It All Started When I Got Bored
At some point in the distant past, I picked up a small packet of blank Artist Trading Cards, thinking I’d just draw some micro trees or something. Artist Trading Cards are basically exactly what you think they are – small, slightly bigger than business card size, bits of original art that you as an artist trade with other people.
With a Little Help From a Friend
At some point in the not-entirely-distant past, a friend of mine from Colorado who is also a talented tattoo artist (FB as “Ink by Anna”) decided to start making some paintings and selling them via Art-o-Mat. I have been fascinated by this concept ever since, but it just never seemed to make sense – I mostly do electronic work, not physical, and mechanically reproduced stuff is frowned on.
Add One Immersive Experience and a Vending Machine
In mid-March, I happened to be in Santa Fe and visited Meow Wolf. I recommend it highly (unless you have mobility issues; it is not entirely accessible)! It’s the product of an entire collective of artists and I am incredibly sad that I am not close enough to try to work with them. And in their lobby, they have an Art-o-Mat.
I bought an art!
Part of me wants to tell you all that it was an incredibly beautiful piece that I will treasure forever. But it wasn’t, and that was possibly the best thing ever. It’s the kind of art someone can make that will sell for $5 (of which the artist gets only a part) and encourage the buyer to go check out their other art!
That means it’s art I could do!
Circling Back to the Top of this Post
Of course, I needed to do some test pieces even before submitting a prototype for approval, and goodness, these Artist Trading Cards are just about the right size (about 1/2″ too big). I plunked down the art block I bought, traced around it, and started sketching.
The first ten all took way too long.
Oh, did I forget to mention that, if approved, the minimum number to send them is fifty? That’s going to take a while to make, so I want to make a lot in advance. And if I don’t get approved, I guess I’ll sell them directly or use them as business cards or something.
Even if I manage to make them simpler (and thus not take as long), I’m still not sure that the math works out to make them financially worth doing in and of themselves, so I also need to start bumping up production of other things to be bought by people who get my stuff from an Art-o-Mat (if, of course, I’m approved).
And yet, I’m excited about doing this.
So, apparently this is a thing I’m doing.