Thursday, August 2, 2012

Look @ Me - ATCs

 At shows  people are always asking me if I teach and I reply "No, I don't."  But  I give them a prepared  list of people in the area who do, along with on-line classes and websites of art retreats.

I taught in the LA public schools in the mid '70's in East LA and Watts - instrumental music.  I found out that just because you love something (in this case playing my trombone in bands and orchestras) doesn't mean you'll be particularly good at teaching that skill to others.

So when it came time to set up the teen programs for summer reading this year and I was approached to do something "crafty" for one I wasn't overly thrilled.  But needs must when the devil drives, so I decided that Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) might be the way to go.

I was organizing the studio when this first came up so I started a pile of supplies and ephemera to use for the class.  I made handouts explaining about ATCs and copies of examples from  back issues of Somerset Studio and off the net.

 The day came and we had everything spread out on a table, it looked great and the excitement started to build.

 After giving the kids a very brief history of ATCs and telling them the basics of 1.) background, 2.) focal image and                    3.) embellishment - we were off.  They created up a storm and had a blast.


 I made the cards shown in this post during the class to demo different techniques; collage, adding fibers and embellishments, etc.  They had a few questions, but mostly worked on their own and each had 4 or 5 finished cards to take home.  I gave them large baggies to fill with supplies to make more at home.

I don't plan to teach on a regular basis - but this did show me I can survive the occasional summer reading craft program and live to tell about it!


  1. Great idea--it shows that necessity is the mother of invention :) I found your blog on The Altered Page and just wanted to say hi!

  2. Deborah - Thanks for dropping by. I did survive - but I'm glad to not have to worry about any more programs til next summer!

  3. Chris - I haven't done very many ATCs over the years and I was pleased how these turned out - but mostly pleased that the class was over!