Mari Andrew laughs when I tell her that, despite working for a fashion magazine, I’m currently wearing a bathrobe. It’s Sunday afternoon, after all, and I’m exhausted.
“I’m recovering from crying, so we’re both in recovery,” Andrew giggles before revealing that she’s calling from the lobby of an upscale hotel, where—clad in loungewear herself—she’s waiting to get a facial.
“It’s such a weird vibe,” she says, setting the scene. “It’s a really expensive hotel, so it’s a lot of very conservative people and it’s right by the White House. Every once and a while these gay men will come in shirtless looking for a bathroom. It’s a fantastic viewing experience.”
Her candor will likely sound familiar to followers of the artist-cartoonist-writer’s Instagram account. There, updated several times a week, a girl with dark hair and glasses (that would be Andrew) navigates her way through a chaotic existence with equal parts wide-eyed wonder and confusion. With topics often plucked from the artist’s own life the very day they’re doodled, anything is fair game. Death, terrible dates, simple pleasures, and the dangers of creative vulnerability have all been explored. Rendered in stick figures and written in wobbly handwriting, her emotionally poignant takes on complex life events have a profound impact, even as they’re rooted in a heartfelt simplicity.