“Tree-scattered slope” found poetry ATC

After creating two cards featuring people I was keen to do something else, and this poem gave me the chance to create a landscape. I’m better at portraits than landscapes, and this scale was certainly a challenge, but I like how it turned out!

This card has been traded, but postcard-sized prints will be available very soon in my Etsy shop.

 

“Young love” found poetry ATC

I was way out of my comfort zone on this one, trying to draw people in the style of manga! I have a lot to learn, but it came out well enough to make me happy.

This card has been traded, but postcard-sized prints will be available very soon in my Etsy shop.

 

“Edgar Allen Poe” found poetry ATC

This card is my first attempt at creating found poetry and then illustrating it.

I really like how it turned out. You can’t tell from the photo, but the border is painted with gold gouache, meaning it’s shiny!

This card has been traded, but postcard-sized prints will be available very soon in my Etsy shop.

 

 

What is an ATC?

ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. It’s a small work intended to be given away or traded. The standard measurement is 89 x 64 mm (3½ x 2½ inches). ATCs can be original works or prints.

A related item is an ACEO, which stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. These are the same size but (usually) original works only, not prints, and are intended to be sold rather than traded. There’s plenty of overlap, of course. People trade ACEOs and sell ATCs.

So, why make such small work?

From an artist’s point of view, they’re inexpensive and relatively fast to create compared to a larger work. They’re a good place to experiment with new ideas or techniques without the pressure of feeling like you’re wasting expensive materials. And most of all, they’re fun!

From a viewers point of view, they’re free or cheap (unless the artist is very well known), easy to collect and store, and easy to trade with other people (no more expensive than sending a letter). And you never know – one day, the artist who created that ATC/ACEO might be extremely collectible!

What is “Found Poetry”?

A major component of my new work is “Found Poetry”. Never heard of it? Read on!

If you’ve ever seen fridge magnets with words or letters on them, intended to be re-arranged into words and sentences, that’s more or less what found poetry is. The difference is, the source material isn’t magnets, but printed text, such as books, magazines, newspapers … pretty much anything will work.

To create found poetry, you take any piece of text and start scanning for interesting words or phrases. Cut them out, re-arrange them into a new order, and voila! – you’ve created found poetry. It can be long or short, profound or silly, meaningful or abstract … it’s completely up to you. Oh, and despite the name, there’s absolutely no requirement for it to rhyme. In fact, most don’t.

I take my found poetry and add illustration to it. In the same way as writers use prompts to generate writing, I use found poetry to generate ideas for paintings. I find it enormously fun and also mysterious, because I literally don’t know why my next painting will be about until I’ve created the poem. It keeps things fresh  and also challenges me, because my idea for an illustration may well involve drawing or painting something I’ve never done before.

If you have a go at creating some found poetry yourself, let me know. I’d love to see what you created!