Sunday, November 10, 2013

Up cycle. Join a swap.

In a recent post I showed 30-some ATCs I made for a swap. I mentioned that sometimes I up cycle pieces of art.

Up cycle!
When I do a piece of art that I'm not entirely happy with, I often can't bear to just chuck the whole thing. There's got to be some good in anything, right? So I save the good parts and make ATCs or bookmarks. Some of the ATCs for this swap were originally part of a zentangle mandala that I wasn't happy with, although I liked parts. Below you can see some of these ATCs re-assembled to where they were in the mandala I cut up. The original art was the main "black" circle. I added more to the outside, blank paper to complete the ATCs.

Interested in joining an ATC swap?

There are ATC swaps going on all over. It's a lovely way to collect mini original artwork.

This particular swap is sponsored by Cathy Wilson on her Facebook page Zentangle Artist Trading Card Swap.

The Yahoo group 'Zentangle Inspired Art' does ATC (and other) swaps. You'll also find a monthly challenge and other fun activities.

Also on Facebook is the Altered Artist Trading Card Swap,  managed by Chari-Lynn Reithmeyer. (Just to be clear, it's the ATCs that are altered, not the artists!). It's for all sorts of art media. If you're not sure what 'altered art' is, check it out.

Another place you can join in is at CZT Deb Prewitt's blog, Blue Twig Studio. She organizes a swap once a month, always with an interesting theme. This is not specifically for zentangle art. One lucky person wins all the submissions that month!

Or, just plug "ATC swap" into your search engine and see what comes up.


  1. great idea to recycle your art like this. And thanks for all the swap tips - i've only recently started expanding from mail art to include I have a place to start looking...

  2. That's SO cool! Thanks for those links, will definitely check them out.

  3. Lovely idea, but I can't imagine any of your art being unworthy.

  4. ATC swaps are so fun and a little bit addictive. I have done a couple of Cat Wilson's ATC swaps and of course my own at Blue Twig Studio. I'll have to check out Chari-Lynns now.

  5. i love ATCs because you get tiny art from amazing artists, my problem is letting go of my own

  6. This is a smart idea. I have done such with sewing projects that don't turn out as expected, just re-cut and away I go. I'll definitely be keeping this in mind. ps, is there a specific size for the ATC cards? I tried to purchase some at my local art store, but they don't stock them any more. I'm thinking I might like to have some on hand to give to friends etc.

    1. Heather, ATCs are 2,5 x 3.5 inches, just like baseball or other trading cards. They are only to be given away or traded, not sold. Many propel like to add things like collage, buttons, old photos, etc.. I've also seen them made of felt, quilted, and so on. Have fun!

    2. Thanks again autocorrect. That should be 'people' not 'propel' :P