Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pocket Art

Over the past 18 months I have devoted a lot of my painting time to the creation of Pocket Art. This term refers to work 2.5 x 3.5”. Painting in this very small format can be challenging but it is always rewarding. I have posted three of my ACEOs here - the first one is done in oils, the other two are acrylics.

ATCs Artist Trading Cards are small playing card sized works of art that were meant to be traded with other artists. During the Impressionist Age artists traded art cards among themselves to study each other's style and techniques. They also traded or sold the art cards for supplies, food and lodging. Among certain art and crafts movements, ATCs are about exchanging art without exchanging money, and without interference of the business side of the art world. Artists trade their cards in face-to-face trading sessions as well as via mail.

ACEOs While artists were happily trading cards, group of artists realized there was a market for these miniature art works and quickly made their cards available for sale at remarkably low prices. Art Cards Editions and Original, or ACEOs for short, debuted and quickly became a worldwide success. Cards are sold either as originals or editions. If it is a print it should say so, and it should be numbered and signed, usually on the back. The largest venue for buying and selling ACEOs is eBay.

There are just three basic guidelines to define the ACEO art form:
1.The size of an ACEO should be 2.5” x 3.5”. This uniform standard size, is widely recognized by collectors. Any sizes larger or smaller would not qualify as ACEOs.
2.All work must adhere to basic Copyright Law. This was very important to the founding artists, who understand the importance of respecting and acknowledging original work.
3.There are no other rules.

Artists have complete freedom in making creative decisions, such as the subject of the ACEO, or the materials used in its creation.
Artists from all over the world are creating, and now selling these little gems in different mediums and of different subjects. Supply stores are beginning to stock specialized materials that help artists create and showcase them. Perhaps most significantly, art critics are beginning to take notice of these small yet exquisite works of art.

Pocket Art is highly collectible and addictive. As an artist I find I can experiment with different art forms, use ACEOs as a study for larger works and afford to use better quality materials since the support area is so small. I can get instant feedback from my eBay auctions, increase patronage and meet great folks from around the world. I invite other artists to give it a try!

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