Dumb Questions for Smart Designers – Mari Andrew

New York Times best-selling writer, artist, and speaker Mari Andrew doesn’t need to have it all figured out. In her opinion, that’s what art is for – to decipher the world around us, to lift our spirits, even to wistfully daydream – and the internet agrees. Her 1 million Instagram followers connect deeply in her daily watercolor vignettes showcasing her vulnerability and inner monologue.

Mari was kind enough to carve out some time to talk likes and dislikes, favorites and phobias, and she’s just as kind and bubbly as you’d imagine. When she’s not dominating social media, Mari travels to speak about her own creative process and how to use one’s unique personal journey when approaching artmaking. You can catch her on the road or online on Skillshare. Thank you for sharing, Mari!

And Michael B. Jordan – if you’re out there – she’s into tapas.

Q. Where was the last place you samba danced?

At my studio in the East Village. It’s a basement, so it’s not the most joyful atmosphere, but when the drummers show up they light up the whole space, and it’s awesome.

Q. Mayo on french fries, yes or no?

My biggest phobia is mayo! I tried to do it with fries, because I heard it was a good way to get introduced to mayo, and it’s so gross. I lived in Chile for a couple of years. They have a yellow mayo and they put it on everything. I was constantly triggered.

Q. What noise does your spirit animal make?

I identify most closely with zebras and I was trying to remember if they make a sound, and I think it might be kind of a whinny. Who even knows what’s going on with zebras? What even is a zebra? Their sound included….very mysterious.

Q. What’s your favorite flavor of watercolor?

My favorite color is fuschia, and to me, it’s the filling in a raspberry pie.

Q. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Brunch waitress, because there are so many little things that people want, like little ramekins of ketchup or extra jam or butter. You have to say, “How would you like your eggs?” and “Wheat, white or sourdough toast?” and “Fruit salad or potatoes?” There are so many options and it’s all really boring. People just gotta have their extra condiments. That one was a lot of labor for very little money.

Q. What did you wait too long to tell someone?

I’ve waited too long to tell someone many times that they had something in their teeth. I’m always asking, “Do I have something in my teeth?” There have been times I didn’t tell and then I felt really guilty about it.

Q. How often do you water your plants?

They’re all fake.

Q. Do you ever try to hit undo when watercoloring?

Totally. I’ve gotten very comfortable with showing mistakes in my work and crossing things out. Whenever I make a mistake and then just scribble it out, I always get comments. I think it’s very comforting for people to see that I guess.

Q. If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would it be?

I decided to make this a dinner date with Michael B. Jordan. A candlelit date! I always like to do charming appetizers on dates – there are a lot of romantic opportunities there. That’s my strategy!

Q. Favorite emoji to use in comments? Weirdest emoji you have seen in your comments?

The one I use most is the pink heart with the arrow through it because it looks so sweet like a valentine. One of my “Most Used” is an egg because I was just freezing my eggs a couple of months ago. It felt really good and productive to do…and it introduced a new emoji into my life.

I’m sure I’ve seen some strange ones…The flame one. When people comment it on my art – especially when it’s art that’s not a mic drop – just me talking about my feelings – very gentle, soft feelings – it really throws me off. But I take it as a compliment.

I never know how to interpret the black heart. I think it’s very used in the fashion community, and that one is a mystery to me.

Q. Were you team Brandon Walsh or Dylan McKay?

Team Dylan!

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