I have been engaging in an ATC (Artist Trading Card) Swap this summer with a friend I met online. Veronica http://artbyveronica.blogspot.com/ is from Virginia Beach and has generously agreed to introduce me to the world of swapping! I was very intimidated at first. I had never really done an ATC and wasn't sure I could work on such a small surface. My collages are always larger and often multidimensional. The smaller substrate is a challenge for me. I actually feel as though I have been cheating a little bit because I found ATC sized canvases! The dimensional quality of the canvas fell within my comfort zone.
With each additional swap, my confidence has grown in small increments. I attended a conference today that included a discussion about the "Zone of Proximal Development". It is an older concept, generally applied to instructional strategies used with students. The premise is that we have a level of mastery in any particular task we attempt that we can confidently work in without support (for example, I can drive my car with a fair amount of confidence and mastery). Then, there is a level that we can function in with "some" support (for example, I can operate the TV remote as long as one of the males in my family is nearby ready to answer my questions should I get stuck). And then there would be the level that is beyond our reach without a great deal of intervention and support (I do not understand my husband's version of Photo Shop and cannot do the simplest task on there without him sitting right by my side).
That was a long winded way of saying that I feel I am in the "with some support" range right now with regards to ATCs. The wonderful thing about swaps is that the participants tend to raise the bar for each other which each exchange. It's a great way to stretch and challenge yourself.
I'm loving the experience and I've included pictures of Veronica's ATC cards. Aren't they great?! I would also like to provide a link to her blog. I will attempt to do this with out additional "support", but there are no guarantees!