Recently, in researching artists at Ebay, I kept seeing the acronym ACEO. This is something I have often seen, but haven’t explored. ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals, and originated in 2004, when Lisa Luree began selling art cards on Ebay. Today, they are so popular that some art stores carry blank art cards for artists. They measure 2.5 X 3.5 inches, the same size as a standard trading or collectors card.
The only difference between an artist trading card and an ACEO is that the ACEO’s are for sale – ATC’s are not. The art card can be a print edition or original (one of a kind – OOAK) and can be done in any 2-D medium, including watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache, pencil crayons, markers, mixed media, digital art, photography, etc. ACEO’s can also be a great way for those who cannot afford expensive pieces to easily collect work of emerging and established artists at affordable prices.
How to Create an ACEO Art Card.
The only real rule to creating an ACEO is the dimensions - 2.5 X 3.5 inches. Other than that, the sky is the limit to the possibilities. Some art stores have the pre-cut art cards, but to save money, you can choose to cut your own. Art cards generally should not be flimsy, such as on thin paper. Create them on bristol paper, bristol board, or anything that is sturdy.
How to Package and Ship Artist Trading Cards
ACEO’s should be stored in plastic protector sleeves, the same ones that are used for trading cards. If there is a trading card store near you, consider looking there. Plastic sleeves can also be purchased on Ebay.
Before mailing, place it between two sturdy pieces of cardboard, or inside a folding card. A simple thank-you greeting card may serve this purpose.
What should you include on your art card?
Typically, artists place their initials on the front. Because it is so small it can be difficult to include a full signature without distracting from the piece.
On the back of the ACEO you should place:
- If you have a title, include it first
- Your printed name
- The date
- Mediums used in the ACEO or trading card
- Your location – City and country.
- Contact information – Include as much as you are comfortable with here, including a phone number and email.
- Artist website
- Ebay, Etsy, etc. link where you sell more art cards and larger artworks.
- Your hand written signature
Tips for ACEO collectors
Artist trading cards can be displayed in a matted frame. If you created a series of AT’s, or of the same theme, you can display them inside a single frame with separate matted sections. Some collectors have their own albums where they store all their ACEO’s and trading cards.
How Much Should you Sell ACEO’s for?
If you browse original ACEO’s at Ebay, you will see many artists having very low starting bids – typically 99 cents. This is way too low. Artists should always take in to consideration the time spent, cost of materials, and other costs such as shipping and Ebay fees. Don’t sell yourself short!
In my opinion, undervaluing artwork is just as harmful as overvaluing. If collectors purchased your work for 99 cents, and they purchased another’s for $10, whose do you think they would rather put on display or keep in a special section in their albums? The more expensive one of course.
Is Creating and Selling Art Cards Worth Your Time?
Some artists create an ACEO in minutes, while others spend hours. You have to decide for yourself if it is a worthy venture. Making them takes time… plus factor in time posting it to Ebay, promoting, and packaging it for shipping. If you are only doing it to make money, then it may not be worth your time.
Don’t expect to create one and expect to sell it right away, though it can happen. If you do decide to make ACEO’s, put in the effort create a series or few at one time and post them all at Ebay, on your art website, and at online ACEO and art trading card groups.
Promoting Your Art Cards
There is a great group on Ebay for ACEO’s and several on Facebook. Join several of these and post your ACEO’s there, and how people can purchase them. Also, talk about them on your art blog, website, and where-ever else you go online. If you are auctioning them at Ebay, promote your listing as well.
Creating ACEO’s can be combined with the painting a day phenomenon for an interesting twist. Make one every day for a specified time period, and promote it according to the tips in this post: Daily Painters
Have you created ACEO’s or artist trading cards in the past?
How was your experience?
If you have any particular tips to share regarding ACEO’s, please comment below.