I love this article! I first interviewed Jax Cassidy for THINKING WRITE and that’s when she told me about her Artist Trading Cards and how creating them helps her tap into her subconscious mind when she gets stuck in her writing. I knew then that I had to have Jax come to my blog one day and discuss this wonderful topic!
Aren’t her cards beautiful?
Jax Cassidy followed her dreams to Paris, then Hollywood to pursue a film career but managed to fall in love with penning sexy romances and happy endings—finding Mr. Right was just an added bonus. She writes contemporary, paranormal, and multi-ethnic romances and is Co-Founder of Romance Divas, and award winning writer’s website and discussion forum. Jax is also known as one-half of the retired writing team of Cassidy Kent. www.jaxcassidy.com and www.romancedivas.com
Creating ARTIST TRADING CARDS Helps Your Writing
by Jax Cassidy
Before writing full-time, I was an artist who took pleasure in experimenting with different mediums from acrylics, oils, to recycled products and spray paints. I adored anything crafty, required getting my hands and clothes dirty, and just stepping outside my comfort zone to see if I can make art out of something as ordinary as glass or newspapers. When I see something fresh and clever in the art world, I want to learn it and I want to try to replicate it so I can understand how the artist created it. It’s like dissecting a clock or a gadget, truthfully, it’s the geek in me that loves the challenge. That’s why I’m proud that during my lifetime I have attempted pottery, sculpting, sewing and even knitting–but I am always beckoned by my beloved paintbrushes and sturdy canvases to return to them.
These days, I drift around and haven’t been able to plant my roots in one city so I don’t have the space to do my large-scale art pieces. Writing only requires my trusted laptop and the Internet to get everything done. No mess, no cleanup, no office. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing but the more time passes the more I discover that I can’t turn away from the art that helped foster my blossoming creativity, that journeyed with me through the toughest hours. I may not have the space I’d like but I have found a way to create art on a smaller scale.
I’ve known about ATC (Artists Trading Cards) for years and many of my friends tried to explain this addiction to me but I refused to listen. I guess I knew I’d love it far too much and I was correct! About four years ago, my dear friend Eden Bradley invited me over for a writing weekend which turned out to be the most productive one ever! We were stuck one evening when she introduced me to the art of ATC. She’s a huge art lover and extremely talented with crafts so once I laid eyes on her designs I knew I had to try. She produced four or five plastic containers, which included everything from texture papers, pencils, markers, ribbons, stickers, magazine cutouts, stamps, buttons–you name it, she had it. We spent several hours thinking up themes, integrating our story plots to the ATC, and coming up with new and interesting techniques that would all combine into one creative ATC spread.
What exactly is an ATC? Well, they are the size of baseball cards, 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches, and small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves, or sheets. This mail art movement started in Switzerland and has become a huge art phenomenon. Many people trade and sell them online but I love them because they make great gifts. Personally for me, creating ATC is a great stress reliever and requires a tiny space like your kitchen or coffee table. I know within the first 30 minutes of indulging in the task, I discovered ways to work out my stalled plots. Sometimes when I mentally create a theme for my ATC pieces, I thread my storytelling into them by making things visual. For instance, I can work in the mood of my world by including my hero, heroine, location, pivotal landmarks or objects into the different cards. They sort of flow onto the next card and the story unravels.
Of course, ATC may not work for everyone who’s stuck, but it will definitely prove anyone can be creative with just a bit of initiative. There’s no right or wrong way to design them and I can guarantee hours and hours of inspiration if you search for samples of these cards online before you get started. Happy creating!
What do you do that stimulates your subconscious mind creativity? Will you try making Artist Trading Cards? Share your ideas! One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Art of Sensuality and 2 ebooks for US residents and for those internationally, Jax will giveaway 3 ebooks of her latest release or backlist. WOW!