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Instagram Artist Mari Andrew Creates Art From Vulnerability

Culture
Photo by By Carol Wild Photography. All art by Mari Andrew.

Her comics offer a candid look at life as we know it

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.

But for all the silver linings Andrew finds through her creativity (see her Heart of the Month series, where she breaks down everything that brings her joy in a 30-day period), her career as an artist started from a very dark place—the death of her father and a terrible breakup, both which took place during a very short period in 2015. “I felt like I was at the bottom of a pit,” she recalls. “I had to pull myself out. It took months to decide what was going to bring me out of this. I just wrote lists of things that make me happy. I liked to draw. I wanted to learn how to play guitar. I wanted to learn how to dance. So I just started all these hobbies. The doodling one stuck.”

It didn’t matter that she wasn’t professionally trained, or that the Instagram account she started strictly to keep herself accountable only had a handful of followers. Andrew found that she liked the challenge of delivering a doodle a day—even if it meant racing the clock and posting at 11:58pm. “That was the amazing thing about having such a tough year, I just didn’t care anymore,” she says. “I didn’t have to have a career. I didn’t have to have a boyfriend. I didn’t need to have abs. I can exercise because it makes me happy. I can start drawing because it makes me happy. It was very freeing.”

It’s through Instagram that Andrew found first her audience and then her career. With nearly half a million fans and a book slated for release in 2018, it’s been six months since she started calling art her full-time gig. She’s even finding peace in the uncertainty of the freelancer life. After all, there’s commissions, a web store, and international adventures to think of. (A sabbatical in Spain earlier this year, where she was planning on exploring street art, was derailed by a mysterious illness that left her hospitalized for a month, but Andrew—now recovered—says another trip, this time to Ireland, has already been booked.) But as self-aware as her work would imply, Andrew acknowledges that none of this would have happened if she hadn’t kept her expectations low, her appreciation high, and actually started doing, rather than simply dreaming.

“It’s amazing that it took me until I was 28 to ask myself what I like to do,” Andrew recalls:

I remember sitting around envying other people’s lives and thinking, I wish I could play the guitar. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could just salsa dance? It was around that time, when I was at rock bottom, that I thought, Why don’t I do those things? I can learn how to dance. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. It’s crazy, but so many people will say, "I’d like to play guitar." First step: get one! Things are a lot easier than we think they are. I didn’t feel like I was good enough to be an artist because I never went to art school. I don’t really know how to draw that well. So, for me, it didn’t even feel like an option. And then it was like, "Whoa, I’m doing this now, so I guess it is an option." The fun thing is when a career is a total surprise to you, so is everything else.

Follow Mari Andrew on Instagram @mariandrew

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube www.youtube.com

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

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Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale youtu.be

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.

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