Everlasting – free digital ATC

Everlasting by Aisling D'Art (c) May 2005

After a wonderful weekend in New Orleans, I was in the mood for a slightly eerie, somewhat nostalgic ATC.

The ATC image started with my photo from a Massachusetts park, taken early one April morning.

Next, I added a public domain photo of a little girl. I have no idea who she is, but she appealed to me for this particular card.

In front of her is some scanned text from Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations.

In back of her, just to her left, I added a Celtic cross photographed in Ireland, courtesy of pdphoto.org. I tried the cross in several places, and when it was slightly lower than the top of her head, it looked less ominous.

Finally, I added the word “everlasting” in Baskerville Old Face (font).

I tweaked the layers, did a lot with color and lighting effects, and finally resized the image so that it will print as a 3″ x 5″ ATC. (You can adjust the size on your own computer, if you’d prefer a smaller size.)

If you’d like to print this card at home, right-click on this link and save it to your hard drive. Then, print it at 150 pixels/inch.

The card is copyrighted, of course, but you can print it for your own use. After all, that’s what swaps – even digital ones – are for!

Dreamcards – from an ATC swap

Art can be very revealing, whether that’s our intention or not.

These are two ATCs that I created, and what I wrote about them in 2000:

ATC - 'no hope'

Dream Card/Nightmare Card, 5 Sept 2000

These are two cards from an ATC exchange, with a theme of “Dreams and Nightmares.” The originals are 3″ x 5″.

My dream card features images of my children, DisneyWorld and my paints.  There’s also a view of the houses directly across the street from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s main theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England.

What I hope to show with this collage, is what is most important to me: Color, in all its definitions. My family, experiencing life and having fun as we travel and discover new things; the colors of our emotions, the scenery, and our memories of happy events.

My nightmare card features stark, perhaps menacing images without color or hope.

The images include (top to bottom)

  • the same paints as on my Color card,
  • the poorhouse in Kilmallock (Co. Limerick) where my gr-great grandmother died, and
  • the view (looking up towards the sky) at a castle in Co. Galway

Over those images, I’ve added photos of:

  • a truly spooky angel at the Irish cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also
  • a self-portrait of my husband.* (Really. He took this photo of himself and gave it to me.  He said that he thought it was a good photo.)

These are not dark or hopeless images in themselves, but I added drama by increasing contrast, so they take on new aspects.

What surprised me the most is that the Color (dream) card is as many of my recent collages have been: A bit disjointed, compartmentalized, and a little empty.

By contrast, the No Color (nightmare) card flows, the images blend nicely, and I actually prefer this as art, compared with the Color (dream) card. Technically, the No Color one is a vastly better work of art.

I think this is rather revealing, and indicates some self-work ahead of me.

(No, I do not actually think there’s “no hope” in this–or any–area of my life. Remember, this art is created from my imagination, using images that I have at hand. Yes, it means something, but please don’t take it all literally, or too seriously!)

But, this is what art is about: self-discovery.

Even when I’m dismayed by what I see, it opens the door for me to make changes and improve myself and my life.

So now I’m wondering: Why are my nightmares so much more vivid and easy to access, than my dreams? Why do they flow when the dreams do not seem to reach my consciousness without effort? Why are my images so compartmentalized?

These are, in a way, rhetorical questions. My diary will probably show what I discover.

I can tell you that, when I saw what I’d said with this art, I started taking very positive steps to make immediate changes. I didn’t get into this situation overnight, and it probably won’t be an overnight change to get things back on track. But I’m working on it, and I see progress, and that’s the important part.

[Reminder: I wrote that in 2000.  Since then, there’s been a divorce.  Both of us have remarried.  I’m living a very happy life again, and returning to the creativity that I enjoyed in the 1980s and earlier.]

* When I said “my husband” in this article about my two ATCs, it was before my 2003 divorce.  I’ve kept the photo in this art because, unless you know him very well, you probably won’t recognize him.

Dream – a free digital ATC (artist trading card)

This ATC was created in an hour; that’s the time I allowed myself for this project, each day. (I was trying to design and post one ATC, daily.)

I started with the background, which is a public domain photo of Ireland. (I’ve listed all of my resources, below.) Then I added a dramatic figure–slightly altered–from my Shameless Hussies 1 Clipart CD. (She is nude to the waist.)

After creating the text for the word, DREAM, I wanted to add a little more fantasy to the piece, so I started playing with some Dover butterflies.

I wanted a rich, faerie-like ATC, with a sense of wonder and magic. I was a little rushed, trying to complete this within an hour, but I’m pleased with the card as well as the challenge of this.

To print a full-size card at 150 pixels per inch, right click on this link and Save the image to your hard drive. Then, print it at 150 pixels/inch. The finished card should be 3″ x 5″, but you can reduce it down to 2.5″ x 3.5″.

This card is copyrighted, of course, but you can freely print it for your own non-commercial use, as long as you don’t alter it.


  • The figure is from my Shameless Hussies 1 CD, available at Cafe Press
  • The background is a public domain photo of Ireland from PDPhoto.org.
  • The butterflies were altered from some copyright-free Dover images.
  • The font in the image is Buccaneer (but I tweaked it, big time), and the title/artist lines are in Century Schoolbook.

Choose Your View – printable ATC

“Choose Your View” – a digital ATC (artist trading card) that you can print… free!

Choose your view ATC by Aisling D'Art - click for printable version


This ATC started out to be a Christmas/holiday-themed card. For some reason, I chose a rather dramatic photo of England. Maybe it was my frame of mind at that moment. I don’t know.

Almost immediately, I realized it was an odd view for a holiday ATC. Creepier than I’d had in mind.

The words “Choose your view” came into my mind and became the theme for this card.

At that point, I started thinking about alternative views… literal and figurative.

So, I flipped the image and started working on it. This included isolating areas of the original photo, and adjusting the contrast before coloring each area individually and adding the lens flare.

The card probably looks like a simple pair of photos. And, it would have been a five-minute project if I’d started with the color version and just needed to desaturate it and adjust contrast.

But, when the card was complete, I liked what it said to me. I’m not sure that anyone else will realize the point (the message) that I’m making with this card, but that doesn’t matter.

Choose the view that brings you joy. It’s almost always the best one.

By the Light – printable ATC (artist trading card)

“By the Light…” – a digital ATC for you to print

by the light printable free ATC artist trading card

I was in a frivolous, mischievous mood today, and something just clicked for me when I saw this image of the moon. In other words, the visual puns are entirely deliberate.

I started with an image from the Bare Bottoms folder on my Shameless Hussies 1 CD. (Those images are copyright-free and in the public domain.)

Over this, I placed a new photo of the moon, from PDPhoto.org. I actually used that image twice on each panel: Once, small and exactly as it appears at PDPhoto.org; the second time I enlarged it to the size of the card and inverted the color in Adobe Photoshop.

On top of the darker moon image, I applied some text and imagery from an old Alchemy book that I own.

After flipping the image and altering the color, I added text in the Rudelsberg Regular font. Then, I filled in the background with a copyright-free flower image from PDPhoto.org, and altered the colors to match the card.

As usual, I retain the copyright on this ATC, but it’s free to print for your own use, as long as you don’t alter it.

To print your own copy, save this file to your hard drive and print it at 150 dpi. The finished card will be 3″ x 5″.

Free ATCs to Print

Online picture of a free poster and ATC - Imagination by Aisling D'ArtThe following ATCs are free for you to download and print.

By the light (R-rated for nudity) – A nude figure and flowers.

Dream (R-rated for nudity)- Faerie themed, with a nude in a woodland setting.

Everlasting – Eerie image of a little girl with teddy bear.

Face behind the words – A mix of historical, Asian and feminist elements.

Ghosts in the old saloon (R-rated for nudity) – Inspired by a Texas ghost story.

Gold Leaf – A card with an illusion of gold.

Gold Leaf – ATC tutorial – How the card was made.

Memories – A nostalgic ATC.

How the Memories ATC was made – a four-part tutorial:

How to Create a Digital ATC

Adding more layers

Giving it meaning

Finishing the ATC

Midnight in New Orleans – A dark and eerie ATC.

Nevermore – An ATC tribute to Edgar Allan Poe.

Haunted New Orleans #1 – A digital collage of Pirate’s Alley.

Reality/Imagination – another free, printable ATC, and a free poster, too.