Welcome to "The Line Between"
A very visual newsletter about hand-painted animation and life in NYC.
Hi! I’m Coleen Baik, an artist and designer based in NYC.
The Line Between (TLB) is a Substack Featured Publication, and ✨ Top 25 in Art & Illustration ✨ world wide. This post is a variation on my About and Introduction posts. So many more of you joined recently that I thought it was time for an update.
What is The Line Between?
TLB is a newsletter where I share how I make things—twice a month.
Right now I talk mostly about hand-painted animation. But my interests are broad and projects could shift along a wide spectrum over time, including print, augmented reality, and sound. In the months between projects, I share what exploration and preparation look like in my studio.
What’s in it?
Every issue is a conversational snapshot; a peek into the day to day of one artist. They’re usually, but not always, loosely organized into 3 sections:
State of the mind (personal reflections)
State of the work (behind-the scenes)
What’s been feeding the work (“Provisions”)
What’s NOT in it?
Tutorials or overly technical run-throughs. TLB is not formal or impersonal. Think of it more as a visual letter from a far flung friend who happens to be an artist. I do occasionally write articles that skew a bit more technical, which I publish on Medium.
Why do you also talk about books, films, NYC?
I believe in taking in good things in order to make good things.
Creative process is cyclical. Consumption and depletion play a huge role in projects; I can draw a direct line between what I read, watch, how I otherwise nourish myself—and what/how I produce. So I think the consumption part of the process deserves as much attention as the production part.
Art is complicated. It can be utilitarian, demanding, personal. TLB aims to reflect that level of intimacy and nuance through all of the aspects of how I make it.
What’s the point?
I think process deserves more attention. I want to spotlight what happens BETWEEN projects, BEFORE something is completed. I think we focus inordinately on finished products, but the middle is where the meat of things are: problem solving, iterations, evolution, struggle, triumphs. TLB is about bringing that middle to the center.
How should I read it?
I know newsletters can feel like work, however interested you are in what the author has to say.
I want you to feel encouraged or inspired by seeing a peer go through a day, building something one day after another, just like you. I don’t want TLB to feel like something you have to slog through.
Some of my readers are animation nerds, and they may be mostly into the WIP/behind-the-scenes. Some are prolific readers, and enjoy my writing style and visuals (reflections). Others look forward to my recommendations on what to watch/read/eat/visit in NYC (Provisions).
Take from it what you enjoy. I provide a sort of table of contents at the beginning of every issue to help.
Why should I pay?
You don’t have to! But I’d be deeply grateful if you can.
I try to provide the bulk of my content for free to everyone; paid subscribers get extras, like bonus issues and thank you gifts. Think of the public issues as the main show, and the member content as something you unlock with a backstage pass.
I do believe that most of my paying subscribers, or members, support me not for transactional reasons but because they think there should be more of my work out in the world.
I probably have a few more years to get enough in place, to make full time work as a professional artist a long term reality. It’s scary, but I don’t feel alone. Member support can help me make this happen.
Financial support from subscribers in 2021 helped me replace an old laptop, and 2022 funds are already earmarked for sound design for my last film, updating my printer, and things like submissions fees for film festivals. This is obviously far from covering everything, so I’m very appreciative of new memberships.