcome to my blog The Art of Living! I want to introduce to you a wonderful New Zealand artist. Her name is Zenobia Southcombe and this is her blog!
You can also find her on twitter!/ZSouthcombe and of course she has a gorgeous shop on Etsy!
So if you are an art lover and are fascinated by portraits, ships, drawings and pirates this is the shop for you! 

Her article! 
                                                                                   Mini Works Of Art

Hi all!
My name’s Zenobia Southcombe; an artist, teacher, and tea-lover! I am very excited to be writing on “The Art of Living” and today’s guest blog post is going to be about this wonderful mini-art trend referred to as ATCs or ACEOs.
What Are ATCs?

 ATC stands for “Artist Trading Cards”, which are small (2.5” x 3.5”) cards with some kind of artwork on them, it could be in any media, or combination of media – fabric, card, metal, paint, pastel, cotton thread, stickers, paper, and the list goes on!
How Did Artist Trading Cards Start?

Artist trading cards were originally called ‘identity cards’, as they were used as a creative alternative for business cards. Artists would do a mini artwork that was a reasonable representation of their style of art / craft / fashion-making. Then, they would title the card, write their contact information on the back, and hand them out instead of plain business cards.
Later, artists started having meet-ups where they would create ATC’s and swap them with other artists, building a collection of mini works. There would sometimes be challenges or themes, and this eventually seeped into the online community. The cards that were accumulated could be stored in a collection album, or put on display.
I Hear You Asking… “But, How Can They Help Me?”

For the creative type, ATC’s are an original way to share your contact information (for networking & sales) instead of a business card. It is also a great way to meet other creative types from a variety of backgrounds & specialties, and build a collection of mini-artworks to inspire you to expand your creative horizons. I think the best thing about ATC’s is that they can show a bit of YOU in your business.
For example, Balea-Raitz could do ATC’s with fashion illustrations of her clothing. She could have these as prints or originals. Sharing them could network amongst peers & colleagues, and giving them out as business cards would earn that second-glance as a unique card worth keeping.
So, What Are ACEOs, Then?

ACEO stands for “Art Card, Editions & Originals”, and have the same physical requirements as ATCs. When ATCs started becoming more popular, the less artistic folk wanted in on the trend. Since ATCs were strictly for trading or giving, the term ACEO popped up for Art Cards that were available to buy. This gave people a chance to ‘buy in’ on collecting.
This Sounds Like Me – How Do I Get Started?
There are heaps of groups out there where you can find challenges to get the creative juices flowing. You could also find a group of people in your area who are interested and start a swap meet-up, and there are places (online and offline) that have regular competitions for ACEO and ATC artworks. In my experience, the best way to start is with a group challenge / theme – belonging to a group with a theme and deadline encourages you to jump right in, and has definitely worked for me!  
I would love to see your Art Cards, and hear how you see them - or plan to use them- in your line of business! I have made a set inspired by Balea-Raitz clothing & accessories to start the ideas flowing, - let me know what you think! 

Thank you so much Zenobia for the  wonderful Art Cards! A lovely idea that I hope will pick up fast and will inspire people! 


  1. Thanks for the opportunity to guest-blog on your site, Lorena! I hope I have inspired some people to join the ATC bandwagon. I have just come back from a lovely cup of cranberry tea and look forward to the next tea flavour with you!

    Zenobia :)

  2. Very cool - I love the cards, though I don;t make them myself I enjoy when I get them/buy them :-)

  3. I've been wanting to try ATCs for a while. You just may have pushed me over the edge!

  4. @JacBer - Etsy is not working for me, but I will have some new ones up soon! I can also do custom ones :)

    @sylvanavintagedesigns - Yay! Will be great to trade once you've landed!

  5. Thank you guys for reading this wonderful post and for leaving comments!
    Share the love!

  6. Hi Zenobia/Lorena, What a wonderful post and your cards are superb. Makes me want to take up drawing again. Thanks for the insight on ATC's and ACEO's. Have a great weekend!

  7. Oh, do take up drawing again! You're never too old for art ;)


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