Mari Andrew is an illustrator and writer who has captured the world with her charming and quirky drawings. Andrew is first and foremost a writer, but says she began illustrating in her late twenties when she “got serious about [her] happiness”. She was going through a hard time in 2015 with the recent passing of her father and so to “put more joy in her life,” she did an illustration a day for over a year, documenting these drawings on her Instagram. From then on she has gained popularity, with over 700,000 people across the world following her on Instagram. On March 27th, Andrew released her first book ‘Am I There Yet?’, an original autobiographical book that shows an authentic and witty look at what life is really like when trying to become an adult in your 20’s.
‘The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood’ is the subtitle to her book and in the introduction Andrew explains just what she mean by this. She uses this metaphor of how we take many different paths in life (zigzagging or loop-de-loop paths). Sometimes we take the wrong ones, but it’s okay because no matter what way the journey is, the paths always lead you to the right destination. Of course she explains this metaphor in a much more poetic way. The book is then broken up into eight chapters, the chapters vary from ‘Love and Dating’ to ‘Finding Yourself’. Throughout these chapters Andrew retells of the times when she travelled to San Francisco and Berlin and her love for making a home for herself in Washington. Each essay is accompanied with her famous illustrations that make her stories much more special.
The illustrations that accompany her life essays capture situations or thoughts or even feelings. One of the first drawings is a pie graph that is titled ‘Worries of Your 20s’. Essentially all it is is a pie graph but it is so honest and real that is resonates with her audience. It shows how trivial some worries can be in our 20s, such as ‘Should I chop off all my hair or grow it to my butt’ but then contrasts that with worries that can actually be quite terrifying, such as ‘Is this job my whole life?’. And this is the perfect example of why Andrew’s illustrations are so popular and relatable.
Personally the book really hit home, with me being in my 20’s still not sure on many things in my life, it put me at ease to know that she also went through the same stuff and has come out the other side in a life that she is happy with. The pure honesty of her writing and illustrations made it easy to love, not only as you are able to know who Mari really is but you are also able to fully relate to what she discusses.
The book will stay with you for a long time with Andrew’s unique writing and illustrations making this a once in a lifetime book and making her a once in a lifetime author.