Atc`s Tutorial Updated!

What is an ATC?

An artist trading card (or ATC for short) is a tiny, original piece of art created with the intention of swapping or trading it with another artist, not selling it. The one rule an artist trading card must adhere to is the size. An ATC must be 2.5 x 3.5 inches or 64 x 89 mm.
On the front of an ATC an artist creates an original work to showcase their art. It can be a one-off, part of a series, or a limited edition. On the back the artist puts their name, contact details, title of the ATC, number if it's a limited edition, and sometimes the date it was created.
Artist trading cards can be made in any medium and using any technique, whether it's painting, drawing, or collage. You are really limited only by your imagination and materials.

Many of you have asked me about the glitter I used in this ATC to the right, it is sold in Mexico city, I am so sorry I cannot mail this due to it´s liquid and liquids are not allowed in the mail but here is a cool easy recipe: 
get some glitter 
add some tiny stars,
maybe you can find tiny flowers
or hearts, moons, etc.
Glue them with some medium,
perhaps a glossy one would be nice! :D

Now the atc´s tutorial!

This time I used this watercolor paper, I love it and it´s a little cheaper than
the others but the quality is wonderful!  You can use any kind of paper you
like, mixed media or your favorite watercolor paper!

I spread different colors in a wet paper, let the colors spread and mix,
splatter for some fun spots!

You can splatter water or alcohol as well to have some textures!

Bring out some watercolor crayons or pencils!

Add some texts, doodles or shapes while the paper is still wet or spray it
a little so it is humid.

While the paper dries, cut some shapes, people, words or any collages
you would like to add, I also used some hand painted papers I made earlier.

You can do this some other day while watching a favorite tv show or music,
then save them in a tin so it´s easier to store and find them, having these 
in advance makes it a lot more easier to work in the atc´s.

Now that the papers are dried, cut them in the atc size,
2.5 x 3.5 inches or 64 x 89 mm.

They are fun to watch like this! I gives me so much inspiration and
ideas, just change the shapes and sizes and you have plenty of creativity!
How about making a tiny book or use them as pockets in an art journal?

You can go a step forward using some rubber stamps, or use your own
hand carved stamps to have a more unique look!

Now work the collages and glue them, I use taky glue or mat medium but
you can use any white glue too.

In this one I used the remains of the papers to create a sweet little cottage! :D

Now more fun comes with adding some drawings with a permanent pen, you can 
doodle, write, add shapes, words and also you can use some markers and inked
sponges to add more colors!

Here are the close ups, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and make some beautiful
atc´s to trade with your friends and use others to met your favorite artist and have
special little pieces of art from them, this can be a great theme for a special party!

Now here is a last great idea, how about recycling your old credit cards 
to make art? I´ve been saving also all kinds of plastic cards, ask your 
friends to help you, I use them to spread paints, guesso and mediums to my 
artwork so they are all serendipity created and I love how they look!  

They can be great "trading cards" even though they are not 
the exact size as an atc but it´s very close, you recycle and help 
the planet and also can make a great gift for collectors who buy your work,
for friends or use them to attach a bunch of little pieces to a canvas, now you
can add your own creativity using your imagination! 

I hope you are inspired and that this tutorial was helpful!

Thank you for coming! :D 


  1. Beautiful!!! Headed to check out the classes. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  2. Oh so gorgeous! I am just starting to try ATCs, so i find your tutorial very helpful.You amaze me with your talent! Rosie.x

    1. Monica,

      Love your tutorial. I got very excited when I saw the face stamps because I have those exact stamps. I will be using them to make cards and book marks.


      Carmen Lucero
      El Paso, TX

  3. This is an amazing piece of art. This is not just an ATC card, it is the
    art of a pure professional.

  4. Monica,

    I loved your ATC tutorial, I am making ATCs and have been coloring faces with prisma color crayons. I am so excited about trying something new with faces and with a background. I am so loving the way you created your backgrounds and I can not wait to try it out. I am heading out the door in search of face stamps. The glitter was more then impressive. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself to help people like me, along with our artistic journey.


  5. I've been wanting to learn how to make an ATC, and thanks to your generosity I can now do that. I have an entire garbage bag filled with toilet paper tubes. If ya need some, I'd be happy to send some to you. It will take me a year to use mine up. I honestly just hate throwing things out where I see a potential to use it in the creations of Art. I have this problem though, that when I actually sit down to create some of my ideas, it gets lost between my brain and my hand. It's sooo frustrating. Anyway, thank you for sharing you tutorial. I'm really serious about the toilet tubes, I'd be happy to send you a box if you need some. Happy creating. I also enjoyed your class early on in the start of Life Book 2013. (((HUGS)))
    Much Love,


Thank you so much for your sweet comments!