So, what is ACEO anyway?

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They come in every surface you can think of, like paper, wood, canvas, fabric, glass, polymer or metal. They can be found painted, inked, penciled airbrushed or collaged. Their prices vary from cents to hundreds of dollars. But most importantly, BEWARE! They seem to gather in bunches! Never think that ONE is enough… Sometimes not even one full album is enough!

ACEO is an acronym that stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals.

You probably have also heard the ONLY rule is the size, which is 2.5 x 3.5 inches (6.4 x 8.9 cms) just like sports cards but far more addictive.
One rule only... but are there any guidelines? Any shortcuts, hints? What are the options?

Now for the info part, I have a little list of items for you to consider when buying, collecting or creating.

Keep in mind the copyright and respect on other’s images etc.

When you finish your master piece, don't forget to include your information as author. Your name, ID, email or website is a good idea to include in the back. As a collector there's nothing more frustrating than having a little treasure with no name or way to identify it in the future!

Round corners vs. squared corners:
Traditionally the playing cards have rounded corners and many artists work their collage on them. Most people might prefer to cut their own paper in squared corners. Experiment with a round corner cutter, they are fun to use or use old playing cards already rounded in the corners.

Watercolor, oils, inks, acrylics:
Any medium, including pastels, pencils and markers are great tools to create your art cards. Each of them take their own time and technique to work them, and most of them can still be stored in sleeves or albums, when dried. Definitely all can be framed if desired. Depending on the medium you have your support. Thick Bristol, watercolor paper, canvas, wood, yupo, fimo, etc. The important point here, is that the material is acid free and of good quality to last a long time.

Adding pizzazz:
Glitter, ribbon, charms, fabric, wire, etc can be added for fun. Some collectors prefer flat cards rather than chubby ones. Some people only collect chubby 3D cards. Anything goes! If your creation is thick or not quite flat, don't forget to mention it clearly so people will keep that in mind when trying to place it in sleeves or a frame.

There are many ways to print, from home ink jets to professional giclee. The key here is to use materials that are acid free, and to consider the number of prints. Some artists prefer photographic paper for their prints.

If sealing your work, make sure you use a non yellowing coat, and make a test before applying. Same thing for the brush-on sealers: You don't want to ruin your wonderful card at the last step!
There’s a point to consider here, some collectors do not like sealed cards, especially if it is too shiny, so it is a good idea to either offer as option, or specify that the work is already sealed.

Themes and subjects:
For the most part, just about any theme can be found reflected on an Art Card. From bugs to horses... to seascapes and fairies. A wonderful parade of cats, unicorns and mermaids can be found at any time, as well as fruit, people's portraits, reproductions and wacky unespected characters. There are theme-weeks where you can type a certain word to collect your favorite subject, or you can surf for a surprise finding.

Now, you think you can have only ONE?  Think again!

If you think this article helped you a bit, please click the button. I get paid a thousand bucks. Well, not really, but I'd be very happy if you do.


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