Art Trading Cards – Brilliance In Action

February 12, 2013 by Michelle

I love art, probably not the least because I’m a horrible artist.  I can appreciate so much the time and effort and emotion that goes into each piece.  And I have to say, I’m constantly amazed by the artwork the wee ones create at school, too.  I was anticipating that they would follow in my footsteps of non-artistry, but I have to admit that I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

When Mister Man was in kindergarten, we enrolled him in an after school art class at his school.  I didn’t believe he created what he did.  He had a great teacher who broke things down so well that his painting of a loon?  It looked like a loon.  In school, both the wee ones teachers have been amazing in getting them to understand all different types of art from clay projects to Mexican folk art to tissue paper projects and more.

The teacher they both have now is so patient with every child and works to find projects that they will enjoy.  She puts together family art days where the entire family can come work on art together so that it becomes something everyone enjoys and treasures.  When I heard about the Blick Art Room Aid project and was offered the opportunity to help set up a project for our art teacher, I jumped at the chance. Fortunately, so did she.

With so many schools having funding issues – and our school and art program is no different – Blick Art Materials has set up a great way for art teachers to get specific projects and wish lists funded by those willing to support the arts.  The Art Room Aid program allows educators to set up projects that sponsors can search through to donate a little – or a lot – towards funding.  Our art teacher had no issues coming up with her project at all.  She suggested funding for artist trading cards.

Personally, I’d never heard of them before, but apparently artist trading cards are popular.  In fact, we have a bi-monthly get together in my town to make and trade them.  They are like baseball cards, except you make them yourself.  They are created on 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch cardstock and can be any type of artwork from embossing to painting to sketching and more in any style.  The cards you create are then meant to be traded – primarily in person.

I think it’s a brilliant way to get kids to not only relate to art but to get excited about something they can do.  Since it’s little, it’s less intimidating, and sharing it is a great way to gain feedback and compliments on your artwork.  The art teacher showed me a few pieces, and we agreed this was the perfect project for us to create for Art Room Aid.

Artist trading cards in protective sleevesWhen I arrived to put together the Art Room Aid wish list for our artist trading cards (go – check it out!), I knew she was ready and excited.  How could I tell?  She’d already marked the pages of all the items she wanted on her wish list.  I loved how ready and excited she was – and it made the process of creating the wish list go a lot faster, too!

Dick Blick catalogue with stickers marking wish list items

Once we had the account opened, it was easy to set up a project.  The page really walks you through what you need to do from adding the items to creating a description of the project to determining what the highest priority items are and more.  I love that you can also upload a photo of your anticipated project to better help others understand what you’re trying to create.  Had we not spent as much time chatting as we did, we probably would have finished the entire process in under a half hour.

Setting up the Art Room Aid project is easy

So now we’re ready, and we have a great project.  What can you do?  Well, of course we’d love your support to fund the artist trading cards for the students at our school.  You can definitely donate to our Art Room Aid artist trading cards project.  And if our project isn’t to your liking, then there are plenty of other projects out there.  I think it’s neat that you can choose to fund a particular amount – say $10 – or a specific item that catches your fancy- our Pitt artist pens for $11.93 for all 10.

So why do I care?  Art is important.  It feeds so much of our brains and does so much for our souls and our confidence, amongst so much else.  Yet art is an easy cut in schools because it is so often seen as fluff, particularly since it isn’t a subject that is on any standardized test.  I want to see my children exposed to all many of art projects and opportunities.  And if I can help get one more funded, all the better.

I love this infographic on the importance of art.  It really sums it all up.

Infographic on the importance of art

In the interest of full disclosure, I was compensated as part of this campaign for Dick Blick Art Materials and The Motherhood.  Our school will also receive a stipend to fund this project.  That said, all opinions remain my own.  Always.


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