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The moment I first saw Artist Trading Cards (look them up – you won’t regret it), a few years back now, I wanted to make my own. They seemed so exciting, full of quirky ideas, found images and text, intriguing little glimpses into an artist’s mind. But I never got around to making my own. I didn’t think I could come up with anything as original as the examples I saw, and then there was the issue of size. Typical ATC’s are about the size of a playing card and I didn’t know if I could draw to such a small scale. It sounds stupid, a ridiculous reason not to do something. It would have been easy enough to give it a go, but for some reason I didn’t. So I admired from afar and although the desire lingered in the back of my mind I kind of forgot about the cards.
But then a pre-spring clean occurred in the house and a selection of old index cards and record cards turned up. I was also presented with a small pile of tattered seventies paperbacks that were otherwise destined for the recycling, which could be culled for words. Immediately I thought of Artist Trading Cards. Okay, the index cards are still too big, but I thought they would make a good starting point. I could always work down to playing-card size in time if the experiment worked. And I think it did – I loved it! It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to design something small. And actually it was so much fun working on a smaller scale. Why didn’t I do it before? I feel like I can play around and try things out and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t feel like such a big deal – because it’s small! It’s fun! More ‘official’ ATC’s are the size of a playing card, and I think their sense of playfulness is one of the things I love about them. I’ve made four of my own, ahem, ‘Artist Index Cards’ so far and plan to make more. Hopefully I will be able to add ‘Artist Trading Cards (proper size)’ to that collection soon, so watch this space!
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Photos of the new one. I do love a starscape! For this I started with the fact that the stars can be used to guide us through the world physically (for those who know how to read constellations anyway) and from there I thought it would be nice to experiment with an image of my Goozeberry people using the stars (with letter-stamps of course) to navigate the invisible paths in life – those moments of confusion, fear, desperation, decision-making etc. that come around every now and then, when things feel beyond your control and the only thing you can do is throw it out to something other.
So the text on the close up that reads ‘Please lend me your light, I’ve lost my way’ can be interpreted to mean both mental and physical disorientation.
The rat hasn’t yet formulated what his dilemma is, so you can conjure that for yourself…
I didn’t draw this intending it to be a symbol for anything, but once it was done I realised that this piece basically sums up how I feel when I am doodling away doing something arty. Pencils, paints, letter stamps, pens, tea, paintbrushes, words culled from newspapers/magazines/books: these are my toys, and the strange people and creatures that come out on the paper are the imaginary friends that live in my head. There is always fun to be had when they are all brought together, ready to come along for the ride.
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