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Books

Mari Andrew’s drawings are soft, beautiful and full of empathy

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There is nothing easy in the process of becoming an adult. The journey is long, difficult and scary. 

Last year, I was going through a difficult path. My career took a turn when I decided that I would return to university for a Master’s degree. It would mean two years outside the professional life without earning an income. It was a risk, but at 24 years old, I figured that it was now or never.

That’s when I discovered Mari Andrew through Instagram. And I absolutely loved her work…

Over the years, she has created many wonderful watercolor drawings to reflect on her life, her relationships, and what it means to grow up. Her art is funny, relatable and emotional.

Her book “Am I There Yet?” was released earlier this year and is similarly beautiful. Equal parts memoir and illustrated guidebook to navigate adulthood, it tells the story of Mari’s life in her twenties, going through heartbreaks and grief, new jobs, hospital stays and walks around New York City.

Her art is so interesting because it represents an entire generation of millennials who, just like her, have moved from cities to cities, switched jobs several times, suffered many Tinder dates, and have been looking for a sense of purpose. Because “Am I There Yet?” is a graphic novel, it reads quite fast – I finished it in an afternoon. However, I will not forget the feeling of connection, depth, and empathy that I experienced going through it.

Here is my favorite excerpt from the book:

The experiences I treasure from my twenties are seeing envelopes containing handwritten letters through my copper mailbox, kissing on an East Village sidewalk, beginning my Friday nights at my weekday bedtime, having mimosa brunches with my mom on lazy Saturdays, finding a house painted like a watermelon in the middle of Washington, D.C., on an otherwise melancholy evening. 

These are my achievements. 

I’ve decided a tombstone that reads “Here lies Mari: She enjoyed herself” would be an extraordinary fortunate accomplishment. From now on, my life lived will be my life’s work.” 

The book is available on Amazon here.

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