Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thoughts on Quality of ATCs We Swap Out

Here is a copy of a post I put on an internet chat list tonight. It is about quality of ATCs that we swap out.

The conversation started when someone asked to do blind swaps in small quantities. A person replied saying she received various poor quality type ATCs in those kind of swaps. She asked that anyone who does a blind swap should put their best foot forward and not send junk or ATCs which were mistakes. Here is what I added to the conversation.

Will add that if you send ATCs with embellishments in a plain envelope they make break in transit. So if you have an embellishment on there I advise to use a bubble wrap envelope.

With that said I like to tell myself that ALL the ATCs are made with the best foot forward. I have a feeling that when I think something is ‘sub par’ that the artist thought it was good. If I thought people were intentionally sending junk it would depress me too much!!

My current pet peeve is when a digital image is used and it is manipulated or for whatever reason when it prints off with a lot of pixels showing rather than looking like a clean image, and/or it is stretched out and weird (and it is not intended to look abstract), that to me is poor quality. (I have tried using some online images and sometimes it looks great on the screen but I guess my printer is not that great and the printout looks lousy—so I don’t use that image.)

One last thing I want to throw in is that a newbie sent me some ATCs that were not on cardstock. We cooresponded privately and I politely explained that they are not supposed be on magazine-thin paper, it is too flimsy and will damage quickly, that the cardstock thickness (or thicker) is a rule. She said that people on the list keep saying the only rule with ATCs is the size. Well I think if anyone says that they need to remember it is a ‘card’ and the 2nd rule is that it be cardstock or heavier! Gentle reminder there for all of us.

I think blind swaps are risky but not more risky than any type of swap other than a private swap in which the person viewed the online image of the ATC. Oh and sometimes the online image of the ATC looked great but in person it wasn’t that great, so I guess even that is not foolproof.

In the end we are all human. I try my hardest on my own ATCs. Sometimes I like certain ones better than others but don’t send out any that I think are mistakes. I hope others don’t do that!

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