What is ACEO?
You often see the term ACEO and you have probably even seen some ACEOs. There is even a category for them on Etsy, but do you know what they are? Here is what you need to know starting with the basics.
What does ACEO stand for? Art Cards Editions and Originals
What are they? 2.5” x 3.5” Artwork. They are miniature pieces of art in that specific size.
Is an ACEO the same as an ATC? They differ in one respect. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card and came before the term ACEO. ATCs are traded while ACEOs are sold.
Can ACEOs be prints? Yes, since they do take a long time to create many artists do sell prints of their designs. Offering prints can make selling your ACEOs profitable. An original may be difficult to sell for enough to justify the time spent.
Why would you want to make and sell ACEOs? The number one reason is probably because they are fun to make. They are also easy to store so you can have many different designs even if you have a tiny studio. They are much less expensive to make versus a traditional painting and take much less time to create. They are great for the prolific painter. They are easy to ship and you can also use them to test the popularity of a certain style or subject. You can always create a full sized painting of one of your ACEOs.
What type of medium? ACEOs can be in a variety of mediums. They can be paintings done in oil, acrylic, or watercolor, or drawings done in ink or pencil. You will also see mixed media such as metal, wood, or fabric. Photos can also be ACEOs.
What styles? There is no particular style or subject associated with ACEOs. It is up to your imagination.
How do people display them? Are they framed? They are great for small areas or rooms and can be displayed individually or in groups. They can also be kept in albums. They can be matted and framed so they can hang on the wall. Many people prefer to choose their own frames to match their décor so it may not be worthwhile to offer them framed.
Who buys them? They are thought of as collectable art, similar to a sport trading card, and there are a lot of collectors out there. ACEOs are a great option for collectors who do not want to spend a fortune on larger pieces. Due to their size, collectors can have multiple ACEOs versus having a single painting. Many buyers often purchase more than one at a time. They are also great to give as gifts.
How much do they sell for? Most ACEOs sell for less than $10 but certain originals can command higher prices. $25 is not unheard of. Prints sell for much less than originals but can be more profitable for the artist.
Where do you sell them? Sell them online on Etsy or Ebay, or locally at craft shows. There are specific categories just for ACEOs on Ebay and Etsy. Tip: Put the keyword ACEO in the title and tag when selling online.
Selling Tips: If possible, ship them in protective sleeves and offer a flat rate shipping charge. Sign all of your pieces, even reproductions. Include an artist bio, artist statement, or certificate of authenticity. You can do your statement on some nice paper that is the same size as your ACEO, 2.5 x 3.5, so it can be kept behind your art. Offer combined shipping and offer them individually and in sets. Make it easy for people to purchase multiple pieces at the same time. Clearly state which pieces are originals in your descriptions and use the term ACEO in your title and tag. As with selling any handmade item online, the more you have for sale, the more views and sales you are likely to receive.
What is a tag? See my article: What is a Tag
Any good resources?
Sleeves: Can be purchased on Ebay, in sports stores, comic book stores, or in hobby shops. ACEOs are the same size as sport trading cards. Cases (rigid sleeves) and binders are also available.
Canvases: Can be purchased on Etsy.
Good luck with your ACEOs