An anchoring exercise, in Keynote.

When the pandemic hit NYC last March, I quietly set aside the animation I’d been working on. In fact, I all but stopped making art.

It was almost shocking how fluidly I went from 60 to 0 almost overnight. One day I was fully engaged in a fast and familiar routine. The next, I…just wasn’t. And I didn’t fight it. It felt natural, and yet inverse, somehow—like going back into the womb.

After the 2020 U.S. presidential elections and the rollout of the vaccines, I began to feel myself waking back up. There were small signals, like the tingling of…

A day in the animated life

I began writing this series to help other artists and designers who are interested in exploring hand-drawn animation. When I set out to illustrate simple, short animations for fun, it was tough finding resources geared toward beginners like me. This series is a way for me to share what I’m learning as I go. I hope it’s useful for fledgling animators in particular, while illustrating broad applicability in the fields of art and design to amateurs of varying skill levels.


Last year I documented my experience of drawing and animating micro-shorts for 100 days on the iPad. …

A day in the animated life.

View this on Instagram with sound.


I recently participated in the fifth annual 100 day project. I wanted to document the process of drawing and animating #100daysofSuperShort for myself and for others exploring hand-drawn animation. There was nothing like this to help me get started a few months ago; I hope this write-up will be useful for beginners like me, while illustrating broad applicability in both practice and output.

A day in the animated life — Part I covered:

  1. Diving in
    How I began
  2. 100 Days of Super Short
    Why I began
  3. Output
    What I made
  4. The tools
    What I made them with
  5. Rough Animator
    A focus…

A day in the animated life

“Juggling.” № 68 of 100.

When I was starting to explore hand-drawn animation, I found zero write-ups on how to even begin, what tools to use, what to expect. I hope this write-up contributes to filling the vacuum, however minorly.


There are a lot of animated gifs in this post. Please note that some may take a few seconds to load.

Second: this was turning out to be a super long post, so I broke them up into two. Part I covers the first six topics, listed below:

  1. Diving in
    How I began
  2. 100 Days of Super Short
    Why I began
  3. Output
    What I made

1. Fall in love.

The first time you visit New York, it’s the summer of ’96. Your head is shorn. Your face is dark from working in an arboretum for weeks on end, solitary hours communing with rhododendrons and pulling up saplings under an uncompromising New England sun. You look like a boy and the conductor calls you “young man.” Delighted, you don’t correct him.

You step into Penn Station and immediately feel a rush, the kind of feeling you get when you see the one you love from across the room; a whoosh that dips and buoys up inside the rib cage. …

The big picture

This essay was originally published in The Human in the Machine.

the ear*


“Being productive” can be defined as using time, imagination, and energy efficiently. It’s minimizing waste and maximizing meaningful output.

North Korea, a place of contradictions. Homeland.

I hold my face in my hands. A long, strange sound comes from me. I’m embarrassed. We’re out in the open; there’s no place to retreat to. I lag behind and stay close to a low stone wall.

I’m in North Korea, two hours from its capital by car, at an ancient Buddhist temple dating back to the 11th century.

On the way there, one of the young minders playfully takes ahold of the bus’s microphone and begins to lead us in song. Everyone knows Arirang, a folk ballad that precedes the war. …

The spirit of things 👌

Someone once asked me at the ballet, “you look like a dancer! Are you a dancer?” I replied, “Well, I’ve some training. And I like dancing. But no, I’m not a dancer.” The person patted me on the shoulder and replied, “That makes you a dancer!”

I thanked the person and appreciated the spirit of what she said. She meant to be flattering and encouraging. She meant to elevate, as a supportive gesture, my experience to that of a professional. She meant that the act and heart of dancing is beautiful, transcending titles or training. In many ways, I agree.

Update 12/19/2016

So I’ve decided to try out Ulysses for sensitive material only. They rely on encryption provided by iOS and Mac OS (iCloud in transit, FileVault at rest). 2FA is provided by Apple. Data is stored on Apple servers, so Ulysses folks also don’t have access to user data at all. Obviously, this isn’t perfect (Apple and iCloud involved, expensive, geeky) but it’s what feels most secure and balanced right now. Nothing is perfectly safe.

However, this diversified solution allows me to continue using tools like Evernote and Dropbox without compromising my privacy as much as I feel I…

Coleen Baik

Independent product designer, artist, advisor. @Twitter & @Wellesley alumna,

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