An Artist’s Calling Card

Outsider aceo cards by Cindy Monro

As an untrained artist with no accredited resume, I have found a fun (and addictive) way to introduce my art to the public. I use ACEO cards (artist cards, editions and originals); miniature sample paintings. I give them away to people I meet and sell them on ebay. In this way, I have developed a following here in the United States and around the world. I have sold cards on every continent except Antarctica and Africa. Collectors of these cards tend to be loyal and appreciative. Sometimes the sale of an ACEO leads to a commission or to a search of my art for sale online. Even so, I have to confess that this format has become a favorite for me.

What exactly is an ACEO? The wonderful answer to this question is that it can be nearly anything, as long as it measures 2.5 by 3.5 inches (or 3.5×2.5″). These artworks are usually paintings or drawings on canvas boards, canvas paper, or stiff art paper. I have also seen embroidery on cloth, carved wood, and collage works on various types of papers and cardboard. The finished product is then tucked into a transparent sleeve to protect it. I like to varnish mine with a UV protective coat or two to ensure its longevity. The back is often left ‘raw’ (you can expect paint or ink splotches here and there) with the artist’s signature and creation date written in pencil. Since the artist is creating in a similar way as when doing larger works, the recipient or purchaser is able to see and feel a sample in real life; an experience for which a picture on the internet is just no substitution.

OwlI have been asked about what people do with the art cards they collect. I know some of my collectors resell them, some trade them at art card conventions, some fill albums, and some use them in decorative art projects of their own. I recently heard from a collector who is using them to interest her grandsons in art by making up stories about the subject in a painting or discussing what the image brings to mind. As a child, I cut pictures of art out of magazines and glued them into an album and spent many happy hours daydreaming over them, so I can relate. These little artworks are a satisfying and inexpensive way to collect a favorite artist or to collect a favorite subject by various artists (my mother, for instance, collected owls which were expressed artistically by various artists and in many forms).


An ACEO art card is accessible, affordable, and surprising by its very nature since the rulesBlack Cat are few and absolutely anyone, from professional to amateur, can create a small piece of art to be shared with the world!

I now sell my original ACEO art cards exclusively at





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