Thursday, January 22, 2009

What are ACEOs?

I’ve been asked about ACEOs lately, so here’s my take on them.

ACEO is an acronym that stands for Art Cards, Editions, Originals. They’re highly collectible tiny artworks that can be either prints (editions) or originals. The one rule is that they have to be exactly 2.5 x 3.5 inches, the same size as a baseball trading card.

They can be made in any medium or style on any support. Mine are all originals on paper done in mostly traditional painting and mixed media – watercolor, acrylic paints, colored pencils, ink, collage, torn paper. However, I’ve seen ACEOs done on canvas and also as photographs or prints or even made from glass or metal or fabric.

Subject-wise, my ACEOs are abstract acrylics and collages, though the styles and subjects used by other artists run the same gamut as larger artworks: traditional, landscapes, realism, Impressionism, illustration, florals, primitive. Whatever your favorite style of art, you’ll find an artist making ACEOs in that style.

ACEOs are a sibling to ATCs, which stands for Artist Trading Cards. The same rule about the size applies to ATCs, and they too can be done in any media. The essential difference is the method of distribution: ATCs are only traded never sold, hence the “trading card” part of the name.

ACEOs are sold. Prices range -- what’s the expression? -- from pennies to bennies? I’ve seen some artists’s ACEOs indeed sell for pennies, which breaks my heart, to hundreds of dollars. Mine are in the $10-25 range.

ACEOs are sometimes nicknamed “pocket art”. My catch-phrase is “Art you can carry in your pocket. What could be better?” No, I don’t carry ACEOs in my pocket because women’s clothing makers rarely put pockets where they might be useful. I do, however, carry ACEOs in my purse and my wallet all the time.

I also call them “my little gems”, because aren’t they just?

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