These Instagram Illustrations Expose the Challenges of Adulthood

July 12th 2016

Laura Donovan

Adulthood comes with a slew of challenges, and one artist put these experiences in a humorous light through her large collection of illustrations on Instagram.

Mari Andrew Twitter

Mari Andrew, an artist based in Washington, D.C., created dozens of illustrations that reflect many struggles young people face today.

One image, for example, speaks to how young people are sometimes unlucky in love and insecure about asserting themselves in professional situations:


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on

Another image highlights the challenges of achieving a work-life balance, which research has shown is important to many young workers:


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on

Some drawings show the specific obstacles that women face trying to navigate the dating world and dealing with sexist suitors:


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on

"Every illustration I make is based on something that happened to me, or something I've talked about with friends," Andrew told ATTN: via email. "I started drawing an illustration a day of something I observed or experienced, so they're all very personal and based on true events!"

She said that even though she doesn't think of her drawings as adulthood-themed, she views them as "scenes from [her] own life that perhaps feel universal to other people who are also getting through the wobbly parts of growing up/older."

Many of the comments about her work have been positive:


Andrew told ATTN: that she did not anticipate such a passionate response from commenters, as her drawings were meant to be "a fun project to express [herself] in a new way."

"Once strangers started following me, I realized how universal a lot of my experiences are. My favorite type of comment is something like, 'I thought I was the only one,' or 'It's like you're inside my head.' It makes me so happy every time. That's an incredible feeling, and one I didn't even know I could feel. Throughout my 20s, I've really appreciated the writers and artists who have made me feel less alone, so getting to do that for other people feels so good. I love that we're all in this together. And when people relate to the art I've made, it makes me feel less alone, too!"


A photo posted by Mari Andrew (@bymariandrew) on

"When I make comics about relationship woes or career crises or budgeting [woes], I'm doing so with the hope that people will feel comforted and know that this is just all a part of growing up (at any age)," she continued. "Being able to laugh at myself is something that's gotten me through the toughest parts of my 20s, so I hope people can laugh with me (or at me!) and know that there's a much bigger picture. Being an adult is awesome and I hope I capture the fun moments as well as the challenging ones."

You can check out the rest of her artwork here.

Watch ATTN:'s video on adulthood below:

[H/T Distractify]