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How we feel. Summer in NYC, an inked vignette, cold butter on seeded sourdough. Premiere at Brooklyn Film Festival.

Trying to prolong the sense of elation [Helen] had found in the initial stillness, she walked on, with buoyant aplomb, away from the voices crashing at distant intersections, away from the mercantile clatter coming from the square, away from the liquid hoofbeats clip-clopping around the corner, away from the women yelling from window to window as they unpinned their laundry, and into alleyways with houses shuttered against the heat, where she could hear, again, her solitary steps. She knew, then, that this solemn form of joy, so pure because it had no content, so reliable because it relied on nobody else, was the state for which she would henceforth strive.

Trust, Hernan Diaz

The weather in NYC has turned a corner, as it usually does around Memorial Day weekend; it’s now staunchly in the summer camp. The temperature has been swinging into the 80s, and I know sooner than later I must put the window unit back in and be forced, on very hot nights, to close myself off from the air outside. For now, birdsong; and at all hours the cross-breeze through my little railroad flat in Harlem. “Mom’s Mercedes,” lambent with the afternoon sun over a sea of hardwood floors. The light is unreal. The joy I feel from existing in this space, in this city, is impossible to describe in a way commensurate with its intensity and magnitude.

Before diving in…

I’m proud to have taken part in a recent panel discussion (Youtube) about Korean American artists and activism.

We raised over $63K! at this virtual gala and fundraiser for NAKASEC x Adoptees for Justice. Here I am, beaming—upper right:

With co-panelists.

In the studio

I can finally share that my latest short film, 엄마 나라 | MOTHER LAND, will have its world premiere at the 27th Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) on Monday, June 3rd. Information and tickets here.

I’m in Block 2 ✌️

While not glamorous (read: fold-out chairs), BFF is a long-running international festival with creds and fancy (or fancy-to-be) people now and again in attendance: Greta Lee when she was wee, Sean Penn with glitterati a few years back.

This year’s theme is Immersion. My film is an official selection among ~150 mostly-premieres out of 3,351 submissions. And however humble the run of events, there will be a red carpet on opening night. I’ll be privileged with a befitting plus-one 💅🏻

Meanwhile, I finished inking the first sequence of the vignette I’ve been working on.

I experimented with digital paint as well as with gouache and watercolors on paper. I eased into a better grip with the nib-holder, and feel progressively more in control of the line:

Everything inked:

Paints in the mix:

I like the texture of gouache on paper a lot:

…and watercolors warrant further exploration too:

…but for now I’m probably going to stick with nib + ink + digital paint:

This also means I can use regular paper/vellum going forward instead of expensive watercolor stock. How things are shaping up:

Members, enjoy below the the fully inked sequence—with digital paint, and sound. Plus, Provisions (what we take in to make good things). Lastly: an ode to cold butter and seeded sourdough.

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Coleen Baik