Welcome to Art Cards

Welcome! This Bloggazine is intended to introduce you to artists I know, from around the world, who are creating some awesome 2.5 x 3.5" works of Art. I want to share tutorials, news and events. If you would like to be featured, drop me a note and a link to your work, I'll do my best to fit you in. Do you have a tutorial you would like to share? Please let me know if you have any ATC events in your area, I would like to get that information out to people.

June 3, 2010 / Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Little Girls - Alice Imekeppel

German artist Alice Imekeppel lives with her husband and young daughter. Alice speaks primarily German, therefore my interview with Alice will be in German as well as English.
I was drawn to Alices "little Girls" series, when I first came across her ATC's. Soon after our first few trades we became close on-line friends. Please take a look at her work; http://www.alices-wunderland.com
How long have you been making ATC's?
Gute Frage. Ich glaube ich mache das jetzt 2 Jahre schon. Gestern habe ich meine 500ste Karte gemalt und es ist kein Ende in Sicht.
Good question. I think it's been about 2 years. Yesterday I painted my 500th card and there is no end in sight.
You have a very whimsical style, have you always drawn this way?
Anfangs habe ich immer versucht wie andere Künstler zu malen. Aber den Bildern fehlte immer etwas. Irgendwann habe ich dann versucht meinen eigenen Stil zu finden. Zuerst war ich nicht begeistert und musste mich erst damit anfreunden weil ich immer noch die Bilder anderer Künstler im Kopf hatte. Mit der Zeit habe ich aber immer mehr Zuspruch von anderen bekommen so dass ich weiter gemacht habe. Inzwischen liebe ich meine eigene Art zu zeichnen, weil ich finde das sie sich gut von anderen abhebt und man mich in den Bildern wieder erkennt. Außerdem leben meine Figuren jetzt. Das ist das wichtigste.
At first I always tried to paint like other artists. But the images still lacked something. Eventually, I tried to find my own style. At first I was not impressed, because I still had the images of other artists in my head. Over time, however, I have received increasing support from others, which inspired me to do more. Meanwhile, I love my own way of drawing, because I think that it is different from others and I recognize myself in the pictures. Also, my characters are living now. This is the most important thing.
My favorites are the little girl series that you do, how long have you been drawing those?
Ah meine kleinen Mädchen! Ich liebe sie auch! Diese male ich noch gar nicht so lange. Ich schätze ungefähr seit 4 Monaten?
Ah, my little girls! I love them too! I haven't been making them very long. I guess about 4 months?
What tools do you use to draw with?

Zuerst arbeite ich mit Bleistift. Für die Outlines benutze ich dann einen einfachen schwarzen Fineliner. Bei bestimmten Bildern mache ich die Outlines 
auch bunt. Meistens arbeite ich mit Copic Ciaos (die 
sind billiger als die Copic Marker). Momentan probiere ich mit Aquarell zu arbeiten.
First, I work in pencil. For the outlines I then use a simple black Fineliner. In some images I make the outlines colorful. Mostly I work with Copic Ciaos (https://icopic.com/ which are cheaper than the Copic markers). Currently I'm trying to work with watercolors.
Is there something that you would like to try artistically, that you haven't yet?
Ich würde sehr gerne einmal mit Airbrush arbeiten. Leider ist die Anschaffung ziemlich teuer und bleibt deshalb erstmal nur ein Wunsch. Was mich ebenfalls fasziniert ist das arbeiten mit Öl. Als ich das erste Mal "Bob Ross" gesehen habe und seine tollen Landschaften würde ich das auch gern ausprobieren.
I would be happy to work again with airbrush. Unfortunately, the acquisition is rather expensive and thus remain only a wish. What also fascinates me is working with oil. When I first saw "Bob Ross" and its extraordinary landscapes I really wanted to try it.
Tell me about your collection (other artists cards that you have traded for) how many cards do you have? How do you keep them?
Ich glaube ich habe eine ziemlich große Sammlung. Ich habe von einigen Künstlern 3 bis 4 Karten weil ich von denen nicht genug bekommen kann. Teilweise habe ich meine Karten auch nach Themen geordnet. Besonders groß ist da meine Katzen und Vogelsammlung. Wenn ich schätzen müsste wieviele Karten ich momentan habe würde ich ungefähr 500 sagen obwohl das bestimmt zu wenig ist. Ich sammel die Karten in einem normalen Ordner. In diesem Ordner habe ich sowas wie eine Folie die extra für Sammelkarten ist.
I think I have a fairly large collection. I have a few artists 3 to 4 cards because I can not get enough of them. Sometimes I have ordered my cards in chunks. I have a particularly great  cat and bird collection. If I had to  guess how many cards I have right now I would say about 500 although too little is determined. I collect the cards in a normal folder. In this folder I have something like a slide, the extra is for trading cards.

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April 29, 2010 / Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet the Artist - Margaret Orr

The Unfortunate Wives of Henry XIII

Normally an interview would start out something like; "When I first met..." or "As we sat down to talk..." but this is the 21st Century and unfortunately (pun?) we don't have to do either in order to conduct an interview. I 'met' Margaret on DeviantArt, a site that has brought together a community of artists, to display and sell their art, as well as a meeting place for said artists. It was through my interest in ATC's, that I met Margaret. She was very encouraging and quite helpful through my infant stages on DA. She started me on the path of trading globally. If I could have, I would have sat face to face with Ms. Orr and chatted up this interview, but as Fate has it, the closest I came was my MacBook. This interview was conducted in the Fall of 2009, so keep that in mind when reading her answers. At any rate, Margaret is certainly talented, her bio is that of a scholar and she's as witty as they come! I hope someday our paths cross, until then...

How did you first learn of ATC’s?
I’m actually not sure.  I’m an art / craft book junkie so I think I probably started coming across references to ATCs about a year or so ago.  Then I bought Bernie Berlin’s ATC book, and was totally hooked!

How long have you been creating ATC’s?
I think I made my first card earlier this year, so only a couple of months.
 (OK, I'm thoroughly impressed!)

How would you describe your ‘style’?
I really wouldn’t know where to start.  My style is evolving all the time, and when I look back at earlier work, it seems very different to what I’m doing now.
I love trying out new techniques, and experimentation, so my work changes constantly.  What is consistent, I think, is a love for vintage and retro images.  Also unexpected and quirky combinations.

You have distinct techniques, how did you come by them?
The books, the books!  I have a whole bookshelf full.  Claudine Hellmuth’s Collage Discovery books started me off, and her background techniques are still regular standbys.
Often a new technique will emerge or an old technique will morph as I try to solve a specific design problem.
My use of transparencies for instance, arose as I tried to get a specific effect on a mermaid card.  I had been working in digital collages, and was frustrated that I couldn’t get the same transparent layering effect on physical ATCs – and then had an Aha! moment in the middle of the night (which is generally a good time for Aha’s, I have found).
My limitations as an artist (I can’t draw as well as I would like to, I can’t use watercolors to save my life, my soldering is a total mess) ironically mean that I have to be more creative to find a workaround to get an effect I want.

Do you prefer iconic themes over a ‘random’ subject?
I do like to have a “meaty” topic to work on.  I dread making work that is pretty but meaningless (although that can be fun too). So I prefer to have a “back-story” or a message or concept.  Not always at the beginning of a piece, though.  Sometimes they emerge as I go along.

What lead you to choose this theme?
This theme emerged entirely by accident. I was idly making gesso portrait cards (my daughter had just discarded a copy of Italian Vogue – a gold mine of interesting faces!), with no idea at all of where they were going.  I just chose some likely pictures and started working on them. The process of gesso portraits is fascinating.  As you work with a picture, a hidden personality emerges, and I always start wondering:  Who is this person?  What is her story? What does she want to become? (My training as a life coach probably plays a role, here!)  And it became perfectly obvious to me (I know this sounds very “woo-woo” and California) that she was Catherine of Aragon.  I love that period in history, and have always been fascinated by Anne Boleyn in particular, so it was logical, then, to carry on and make all the wives.

How much does your subject influence the technique you use  to create your ATC’s?
Often I deliberately set out to practise or experiment with a new technique, and that then segues into subject matter (as with the wives).
Sometimes I have a subject – theme-based swaps, for instance – and then I decide what technique is going to work best for the topic of the work.
It’s all a bit random, really!

Do you identify with any of these unfortunate wives?
I see aspects of myself in all of them.  I identify very strongly with the powerlessness of women in historical circumstances – the limited choices open to them.
I also currently work in an institution where the power games are truly baroque, and so can identify with the precariousness of position that an individual feels when subject to the whims and plots of those with more power.

Do you think each of these wives represent a characteristic that all women carry?
Hmm.  Have to think about this one!

In your trading experience, would you say there are different ‘levels’ of trading?
 Levels sounds a little elitist!  I know there are systems that rank cards in terms of “quality” / “expertise” / “effort”  - these are all such tricky concepts, and potentially incredibly subjective.
I know that – amongst my own ATCs – there are cards that I love, cards I think are quite “good”, and cards I have no huge feeling about one way or another.  Cards that I really love, or that I want to keep as a prototype of a particular technique, I don’t offer for trade. All my others are pretty much out there for any kind of exchange.  I’m usually so delighted and flattered that someone likes a card, that I’m not likely to quibble about the level of trade.

Trading can be complicated.  One of the earlier articles I read about ATC trading suggested that artists would have to learn fairly assertive negotiating techniques in order to ensure that they got the cards they wanted in return for their own cards which they considered to be “high-value” cards (for whatever reason). The concept made me really uncomfortable.
Art is such a source of joy and escape for me,  that I really didn’t want to get hard-nosed and tough about it and play yet more games!
An important value of mine is community and sharing, and I think it is important that artists are mutually generous.  I feel ill-at-ease in elitist communities that rank cards or artists, and have a complex kind of Stock Exchange where some cards or some forms of art are worth more than others.   On the other hand, of course, there are some genres of ATCs that really don’t appeal to me, and that I don’t particularly want to collect.  So it can get tricky, and I think we do have the right to set our own personal boundaries as to how we like to conduct trades.

For me, anyway, the whole ATC thing is mostly about the pleasure I get from making them, and much less about trying to accumulate a worthy collection of other people’s cards.

Where does the Tudor Series fall in these levels?
The Tudors is an interesting example – I was so enamoured of them when I finished them,  that I decided not to trade them.  Now, however, I’ve moved on, and would be happy to send them off to a good home.  I’m a strong proponent of regular de-cluttering, and not hoarding stuff.   I do think they need to stay together, however!
 (I have since been honored with the set!..They are displayed on my desk, I don't have the heart to put them away...but they will be with me at my next ATC Group Exchange! Thank you, Margaret!)

Do you have the Tudors displayed?
Nope.  I have an old cigar box that’s full of ATCs I’ve made, and they’re somewhere in there!

Is this the most involved series you’ve done?
Probably yes, in terms of ATCs.  I have another ongoing project (in regular !2” x 12” collages) where I’m trying to work through all the letters of the alphabet, and make a historical / mythological woman-themed collage around the letter (A is for Ariadne, G is for Godiva, S for Salome and so on) – that’s been going awhile and will probably take another year or two!

Do you have plans for another series of this size?
Who knows what the muse has in store for me?

Professor Margaret Orr is Director of the Centre for Learning, Teaching, and Development at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits).  In that capacity, she is responsible for staff development across all sectors of the University.  Her role includes organizational development, equity development, and personal and professional career-pathing for both academic and support staff.  She has worked on a number of projects and interventions aimed at transformation of institutional culture, ranging from the methodical and strategic, to the subversive and whacky.  Prior to her appointment to the University of the Witwatersrand in 2001, she was an academic at the University of South Africa for twenty years, as Professor in the Department of English.  Her proudest achievements are the Margaret Orr Women’s Empowerment Award (a scholarship scheme for young women); the WonderWoman Project at Wits and its by-product : Buttons & Breakfasts,  a collection of women’s writing; and her three children, who are the most interesting people she knows.

Unofficially – I am a single mom, a part-time life-and writing-coach in addition to my full-time job at the University, and a passionate dabbler in all kinds of creative outlets.  I make collage and ATCs for fun, produce mixed media altered art jewelry to sell at a local Craft and Organic Market, and am supposed to be finishing writing a novel! Inspiration comes from reading, poetry, myths and legends, and the work of other artists on DeviantArt.  My “studio” is the dining-room table, and I dream of a room of my own.

I want to thank Margaret for her time and patience, and all that she did to help bring this article together. I look forward to future contributions.

It was a pleasure to introduce you all to Ms. Orr, please check out her dA site and let her know what youthink of her work!

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ATC's. ACEO's or Any Art 2.5 x 3.5

This 'Bloggazine' is a result of my inability to finish and actual magazine. I tried the MagCloud thing...it's a great site and all, but I didn't have enough to fill up a good magazine, so I though, why not do this.

My intention is to introduce you to artists I know, from around the world, who are creating some awesome 2.5 x 3.5" works of Art. I also want to share tutorials, news and events, etc. I have some articles I put together for the MagCloud gig, so I will start with them....

Hope you like this. If you want me to feature your work, drop me a note and a link to your work, I'll do my best to fit you in. Do you have a tutorial you would like to share? Anything to do with ATC/ACEO's? Again, drop me a line....

Please let me know if you have any ATC events in your area, I would like to get that information out to people.


Claudia Golden

aka: claudiamm37

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Caterpillar Dreams

Caterpillar Dreams