Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getting to Know a.c.e.o

Pirate Ship by jenbaardsen

The term ACEO can be a mysterious one to those just entering, or investigating, the world of Etsy. My sister was the one to introduce me to the concept, long before joining and opening my own shop, as an interesting exercise. I like a teeny tiny canvas, and these little guys are baseball card size, 2.5" x 3.5".

I have started keeping ACEOs in the shop regularly (or, as regularly as possible) since bringing them back in a big way for Valentine's Day, so I thought I would go through a refresher course on the blog. The images here are from other artists on Etsy and Flickr, through searches under atc ("Art Trading Card", aceo, and stitched aceo. I've created links under the respective pieces and encourage you to visit these wonderful shops!

A lot of people (just doing a search... a *lot* of people) on Etsy sell ACEO as digital prints. Because of this, and probably because "original" is therefore a loose term, prices vary wildly between $2.50 and over $20.00 for both reproductions and original art. ACEO stands for "Art Cards, Editions, and Originals" so a digital print can fall into the "Editions" category. There are some really beautiful digital works out there, but if you're overwhelmed by a search narrow the parameters by knowing which you are looking for, or try out other keywords such as "sewn" "photoshop" "collage" "watercolor" or "handmade". I also tag my original drawings "OOAK" meaning "One of a Kind" so there are numerous ways to narrow down a search.

Seashore 27 by hmsdesign

I think ACEOs are one of the mediums which truly set Etsy apart as a handmade, homemade marketplace and bridge the gap between "craft" and "art". Small, affordable, and often collected by those interested in emerging or established artists alike, these "trading cards" are almost whimsical in nature, like a secret society of original art lovers. I try and keep my own editions simple, precious, scratchy and true to the nature of pen & ink as I see it. I love the thought of these as character vignettes, and can see those same intentions in other artists using this canvas size to investigate ideas.

Take a look around at some of the remarkable variety in the world of ACEO!

1 comment:

mushroommeadows said...

ACEOs are such a fun concept!