Relationships

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Our favorite illustrator Mari Andrew just came out with a book: Am I There Yet? To celebrate, she and I met at Books are Magic — with a bunch of wonderful men and women — to chat about life, work, heartbreak and buttered toast. Here are a few photos and funny things she said…

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Her new book in the window of Books Are Magic in Brooklyn.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

The crowds were huge. As Mari and I prepared to walk on stage, we were not not nervous. Luckily, her agent had brought some Champagne, which we sipped (chugged?) before grabbing the microphones.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Luckily, once we started chatting, our butterflies went away, and the audience was so warm and friendly. Mari has a knack for drawing things people are secretly thinking about (exhibit A, exhibit B), so I asked her if she’s always hunting for ideas. “Well, I didn’t have any friends when I was growing up,” she told us. “People say, ‘Oh, you know, I had no friends,’ but I literally had NO FRIENDS. I identified much more with older people. But what adult wants to invite a seven-year-old to their dinner party?” As a tried-and-true outsider, she explained, she spent time observing her surroundings and learned what makes people tick.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

We talked about when she struggled to find a career path, fell severely ill during a solo trip to Spain, lost her father, and endured heartbreak (side note: her ex-boyfriends now read her cartoons), but Mari said these tough times helped lead her where she is today. One way she suggests helping a friend who’s grieving? Leave lasagna on their doorstep.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Amazingly, Mari didn’t start drawing until two years ago, at age 29. Her other hobbies include playing guitar, solo traveling and dancing. One of my favorite lines from her book: “You may not always have the same friends or same relationship you have now, but you’ll always be with you… now’s the time to become to person you want to live with for the rest of your life.” (Don’t you love that?)

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Here, she showed us a flamenco dance move that made her feel like a mermaid underwater.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Toward the end of the chat, we did a lightning round, and here are some of her answers:
Three things you’ll always find in her fridge: Chardonnay, arugula, kimchi
Celeb crush: Frank Ocean
Best dish she ate recently: Buttered toast for breakfast
Irrational fear: Public speaking

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

The evening was really fun – and everyone was such a joy to be around. We ate Poppy’s cookies while Mari signed autographs. Here’s her book, if you’d like to take a closer look.

A Book Reading with Mari Andrew

Thank you for the inspiration, as always, Mari. xoxo

P.S. Mari’s illustrations on Cup of Jo, and the great book swap.

(Photos by Ana Gambuto for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Skylar says...

    One thing I noticed is that CoJ has been promoting Mari from early on, and that’s awesome that there’s follow through.. as an aspiring artist myself, watching Mari’s progress live for all of us to see has been MINDBLOWING. Her book deal could have dropped out, something could have happened, and we rely on her honesty and gumption to write a funny AND relatable comic if that was the case. But it wasn’t and that’s been the most inspiring thing to see.

  2. Nicole says...

    It took me a while to connect that in addition to being a Cup of Jo contributor, Mari was on one of my favorite podcasts discussing her illness in Spain and path to healing afterward. Definitely worth a listen: http://www.outtherepodcast.com/episodes/2017/12/7/the-sand-is-for-me

    I shouldn’t be surprised that someone with such empathetic art has been through so much. Truly an inspiration!

  3. Megan says...

    Mari’s shoes are hot.

  4. Hello all of you wonderful Cup of Jo enthusiasts! Joanna, a pleasure as always to have you in the store! And just a reminder that one can also order (and pre-order) books from independent bookstores, too! You can order Mari’s book straight from us at Books Are Magic, and right now we still have a big ‘ol stack of signed books! Even better! Much love to all! https://www.booksaremagic.net/?q=h.tviewer&using_sb=status&qsb=keyword&qse=rgHmVQkJfJ5QtLczJoUOGQ

    • How cool to see a comment from Emma Straub on a post about Mari Andrew! Such a fan girl moment for me :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, emma! will swap the link now that it’s available!

  5. TNelly says...

    Awesome! Also Mari, those shoes, hubba hubba!!

  6. Sarah Smith says...

    Go Mari go! You rock lady!

  7. sadie says...

    Yay! So excited about this book! I didn’t know she was coming out with one. Ordered immediately. <3

  8. Meghan says...

    Getting Laura Prepon vibes from Mari in these photos. Nothing more captivating than a person who has done the hard work of knowing themselves; she radiates grace, intelligence, and self-love!

  9. Nomi says...

    Is there another way to order Mari’s book online? I’m boycotting Amazon because of their NRA channel at present… Thanks!

  10. Katie says...

    Just ordered my copy, can’t wait to get it! I’m hoping it helps me through this tricky “becoming an adult” phase I’m in, thank you Mari!

  11. Sasha says...

    What a fun group in those photos! Mari, thanks for the wonderful work you do!

  12. Those smiling faces in the photos are everything!! It’s so awesome to see so many women turning out to support another lady, and I can’t wait for my copy of the book to arrive over in Australia now!!

  13. Paige says...

    Wait, she’s only been drawing for two years? How? I can’t remember a time I haven’t been laughing and wondering if Mari should be my best friend.

  14. Liz says...

    Congratulations, Mari!!! xoxo

  15. Megan says...

    Uh… I didn’t think I could love Mari more, and then I saw her outfit!

    Beautiful!!!

  16. This was the first time I ever pre-ordered a book! Thanks to artists like Mari and others, I’m finally understanding how important it is to support artists and writers we love with our purchases. Can’t wait to receive it (argh, Barnes and Noble!).

    • alexandra says...

      I don’t usually preorder books either (not sure why, honestly ha!) but I’m a big fan of Mari (and you to, Jo <3) and am so excited to dig into my copy! xx

  17. Kay says...

    What a sweet evening!
    Also, can we just talk about how killer Mari’s outfit is?

    • Cat says...

      Yes! Those shoes! That dress! The jewelry! And the essence of, albeit nervous, joy radiating from her entire self. My first and last thought; okay she didn’t have friends, but will she be mine now?!?

  18. Sounds like such a fun evening — would’ve loved to be there! Congratulations Mari — can’t wait to check out the book! On a side note, there is something so fascinating about independent bookstores. I love the good old idea of spending a relaxing evening — just sipping tea and reading in a neighborhood bookstore. But I never do that. This post is such a good reminder to do that more often. May be make it a Sunday afternoon family ritual? We have one independent reader, and the minute the younger one joins her sister, that’s what we are doing : ) Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! i LOVE hanging out in bookstores. my dad used to take us to bookstores on the weekday evenings we’d hang out with him (my parents were divorced), and we’d all lounge and read and chat about the books. i adored the ritual.

    • Oh my dad used to take me to bookstores, too! My parents were divorced too and since both my dad and i were avid readers, that’s the thing we shared at the time, and it helps us stay connected through these rather tough times. I have very fond memories of wandering through bookstores with my dad and choosing a book at random, just by looking at the cover or reading the first few pages while he would chat with the owner a little further away :)

      And, obviously, congratulations to Mari! I pre-ordered the book and really really can’t wait to read it!

  19. Kathy says...

    I have tickets to her Mari’s book talk in DC this Thursday and while I was already excited to attend, now I’m SO EXCITED. Can’t wait!

  20. gfy says...

    I love how much support she’s getting from that crowd of what looks to be a stellar group of women – all her age! I think that is really cool.

  21. Carrie says...

    Mari you are simply amazing, I can’t wait to get your book! Congratulations on your publication, but also on stepping up in front of that beautiful crowd to speak (my fear also! that must have been hard!!).

    Also I can’t stop checking out your braids. Perfect hairstyle on you.

  22. M says...

    Those heels are rocking, Mari! Can’t wait to read your new book :)

  23. Anna says...

    I’m getting Mari’s book, the impractical edition of The Secret History and a fancy SPF as gifts for myself for my birthday this year. Light & dark & little self-care. x

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES! happy birthday :)

  24. Had the best time at this event, Joanna! You asked excellent questions.

    I loved how Mari said she draws for herself because she enjoys it and doesn’t think about the audience/what others think. In my experience, doing things for yourself because you enjoy them might sound simple–but it isn’t easy! I found her so inspirational and sweet.

    Thanks for leading the conversation so well + BIG congrats to Mari! :) xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so glad to hear that, joyce! thank you so much for saying so.

  25. Joss says...

    Look at all the smiles! What a beautiful, happy crowd!

  26. Libbynan says...

    So glad for the book….. Mari is my laugh-out-loud moment every week! You both look so relaxed and happy and engaged in these photos….. I’m sure it was a wonderful evening. Plus, what a beautiful group of women in attendance.

  27. “Amazingly, Mari didn’t start drawing until two years ago, at age 29.” >>> This gives me so much hope that one day, I will find a creative outlet to let out all the stuff I’m processing as I’m growing more into myself. An adult, adulting not like an adult is “supposed to” be adulting. :)

    • Sasha says...

      “an adult not adulting like an adult is supposed to be adulting” I feel like this a lot!!

      I had an epiphany a while back that what I really lack is a sense that I am capable. I think that’s what *adulting* means to me, being capable, being competent, at life, and I don’t feel it much.

  28. Rachel Cobb says...

    cheering from afar! I pre-ordered the book because I thought it would make a wonderful addition to my sister’s graduation present, but I am thinking that I will probably buy one for myself! SO excited to get my hands on this book. Big love from Germany and wishing all things good and lovely for Mari.
    :)

  29. mwana says...

    So much fun!

  30. Anna says...

    Love Mari’s illustrations, she is someone I’m always recommending as an instagram follow. Also, I’ve not seen a photo of her before, doesn’t she look just like her drawings of herself come to life! It looks like such a fun event

  31. Soph says...

    Her quote reminds me of a CoJ reader comment that stuck with me since I’ve read it: “You are permanent. Everyone else is temporary.” I’ve often repeated it to friends who are going through tough relationships and have found it’s often just the right amount of “tough love” needed.

    • Sasha says...

      Those quotes remind me of something I heard a long time ago, in relation to divorce, moving, new career or job…….. You can make a change, but always remember you are taking you with you. Sometimes the change we need to do is with ourselves, but seems easier to change those externals.

      “Now’s the time to become the person you want to live with for the rest of your life” Yes!!

  32. Laura C. says...

    Mari you are amazing, I love your work and I admire you. I was like you, I had no friends because I was bullied at school. But now LOOK at you! You’re amazing. And please if you come back to Southern Spain again please tell me, I shall dance with you! ❤️

  33. Ack, I wish I could just up and move myself to NYC to come hang out with you, Joanna! I love that you’ve been having little meet-ups here and there. It reminds me of when you’d meet up with readers back at the start of the blog. I think I read this in a comment previously, but seriously: can you start a podcast? You’ve worked with so many cool and inspiring women and it would be so much fun to hear longer-form interviews with the people you feature on the blog (like in house tour, Motherhood Around the World, Beauty Uniform, Week of Outfits, etc.). I have no idea what goes into making a podcast, but if that were ever on the table, know I would listen to it in a heartbeat. xoxo

    • Emme says...

      YES

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, we would love to! what a fun idea. we’d have to figure out the time and money side of it, but we’d love to try.

    • Jill says...

      I think about a COJ podcast every time I get bored of the one I’m listening to… I’d love to listen!

    • Adela says...

      Ditto! when i saw the pic that’s what i thought i was going to hear was Jo doing a podcast with Mari at the bookstore! Go for it please!

    • Laura C. says...

      Whatever related to CoJ would work. Imagine some merchandising featuring Mari’s drawings or quotes from CoJ staff/readers. Podcast is a great idea.

    • YES! I actually responded to one of your Instagram stories a couple months back asking when you were going to start a podcast because you were talking in it with Anton and I noticed you have a great voice!! I would love listening to a COJ podcast. I’m always looking for good “girlfriend chat shows” that aren’t drivel. You guys would do that perfectly!

    • Sasha says...

      Yes to a podcast, it would be a hit!

    • Meghan says...

      PODCAST YES!

    • Laura says...

      I agree–I would LOVE a CoJ podcast. It is what is missing from our lives. Please go for it! :)

    • E says...

      YES — you could make a killing. I listen to so many podcasts that are good, not great and they have legit sponsors. So imagine what you could get!

  34. Stefanie says...

    Preorderd the book over here in Austria and literally can’t wait. Her work and she is such a big inspiration for me… Thank you so much for “introducing” us to her :)

  35. Misha says...

    How is Mari not beating off suitors?! She’s not only wildly talented, she’s also darling! : ) I have pre-ordered four books since last year. I am DYING to get them. I already have the BFFs chosen who will get two, along with my 16 year old who adores her, and one for my own bedside table! xoxo

  36. lulu says...

    Mari I always look forward to seeing your illustrations on Fridays on COJ. Your words are poignant, funny and brilliant. Congratulations on your book. I’ve just ordered a copy to be sent to my lovely sister – she doesn’t know it’s coming so I hope she enjoys the surprise. Cheers from the other side of the world : )

  37. Lily says...

    I love everything about this. And I have to ask – Mari where did you get your your dress??

    • Claire says...

      Yes- love the dress!

  38. Tierney says...

    This makes me so happy. I learned about Mari Andrews when I was visiting a friend in Bangkok; my friend told me I’d love her drawings. Fast forward to a few months later when I was home in DC, I saw her drawing at my favorite Vietnamese place (Pho 14 on Park)! Mari was was super gracious when I had a mini fan girl moment. Congratulations on all your success!

  39. Looks like such fun! Mari’s drawings always bring me such joy.

    xx

  40. Curious Reader says...

    Jo – where is your sweater from? I love it!

  41. My favorite thing: how you write “if you like” at the end of some of your posts when you offer suggestions or recommendations. It makes me feel no pressure at all, which is such a nice relief.

    Also, Mari, you are so good at the things you do. Congratulations on this brilliant accomplishment. I don’t know you, but having followed you for awhile, I feel very proud of you! :)

    • Alison says...

      I also love how you say, “if you like” its so sweet and makes me want to read it even more! And to Mari – CONGRATS!!! I’ve been following you on Insta since you started drawings each day and I look forward to them daily – you have such a way with expressing things that always felt / feel but don’t always know how to verbalize!

  42. BLG says...

    I cannot wait to read this book! I also wanted to tell you I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Modern Love, and heard a lovely heart-wrenching story about a young woman coping with terminal cancer. At the very end of the story, I hear a familiar name pop up, and it was your sister Lucy! She was sharing her incredible journey through grief, love and loss and it really stayed with me all day. I wish you and Lucy all the best.

  43. Jenny says...

    She’s every bit as cool and pretty as I imagined her being before I’d seen a picture. Mari, congratulations on this huge milestone. You have so much to be proud of! Your work is so gentle and good hearted and funny too.

  44. Joanna says...

    Please tell me everything about Mari’s amazing dress! Do you have any intel?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she says: HOW VERY VERY SWEET!!!! It’s Alice and Olivia! :)

    • CC says...

      And her blue shoes!! Cute! Please please do an outfit series with Mari. Her style is amazing :)

  45. Lorraine says...

    This was a magical evening! I’m so happy it happened, and that I was able to enjoy some mama time in great company. To quote everyone else I’m also such a fan girl of you both, what a lovely night! Ha I can even see my giddy smile in that crowd shot. xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so sweet, lorraine! thank you so much for coming :)

  46. Grace says...

    Love Mari’s entire outfit, especially those gorgeous blue heels!

    • Jennifer in KS says...

      Must second this! The shoes are to die for …even if they are so high that wearing them might literally hasten my end! 😂
      Cheers!

  47. Thank you for sharing photos and moments! I was wishing I was in NYC for this, but this post is the second best thing :)

  48. I’m sure I’m one of many when I say, “I wish I could have been there!” It looks like the event was a huge success! Congrats Mari!

  49. Laura says...

    Is there an audio recording? Now fully in favor of a Cup of Jo podcast.

    • Nicole says...

      Oh my gosh, yes!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i was kicking myself afterward for not recording it! mari was so hilarious and wise, i wanted to hear her answers again :) next time we will record for sure.

    • Sara says...

      CoJ podcast! I am so into that idea!!!

    • Diana says...

      A Cup of Jo podcast – YES!!

    • lulu says...

      Oooh a Cup of Jo podcast would be wonderful! Please, please, please!

    • Claire says...

      I am so intrigued by her traveling solo and would love to hear more about that. Also- I love the suggestion to feature Mari in the week of outfits series.

    • Tina, nyc. says...

      Molly, thank you for the link to the interview with Mari! She is so lovely!! I just spent 6 minutes smiling in my kitchen while cleaning up an epic “baby led weaning” mess ie little bits of food on floor. Lol!!

      And Jo & team, yes I would LOVE a Podcast, please!!

    • Becca Lynn says...

      Yessss a CoJ podcast would be killer!

  50. Laura says...

    Yay!!!

  51. Hanna says...

    Congratulations, Mari! I love your illustrations and can’t wait for my book to arrive tomorrow. Would’ve loved to attend your event. Cheers from Minneapolis!

  52. Rose says...

    I must say I am often caught by surprise at the way Mari’s illustrations touch me & make me screenshot and disseminate to friends <3 Sincere congrats!

  53. bella says...

    she’s such a cutie and she seems like she has such a great soul!! love this!!

  54. Ellen says...

    I had SUCH a lovely time at this event on Saturday! It was the biggest pleasure to be in such a joyful space, and I of course was having my fangirl moment over being in the same room as you two :)

    Joanna, you’ll be glad to hear that some of the staff at Books are Magic were passing off Poppy’s cookies as baked by you! They must have successfully pulled my leg – I was very very impressed ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, ellen! and oh my gosh, it’s my life goal to reverse engineer those cookies! :)

    • Lauren says...

      Where is Poppy’s? Or who is Poppy? I’d love to know how to get those cookies :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, they are so good, lauren. poppy’s is an amazing catering company, but they also have a pop-up cafe every weekend with the COOKIES! http://www.poppyscatering.com/to-go/

    • Lauren says...

      So excited to try them–I didn’t get one at the event! Thank you so much, Joanna! What a fun evening. I truly enjoyed every moment.

  55. Just had to fan girl when I spotted the Pantsuit Nation book in the background! I’m one of the contributors!!!! xoxo

  56. Rachel Adrianna says...

    “As Mari and I prepared to walk on stage, we were not nervous.” Typo or really confident ladies? ;)

    • Michelle says...

      I read it as tongue-in-cheek :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh haha it’s supposed to say, “we were not NOT nervous” :)

  57. Lee Leroux says...

    Oh I want to buy this book , looks like such a fun evening, I love her drawing and musings.

  58. AJ says...

    Brilliant! Mari really does have a knack for translating all the little niggles and nuances going on in our brains. And making us smile and breathe a sigh of relief in recognition! So great to see your star rising Mari, you so deserve it!

  59. Christina says...

    Mari is darling!!! I love her drawings, follow her on instagram, preordered her book ages ago, etc.etc.etc., but it is SO fun to see her in this dynamic setting, laughing, talking, animating her voice with hand gestures. You can really see how warm and open she is, even from afar. Thank you for sharing more photos and details for those of us following along on her journey!

    • Christina says...

      And P.S. what a stylish cool-chic crowd! Puffer coats, chambray shirts, puff-top beanies, side braids, glasses galore…

  60. This looks like an amazing event! And what a cute bookstore, thanks for sharing! I’m excited to learn more about her new book – I bet it is full of all the wisdom I’ve come to rely on her for. I’ve shared her articles a few times on my blog, most recently this one: https://bit.ly/2Gedp1s which includes things you have to do, and things you don’t have to do. My friends and readers really loved it too! A good reminder to not be so hard on yourself all the time.