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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Making and Selling ACEOs for Trade and Profit.

Not long before my Dad died in 2007, I was introduced to ACEOs on  For those who don't know what ACEOs are, this is an abbreviation for Artist Collectibles, Editions and Originals.  According to Art Cards the first cards originated somewhere in the 16th century where having miniature portraits, (and sometimes nudes for the men) painted on cards where the rage for wealthy patrons. Later the miniature paintings would be used for advertisement, and occasionally as payment for goods. Today's art cards measure in at 2 1/2 x 3 1/2", the same size as baseball cards, but in earlier centuries, esp in Europe, the cards were larger, sometimes a bit larger than that from a playing card deck.

After my Dad passed, I found that it seemed that I could only hold my creative attention for short bursts, and ACEOs offered the perfect outlet.  Many of my paintings from that time were simple depictions of common things such as pets, small landscapes and cartoon scenes. There was much comfort in painting the familiar. At this time I also started listing on ebay and found that they were extremely popular with collectors who couldn't afford larger pieces. During this period of time I sold a fair number, and from March until August I sold probably around $300 worth, an admiral sum considering that the price usually started at $5.00. 

Although I feel that I have gotten my creative steam back, ACEOs are still a great part of my painting pieces. At the time I started painting, I made my own cards by cutting Arches watercolor paper into the appropriate size.  I also bought a number of mylar baseball card sleeves, something I think is a great inexpensive way to protect the final pieces.

Since then, ACEO cards are available in a great number of sizes and types as you will note in the pictured above.  Colourfix, one of my favorite to work from offers a heavy surface primed with a colored ground that will accept pretty much any medium, but I love all of them for their unique qualities. 

Sandpipers on Beach, Oil on Colourfix ATC card
For those wishing to sell their ACEOs, I have found ebay to be a great route to go, but it is not the only one.  Art Cards wanted, Art wanted, Etsy and others offer venues to set up and sell originals.  Pricing should be kept low, usually starting between $5-$7 for auction, slightly more for fixed priced store. Obviously you can raise the price once your popularity increases, but initially you will have the best success if you keep it reasonable. 

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