First of all, an art card also called ATC (Art Trading Card) or ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals) meets a guideline of being produced on a 2.5" x 3.5" format. The measurement standard was taken from the same standard that trading cards, like baseball cards, use. The size allows the collector to keep cards in a card protector and binders that are commercially produced for all trading card enthusiasts. The size has also lent itself to another nickname commonly found for art cards. Art in your pocket or pocket art is another name used to define these productions. Art cards are produced by artists who are willing to share their talents by either trading or selling these little creations. Basically, the art cards can be looked at as a business card of sorts made by the artists.
The debate lies in how these cards are collected. ATC enthusiasts only trade their cards. They do so by joining online forums and engaging in ATC swaps or they go to ATC meets where they can trade cards with artists from all over the globe. The ATC movement was recreated in the late 90's. ACEO enthusiasts create cards to be sold or they can be collectors of the art form. This group was created in the early 2000's out of desperation. It was created because there was a desire to sell and purchase cards but the ATC movement frowns upon the selling of art cards. ACEO can be bought or sold on ebay or Etsy.com and there are numerous groups to be joined in order for an artist to showcase their ACEO work.
Even though we live in a modern age, there is a war of sorts between the two movements. Some ATC artists are also ACEO artists but not all are. Many frown on it severely. It is common to receive flack from members of the ATC movementt for wanting to sell or buy. Slowly, there is an acceptance of ACEO being seen in art card communities and it is only right. The size of the art cards allows buyers to purchase mini works of fine art at very reasonable prices. The current trend for collecting these cards also benefits the artists by allowing for a way to market themselves inexpensively.Whether one buys, sells or trade should not be an issue. This is a fun hobby and many people are joining the movement. It should be expected that both ATC and ACEO find a way to get along politically since there is a consumer demand for the product. For more information on this subject or to view a gallery of the artists pictured, visit http://www.artcardist.com