So a few months back, while doing an exercise for Traci Bautista's Discovering Y.O.U. Art Marketing Course, I decided to play around in the studio and make my own with materials on hand.
For this batch of business cards, I first made layered graffiti backgrounds on manila folder. It's one of my favorite materials to paint on, and provided a large surface area for this project. These backgrounds were still in work at the time this photo was taken.
On the reverse side of the manila folder, I glued a transparency I'd painted previously, then added accents with colored tape. This shot shows both sides of the folder. Inspired by something I'd seen around my neighborhood, I bought some "Hello" labels and found a free urban font online, then printed out my business information onto the labels.
Front and reverse of finished cards. Although they're slightly bigger than traditional business cards, each one is a unique piece of art.
I also experimented with different textural backgrounds. This photo shows the labels on dyed paper towels, which were adhered to the manila folder.
For this batch, I stuck labels on a collage of Citrasolv-treated paper and dyed paper towels, backed with manila folder.
If you're looking for a different option than using original backgrounds for your business cards, the following instructions may be a bit quicker.
It's helpful to take digital photos of both your finished work and works in progress. Make photocopies of your work at the copy store. You can then use them for a variety of projects. For this batch of handmade business cards, I adhered a photocopy of my original work with Aleene's Collage Pauge Instant Decoupage to cardstock.
On the reverse, I adhered a black-and-white copy of some original work, and then collaged color copies over it for contrast.
Use colored pencils to highlight a few areas.
Add the labels and maybe a few embellishments...
Then cut them out.
Try making your business cards on a variety of surfaces, incorporating different looks and textures. The idea is to have fun communicating who you are as an artist through the cards. Since making these, I've also designed other reversible business cards that double as ACEOs, using a deck of playing cards. They're just big enough for the Hello label on the front and an original background or photocopy of my original work on the back. Look for these ACEO business cards in The Soundry's Baddie Bags, for the first 25 people to enter Art Carnage this Saturday night.