Trading Cards: They Work for Ballplayers AND for Artists

I made these artist trading cards to give out at the Women in Arts exhibition I was involved with at the Queens Museum of Art.

  • The occasion was SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now) and I thought people might need a crash course in what that meant, being that’s it’s a recently created celebration.
  • I wanted to present a little gift to all the women who came that day, in the spirit of generosity.
  • I thought it might be a good hook to start a conversation, which would hopefully end up focused on my paintings.
  • I hoped it might be a takeaway that could start a conversation even after the day was over, since I put my contact information on the back.
  • With a brief art history lesson on the back, I thought it was a bit more interesting than handing out business cards.
  • In my shy moments, it gave me a reason to approach people, instead of just smiling or feeling like an aggressive fool, trying to “sell” something.
  • I think it put others at ease too, because even if those I approached didn’t know anything about art, there was something in front of them that they could talk about–even if it was just to say that they hadn’t heard of the artist, or hadn’t known what she looked like, etc.

I put a female artist (some well-known, some not) on the front, or a recreation of her work. I respected copyrights by using older works, my own photographs as stand-ins, painting the cards myself, and even using a model (Frida!).

I made more than I needed that day, but I still use them, to enclose in thank-you notes for example.

They worked well as a “ruse” to approach people, so I think I’ll use the idea of a trading card, or similar takeaway that’s tailored to the occasion, again.