MARI ANDREW

 
Portrait by Daniel Seung Lee
 

Interview by Madeleine Dore
&
Photography by Maggie Shannon


Mari Andrew:
Writer and illustrator

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Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines
 

DAILY ROUTINE

Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines

Morning

The first thing that I do in the morning is share my daily Instagram post.  I've been doing that for the past two and a half years, and it was one of the things that actually got me the organic following I did because I became a part of people's routine. But it means I feel like I can't really sleep in – if I do, I will have daunting dreams about it, which is so silly because no one's going to die if I don't post before 8am!

After I post, I put my phone away. I don't want to look at Instagram or read the comments because you can read so many nice comments but unfortunately your brain is just always scanning for negative ones and it can ruin your day. I definitely don't want to look at the news or Twitter for a while, either – I really need to ease into that. Usually, I'll just check my email and see if there are any fires I need to put out.

I find that when I really take the time to have a good morning – which is about an hour long process – I just have such a better day.

My favourite thing to do when I open my laptop is put on some Bossa Nova music. Sometimes I put on a podcast, but its usually music. When I went to Brazil two years ago, I stayed in an AirBnB for two weeks. Every morning, the hosts would have Bossa Nova playing in the morning. I thought this is the nicest way to begin a day. It's relaxing, it's uplifting.

I always make breakfast because I'm one of those people who wakes up starving. Lately, I've been making this breakfast that I had in when I was in hospital for a month last year in Spain. It was mostly a horrible experience, but the food was great. The breakfast I had every morning was very typical of southern Spain – half a baguette with the rubbings of fresh tomato and olive oil on toast.

So I try to really ease into the day – if I don’t do that, I find the whole day can completely suffer. On a perfect day, I would write what I'm grateful for. I would assess my schedule and try to make sure that I was feeling really clear going into everything that I have to do because I can very easily be overwhelmed by a to-do-list.

My most important time is waking up and making sure I'm just feeling very positive. Doing stretches, washing my face, taking care of myself, dancing around, that kind of thing, just being happy.

After I post, I put my phone away. I don’t want to look at Instagram or read the comments because you can read so many nice comments but unfortunately your brain is just always scanning for negative ones and it can ruin your day.
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines

Mid morning

It’s really hard for me to work from home, it’s hard for a lot of people, so I had to get a coworking space. Anyone who's not freelancer might think, I can just draw anywhere, but I really need a designated space to work, I need that separation and punctuation to my day.

At around nine or ten I will take the subway to my little studio. I feel like a commuter, but I miss rush hour, so that is wonderful.

I will very often take a dance near my studio a couple days a week. That’s a fun way to start the day. Although, once you take a dance class in the morning, it can be a little harder to get back in the studio after that.  But I do try to exercise in some capacity every day – there’s also a donation based yoga studio near my office, which is incredible for New York.

Because my studio is not my favourite place to be, I have to be pretty productive when I'm there if want to leave. I’ll usually do all the emails, which is really tedious – so much of my day is invoicing, and writing emails and figuring out the logistics of working on a project. Very little of it is actually drawing. The life of an artist is not super-glamorous, but some of it is.
 

Midday

I always take a break for lunch. I almost always have the same exact thing, which is a poke bowl from a place nearby.

I try to treat myself really well during the day and make sure that I'm moving and eating and giving my eyes a break from the screen. On a perfect day, I would have quite a few breaks – that doesn't always happen, of course.

"On a perfect day, I would have quite a few breaks – that doesn't always happen, of course."
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines

Afternoon [needs clarification]

My personal work is a bit sporadic. Sometimes I'll have fifteen ideas at once and I'll just draw a whole bunch and then post them throughout the next couple of weeks, depending on my mood that day. More often than not, I'll do an illustration in the late afternoon to post the next morning, but it depends.

It's no longer a daily ritual, but it can be depending on what I'm going through at the time. Sometimes if I've just broken up with someone, or if I'm feeling really emotional about something or something crazy is happening in politics, I'll have such a burst of creative energy and it's easy for me to do five at a time.

More often, if I'm having a pretty stable emotions and I don't have that much inspiration, so I'll just do something I've been thinking about lately.

 
"My personal work is a bit sporadic. Sometimes I'll have fifteen ideas at once and I'll just draw a whole bunch and then post them throughout the next couple of weeks, depending on my mood that day. "
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines

 

Early evening

I probably spend about six hours at the studio and then stop around 5pm. Often the way I punctuate my day is to have a glass of wine at five – that really marks the end of day because I can't work very well after I've had a glass of wine.

Then I’ll read fun stuff on the internet, catch up on news or talk to a friend.

"Often the way I punctuate my day is to have a glass of wine at five – that really marks the end of day because I can't work very well after I've had a glass of wine."
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines

Evening

I kind of look like a mess most of the day because I’m usually exercising and running around. So in the evening I'll take a shower and put on makeup and emerge!

Even thought I am an introvert, I almost always have something going on in the evening. I spend my whole day by myself, so it's always nice in to have a reason to dress up and get out into the city – whether it’s going out for dinner, a pop-up shop, or a date.  

In my late 20s – and I still draw on these experiences a lot – I was dating all the time. I was on the apps and going on a date a couple of times a week. Even though I don't date as much any more, I can still remember what that was like and draw on those experiences in my art.

Since moving to New York, I've only met people through mutual friends, or people I meet in real life. I've actually met a lot of people through Instagram! I think Instagram's the new Tinder. [Laughs]

It's always like these very sensitive men who are like, "Oh, I really love your art, and if you ever want to meet up some time in a park, we'll do that." That's been kind of fun.

Another thing is, I don't know what it is – maybe I've been on too many dates – but I feel like I can only do one at a time. If I go on one date with someone, until we stop seeing each other, I can't do any more. I have to be very focused; I have to give it all my energy.

I really like the fast pace of New York – I don't know how long it's going to last, so I just really appreciate it right now. I also do realise I am in a pretty lucky place where I don't have a lot of responsibility. I have a pretty relaxed schedule when all is said and done. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life who are always doing interesting things. I really try to take advantage of that.

Late evening

I try not to stay out too late, so I’ll be home around 11pm. I definitely need eight hours of sleep or I'm kind of useless the next day. I used to be able to really push my limits on sleep. Now I can't anymore.

As I wash my face, change and get ready for bed, I always have a podcast going, and that's sort of relaxing. I listen to podcasts all the time because I live alone and it's nice to have someone talking in your space – like a nice little chat with a friend before bed.

To wind down I would try to do some stretches or something. But I don't have a beautiful, wholesome evening routine like I'm sure that Gwyneth Paltrow or someone does – I just talk to my podcast friends. I really try, again, to stay very far away from my phone. Although sometimes it is really relaxing to look at Instagram before bed, so I'm as guilty as anyone.

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Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines
 

EXTRAORDINARY FINDINGS

Read:

Look:

Watch:

Listen:

 

Follow @bymariandrew on
Instagram and Twitter
Read her book, Am I There Yet?

 
Mari Andrew interview Extraordinary Routines
 

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