Mari Andrew started doodling when she worked at a bakery — and she took some license with the display case labels. When customers noticed and began telling her the drawings brightened their days, Andrew realized she could use her hobby to connect with people.
After hitting a rough patch in her late 20s, she began to chronicle her work on Instagram under the handle @bymariandrew. Nearly overnight, she became a sensation, garnering attention from Nylon, Huffington Post, Self and also BuzzFeed, who wrote that these illustrations are “so spot-on, it feels like she’s inside your brain.” Now, when Andrew posts something new, her 744K followers (including Ariana Grande, Elizabeth Gilbert and Rowan Blanchard) rejoice.
“Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de- Loop, Zig-Zagging Journey to Adulthood” showcases Andrew’s starkly honest and absolutely on-point essays and illustrations on the feelings, comical complexities, and realities of growing up and finding yourself.
Until now, Mari’s thoughts and witticisms have only appeared in her illustrations, but in her debut book, she shares her most personal experiences in long-form essays (something she’s never done before!) accompanied by spreads of her signature illustrations, 90 percent of which are brand new.
The chapters are organized by universal themes of becoming an adult, including: overcoming uncertainty, finding purpose, love and dating, heartbreak and loss, overcoming disappointment, discovering yourself and finding yourself.
From creating a home in a new city to understanding the link between a good hair dryer and good self-esteem to dealing with the depths of heartache and loss, Mari’s tales of the 20-something document a road less traveled — a road that sometimes is just the way you’re meant to go. The book will be available for purchase on March 27, and Andrew was in conversation with Joanna Goddard, author of “Cup of Jo,” at Books Are Magic on March 24.