Tuesday, January 8, 2013

it's all in the cards...

My local SAQA chapter is having a business card exchange at our next meeting.  I appreciate having a local community of artists to collaborate, commiserate, contemplate and generally share creative thoughts!  So I am excited to see what others have for their cards, and also to go home with cards that provide me quick easy contact to fellow artists.

So I'm thinking of business cards... last September I updated my card, why? cause I went to hand one out and realized that I had to hand scribble to update my email address and include my blog address, plus it included the image of a traditional quilt, listed me as Amy (and I am starting to embrace my full name of Amalia).  I had been avoiding this update since I felt like I didn't have the perfect image, but I had a good enough image. I used Zazzle, cause I'm familiar with it and it was easy to use. For less than 20 bucks, I had new cards - basically the cost of a yard of fabric and a pack of new needles.

Cards have been in use almost forever.  Visiting cards, calling cards, social cards these are the ancestors to our modern day business card.  I have a vague memory of playing Merriman, in the Importance of Being Earnest, with a calling card handed to us lowly servants in order to announce a guest.

In current day, I find that they make great bookmarks and are like mini-art.  I cannot own all the great art I would like, but when an artist has postcards or business cards with an image of their art, I have a piece that I can own, and hold even if it's just a paper copy of the original.

It must be the scientist in me, but I always ask WHY... why would I want to get or give a card... that way I can be sure my card will work for me the way I want it to work.

So the reasons why I would get a card from an artist...
- I like their work
- I might consider buying art from them
- I definitely want to buy art from them
- I want to take a class or workshop or bring this artist in to lecture or teach a group
- I want to follow what they do, I want to see their blog or website and see more of their work
- I want to communicate with them, could be as simple as I have ideas for a collaboration or I want their insight into an idea or project I have

and the reasons why I would give out a card...
- giving a reference - I want to share some info - a website, another artist I recommend even a movie or good book, I can write it on the back of my card and they can easily remember who referred them... and yes I know I could just scribble it on a scrap of paper...
- pure laziness - scribbling my contact info on a scrap of paper is time consuming
- increasing my network (not just who I know, but who knows me)
- getting more followers to my blog
- promoting myself as lecturer/teacher
- selling art

I leave you with my three recommendations regarding artist's business cards...
1- Make it legible!
OMG, I can't believe some of the fancy scripty lettering I've seen on cards.  Maybe with my name I am more sensitive to this, but make it easy for someone to contact you - if an email address or phone number are hard to read, it's like saying "here is my contact info, but please don't contact me".  And yes, this does mean that you can't sa

2- Do it your way!
I've seen cards without email address or mailing address, or phone numbers.  I think all are fine, you decide how you want to be contacted and put that info on your card. This card represents you, make it yours, make it so that it serves as a reminder to others of who you are, your art and style. My Grandmother used to say, get advice and then do what you think is right! So do what is right for you!

3- A little white space is refreshing!
I like leaving the back blank or mostly blank - that allows for space for a quick note or reference.  My last card is pretty busy, and I miss the scribble space.

last but not least, I found a bunch of stuff out there - here are a few links...

Some cards are as much art as the actual art... 

thoughts on a "artist business cards"

4 great tips

keep in mind while designing a card

beyond business cards


  1. "for the love of god, don't use clip art!" bwahahahaha

  2. Great stuff. Thanks for putting all these thoughts and links together.

  3. Great information. I will make sure I check out the links. I have been thinking of getting cards for some of the reasons that you mentioned.