#howimend: Illustrator Mari Andrew On How She Turned Her Pain Into Art



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By Kate Paguinto



Mari Andrew is the talented artist behind the popular Instagram account @bymariandrew. She has grown a large following with her illustrations that illuminate the funny (and sometimes painful) truths about dating, relationships and love.

When she's not creating new art for the world to enjoy, Mari hosts Turning Your Pain Into Art, an often sold-out workshop in DC/NYC to help people turn a painful experience into therapy. You can follow Mari on Instagram or check out her site here .

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If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

"The story doesn't end here. What feels like a closed door is the beginning."

What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?

"I am capable of healing myself and creating my own love and magic in my life."

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What are your rituals during a breakup?

"Taking care of my body is huge. I love physical touch and miss it a lot after a break up, so I make sure to schedule a massage, and take yoga classes with hands-on adjustments! Feeling connected through touch, even to strangers, is helpful for me to heal. I try to be really healthy during a breakup because the body holds so much stress and trauma. I exercise a lot to counteract the effects of entire pints of ice cream (very necessary also)."

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Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?

"Oh my god, I'm the queen of checking my ex's insta!!! It's the WORST. It was actually my New Year's Resolution in 2016 to stop doing that. Sometimes you just have to delete the app. It's also a habit, so I try to replace bad habits with better ones. Instead of googling his name, google a new recipe instead. Or something. I'm not great at this! The internet can be a very dark place for the heartbroken, and you need accountability partners."

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

"Just because it didn't work out romantically doesn't mean it didn't work out. I'm thankful for all the relationships I've had, and grateful for the purpose they served."

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Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

"Absolutely--I have some wonderful exes who are great friends. I think the ex relationship is very special; it almost feels like a family member at some point, if you had a healthy and friendly breakup. Of course, some exes can't really be friends without a lot of work, which may not be worth it."

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What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

"People are always changing and evolving and getting better. I have changed so much through all my relationships. I'm ready now for a type of relationship I couldn't have handled when I was any younger. I have to believe that my potential partners are the same way. Right now, some future love of mine might be getting stronger after his own heartache and feeling ready for me too. I hope he has great hair!"

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

" 'Almost Lover' by A Fine Frenzy. I listened to that for 8 hours on a plane once right after a breakup. A low point for sure."

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

"Before Midnight."

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

"I'm working on getting a book published - my dream come true! And I never would have done it if I hadn't gone through a ton of heartache."

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Check out Mari Andrew's site or follow her on Instagram

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Kate Paguinto

Kate is a Content Strategist and co-owner of Dizzy Cactus. She likes puns, Wes Anderson, and the Oxford comma.

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