New Times What is your history in the art world around town?
Helms I’ve been, well I don’t know if you’d call me a professional artist, but I have producing and making the Breakfast at Tiffany’s show (a previous art exhibit hung at Barnes and Noble in SLO inspired by the movie).
New Times So what are these Artist Trading Cards?
- IMAGES COURTESY OF YVONNE HELMS
New Times And?
Helms I don’t consider myself that artistic. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is stencils and rubber stamp and they’re easy to make and I can turn them into art but I’ve never…it’s not like I could pick up a paintbrush and make a landscape, ya know? But I saw these little cards, only 2 _ by 3 _. I thought even myself, who can’t even draw a stick figure, could do this. I’ve become addicted. I make at least one a day.
New Times The one you sent me was so charming. I love it. I’m looking at it lovingly as we speak.
Helms I got the idea from your New Times holiday guide.
New Times So tell me about an ATC that you did recently, and the process that’s involved.
Helms The one I did yesterday was a cool picture I found in a magazine and cut out. I use magazines a lot. A lot of artists do too. You can’t do anything that would constitute plagiarism so you’ve got to “funk it up” and make it your own. It was a liquor advertisement but it had beautiful girls, sirens, on the beach, on the rocks, with their heads tossed back and I cut it out and put it on the stock card and went over the top of it with some paint to change the color completely. I found words and pasted “Song of the Siren” on the card. I put a black acrylic thick border around it that makes it stand out—it’s very textured. I am going to do a rubber stamp of a wave and one with musical notes coming out of their mouths.
New Times Wow.
Helms So you can take whatever you find and make sure you turn it into your own piece of art. Nobody who trades ATCs would consider that cheating.
New Times How long does it take you to make one card?
Helms I’ve made a card in five minutes, and one in five days.
New Times M. Vanci Stirnemann, a Swiss artist, is said to have created this movement in 1997. Tell me about that.
Helms There have been art miniatures in history for hundreds of years.
New Times Right, the 19th century impressionist painters used them as business cards, in a way.
New Times Tell me about your meeting and who attends.
Helms We have professional as well as amateur artists attend, from all ages. teenagers, children, entire families, little old ladies, punk rockers. People who like to express themselves. We also have live Internet trading sessions. I recommend atcsforall.com. ∆
Christy Heron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.