ATC Basics: How 'Bout Dat Backside, Tho?

THANK YOU everyone who offered advice and suggestions! You all were so helpful!

HELP! I’m making my second ever ATC for a swap (my first ever was made at least 9 years ago) and I am wondering about the back. I did look at the old c-ster site for about the rules of ATCs and have looked at examples online. Can I just put the title, date, etc. or should I put “Title: blahblahblah” “Date: bunchanumbers” and so forth.

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I look forward to seeing what you make! No need to preface the data. Whatever info you want to add to the back is fine - there are no hard-and-fast rules. But it is helpful to put your screen name and real name, if nothing else. It’s also nice to include the details that would normally be on a gallery placard (other than the dimensions), like the date it was completed, what media you used if it isn’t obvious, whether its unique or what number it is in a series, and where in the world it was made. You can also sign it on the back if you like. If you plan to make a bunch of cards, it saves time to create a printable template to print out several back-labels at once.
This might be beyond what you were asking, but if so maybe it will help someone else down the road. :smile:

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Hey sweetness, I am so excited to hear that you are making an ATC! I hope you find it enjoyable and will consider joining one of the ongoing swaps in future, I would love to exchange cards with you sometime! I never considered myself a paper crafter but that swap liberated me. My desk is currently a complete mess of paper stuffs, paint, snips and snaps and utterly delirious, delicious mess, lol.
To answer your question, traditionally the back of an ATC contains the following information:
your name (real &/or user)
any contact information you wish to provide (real or virtual address)
you can write the theme if there is one and also the number if it is a print or series
the date is good too.

Ooh, @Knickertwist has a free printy on her awesome blog.

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Thanks ladies! Most of what I saw had a Title… is that common?

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Different sites have different preferences. I like to put title, date, and username as my minimum. Sometimes I list the media I used for the card. Some sites like more info like real name, contact info etc. I don’t like adding contact info as that will/could change in time. (Edited to say… although if I had a blog I was updating, I might add that link. But I still think I probably wouldn’t as its easier to keep my profile links up to date for the most current info.)

I always put title, but sometimes it is pretty generic like “bird” “fly agaric mushroom”. :slight_smile:

Also edited to add:
This is basically what I add to my backs. Example, a cardinal card.

“Cardinal”
Jan. 2020
Bluebird

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Well, usually in a swap we choose from a claimee’s themes and will write that theme as a sort of title, I guess. Not necessary at all. Really, no rules except the size and even then…

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Thanks so much for all the info and encouragement! Maybe I’ll get into making ATCs!

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YES, PLEASE! That would be so terrific.

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This one is for the last Little Good Thing Swap! I look forward to getting feedback after my partner receives, but it’s a couple of days before I send and it’s going to Germany, so that could be awhile. :wink: I will say it’s mixed media, though. :crazy_face:

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@TheMistressT I was thinking of carving a stamp if I kept up with them. I always forget to sign my name to things, anyway, so it would help.

@Magpie this is helpful - thank you!

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@JoyfulClover That’s a great idea! Still handmade, but quick and consistent.

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Here is the back of a card I made in August as an example. I keep it pretty basic. Just a title, my name (sometimes I include my last name) and username, and the month+year I made it.

When I receive cards the thing I want the most on the back is a name and username of who made it, everything else is just gravy to me.

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Thanks for the example pic!

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I think part of my challenge of really “getting it” with this is that using the back as merely a place to put info seems like a lost opportunity for more decoration! I tried to combine some decoration with my information and will post a pic once it’s received!

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I am lazy (& often working with only small spaces that aren’t sewn, when I do embroidered cards) & just put “thanate [month]/[year]” on the backs of mine. And a title if the card has one, but I don’t always name them. One of the reasons I never got around to any ATCs for all swaps is that they want real name & username, and it just felt weird.

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Plenty of other people do this, too. :smiley:

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@thanate I think you’ve touched on one reason I have not gotten into making these even though I love seeing and am inspired by all the cool things people make. I don’t think of myself as an artist or my creations as art for the most part. Not in a self-deprecating way at all, just that what I make is mostly either practical or decoration. So faced with an empty space that I can’t see a practical use for… l just get no ideas!

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But then I can’t figure out which side to display! And if there is a creature of some kind, well them that’s just unfair. I can’t have favorites!

Oh, but you are!

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The backs of my cards look practically identical to @Reinikka’s card. Handwritten with title, date, username. :slight_smile:

@thanate, yes, same. Some sites have a crazy amount of details they want like address etc. That’s just too much I think. For those other sites that require real names, I’m thinking of either adding first name + last initial or just last name for the “real name” part for my cards if I start swapping on the other sites. I won’t add my mailing address on them though etc, that’s overkill and feels invasive.

@TheMistressT, Your creations are art and if you make art you are an artist! And the people here in the ATC swaps are very kind and I’m sure will really enjoy your creations! :slight_smile:

I know the imposter syndrome feeling is real, I feel it all the time, but all I can say is that making art from your heart feels good and try to focus on that feeling instead of the imposter feeling. :slight_smile:

There is a great piece from Ira Glass on making stories but it applies to anything creative like art, that talks about this feeling. This feeling of a gap of where you don’t feel like what you made lives up to what is in your head. But don’t stop being creative because eventually with enough practice you’ll close that gap. :slight_smile:

direct link:
https://vimeo.com/24715531

The practical use of the back side is just information and that is perfectly ok! :slight_smile: Its just so your recipient can remember who made the card in the future. :slight_smile:

What @JoyfulClover said! :slight_smile:

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You all are so sweet! I want to make it clear that I do not feel my things are less than art or that I am less than an artist, just different. I have made a few things that I consider close to art and those are mostly because I went at them with an intention to say something or make a point or express an opinion. In general, I make things to solve a “problem.” Like we need something to wipe our hands and mouth on at dinner, so I will make napkins. Or my friend has a birthday coming, so I will make a card and a gift. These go with what is merely my opinion about art and only has to apply to me!

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