The World of Illustration: Mari Andrew Illustration

Hello everyone! I think it’s safe to say everyone is feeling the need to find reasons to laugh and some lighthearted escapes. And that’s where illustration can really hit home. I’m beyond thrilled to share a peek into the work of a super talented illustrator, and a true artist crush of mine — Mari Andrew. It’s not everyday you look into someone’s Instagram feed and wish you could paper your walls with their work. But that’s the feeling I got when I first discovered Mari Andrew, an illustrator and writer living in Washington, D.C. Her illustrations are so personal, so real, and some are the literal laugh-out-loud variety. So I asked Mari to share some insight into her world as an illustrator, and as someone I wish I could meet for coffee and just chat (so this is the next best thing!). Here’s our Q&A and some of my all-time favorite illustrations of hers, but do check out her website and Instagram for even more! Jen

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Where do you like to work when you’re creating an illustration?

A: I work from the cutest little studio with the cutest little name — The Lemon Bowl. I used to work on a coffee table in my apartment, but that table is also where I eat, watch Netflix, email, and scroll through Instagram, so it didn’t feel like a very creative space. It changed my life to have a studio space where I could go and work, sort of like going to the gym. At the studio, I’m accountable to create and I feel much more disciplined and focused when I’m there. I sit at a long table and listen to podcasts and occasionally get up to stretch or dance a little.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Where do you like to go to be inspired?

A: Brazil! But also, I walk two hours a day (to work and back home) and that’s a very creative time for me when I’m processing life events. It’s also a great time to look around to get inspired by other people and the interesting things I see along my commute through several neighborhoods.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Do you have a favorite color or color palette?

A: I love fuchsia! I try to make as many Venn diagrams as I can to work in big splashes of pink. I really love the way black/white illustration looks, but I have too much fun with watercolor to stick to such a palette myself.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: What artist tools do you use for creating your illustrations-a-day?

A: I use the cheapest tools: A Sharpie pen and a travel watercolor set I got on Amazon for $19.99. I draw on nice watercolor paper though!

Mari Andrew Illustration

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: I love how some of your illustrations so perfectly depict dating life, and the myriad of experiences you can have as a single person dating. Have those illustrations been some of the pieces that have resonated most with people? Do you have a favorite ice cream for breakup blues?

A: YES, I always think I am totally alone in my dating fiascos and breakups, but as soon as I publish something very personal, a lot of people always resonate. They say it makes them feel less alone, which is lovely, but I do it selfishly because it makes ME feel less alone! The dating illustrations are definitely the most popular; I think it’s because we all assume we’re somewhat isolated in our experiences and it’s nice to know that it’s just hard for everyone, no matter who you are.

A breakup ice cream has to be SUPER indulgent or it doesn’t work. I’d go for Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked. The more chunks of baked goods mixed in, the better.

Mari Andrew Illustration

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person? When do you create your best work?

A:  I have all my energy and create my best work in the morning. It’s a little stressful having that time of day be so productive in contrast to the rest: do I spend that energy on my art, on cleaning my apartment, exercise, or my 9-5 job? Art usually wins!

Mari Andrew Illustration

A big thank you to Mari Andrew for sharing her thoughts and work. Isn’t it amazing how art (that makes you think!) can be created simply with a sharpie and a cheap set of watercolors? I love that. See you back here soon!

Photos: Mari Andrew

The World of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

Hi everyone! I’m Jen L’Italien, a Maine-based writer, mama, maker, potty training consultant (yes, that is a thing!), and longtime reader of OSBP (and fan of the lovely Nole and her crew). I’m so happy to be here on OSBP, with a column that scouts illustrators from around the world! For this month’s peek into The World of Illustration, I couldn’t resist rifting off all the unicorn love we’ve been seeing here on OSBP (because I live with a 5-year-old who believes unicorns reign supreme over mermaids, princesses, and sometimes even fairies.) So when I stumbled upon this unicorn illustration by UK-based illustrator and designer Emma Haines, I found my unicorn designing soul sister. Then low and behold, I discovered Emma Haines has a super illustration of a llama, a personal favorite four-legged creature. So let’s peek into the modern illustration world of Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design and get transported to a magical land of cool design. Jen

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This illustration is called A Unicorn in a Terrarium, and I love how it’s modern, whimsical — with a spot-on color palette. By the way, if your small human is also obsessed with unicorns, I highly recommend the book Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal — it’s a really sweet tale all about the magic in believing what you haven’t yet seen.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This modern llama illustration is the bees-knees in my book. Sure, the illustration would be perfect for a child’s room, but honestly, I could picture it in a dreamy meditation room (complete with a colorful kilim rug in the space) or as part of a colorful gallery wall.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This double-decker bus illustration (so adorable for a nursery!) is a sweet nod to London. Emma currently designs giftware, gift wrap, and stationery for an art licensing company based in Nottingham. It’s clear to see how she’s inspired by color and children’s picture books.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

This whimsical botanical illustration is called Inky Jungle Pattern and I would love to see it as a wallpaper in my bathroom (or a big print of it framed for the wall).

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

I imagine this illustration working in so many mediums — the perfect gift wrap for a housewarming gift, a whimsical wallpaper for a playroom, or as a fabric to add in some playful color to a child’s space.

The Word of Illustration: Emma Haines of Cut and Stick Design

And a sweet and snoozy cat seemed the right way to end this jaunt through the amazing work of UK illustrator Emma Haines. See you soon with a peek into the work of another talented gem in the illustration world!

Photo Credits: Cut and Stick Design and Emma Haines

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid

I’m so excited to share the work of our first illustrator here on The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid. Kelsey is a freelance illustrator and artist located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her work first caught my eye on Instagram when I scrolled by one of her beautiful moth illustrations. I particularly love her use of colors and shapes along with her choice in subject matter. Kelsey was kind enough to speak to us a bit about her profession and personal inspirations. – Julie

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid / Oh So Beautiful Paper

What is your background?

I took lots of art classes growing up, and my father, who is a watercolor painter, taught me to paint as well. I also have a degree in Visual Communications from Loyola University Chicago.

How did you begin your journey of becoming an illustrator?

I’ve really always wanted to be an illustrator. When I graduated college I worked for a publishing company as a production artist for a while, but I craved more creative outlets. I left my steady job to become a “piecemeal creative” freelancer, taking design and art related jobs wherever I could get them. Finally in the last year I’ve been able to focus primarily on my illustration work, which I love!

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Who or what inspires you?

A lot of my work is about the natural world. So of course, nature is an inspiration! And I absolutely love studying natural history — museums, nature documentaries, books — I am fascinated by the ways humans have tried to interpret and connect to the natural world. Also, David Attenborough is my hero.

What do you love most about your profession?

So many things — getting to make stuff every day, creating pretty things, learning about my subject matter, feeling that loving feeling for my career! I am very lucky.

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid / Oh So Beautiful Paper

What sort of advice would you offer someone who is thinking of pursuing or trying to advance their career in illustration?

The one thing that has had the biggest impact on my career and business has been social networking (big surprise there, right?). I started a project in 2015 to post a new piece of art on social media every day, and I think I’ve landed more jobs from that project than from any other avenue. Also, to just make a lot of work. Try to illustrate every day!

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid / Oh So Beautiful Paper

The World of Illustration: Kelsey Oseid / Oh So Beautiful Paper

To see more of Kelsey’s work, follow her on Instagram for a dose of illustration inspiration in your feed, or visit her shop for your very own Kelsey Oseid print or original painting!

The World of Illustration

Today I’m thrilled to introduce a brand new column on Oh So Beautiful Paper: The World of Illustration! I’m completely fascinated by and enamored with illustration – and there are so many amazingly talented illustrators that I’ve been hoping to feature in a more meaningful way here on Oh So Beautiful Paper. And we’re finally making it happen! I’ve enlisted Julie (who already authors our fantastic calligraphy column) to profile the work of a different talented illustrator each month. Here’s a little sneak peek of what you can expect to see in the coming months! – Nole

The world of paper leaves many possibilities for art and beauty. We see so many shining examples here on Oh So Beautiful Paper with the stationery and paper goods we showcase. This is why I’m so pleased to be sharing a new column with our readers that puts the spotlight on the amazing world of illustration! We’re going to dip our toe in today as I share a few inspirations of late; hopefully this will get you all as excited as I am for this new feature. – Julie


The World of Illustration: Danielle Kroll / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Danielle Kroll

The World of Illustration: Tammie Bennett and Emilie Ely / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Left: Tammie Bennett; Right: Emilie Ely

The World of Illustration: Kate Pugsley / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Kate Pugsley

The World of Illustration: Jen Collins and Zanna Goldhawk / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Left: Jen Collins; Right: Zanna Goldhawk

The World of Illustration: Monica Ramos / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Monica Ramos

The World of Illustration: Anna Emilia / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Anna Emilia

The World of Illustration: Emily Isabella / Oh So Beautiful Paper

Emily Isabella

Oakland City Guide

Thank you for letting me be apart of your week this week! I absolutely loved being here. Before I leave you, I wanted to take some time to introduce you the town that I call home – the sunny side of the Bay: Oakland, California. Oakland always seems to get a bad rap in the news, but it is also home to a ton of incredible, often overlooked treasures that make it a truly beautiful city. These are a few of my favorite places around the city to eat, drink, and play. –Kim from Bright Room Studio

Oakland City Guide by Bright Room Studio / Oh So Beautiful Paper

And while these are a few favorite spots that I like to visit, there are hundreds (thousands?) I left off the list! 


Oakland is  a hot spot for amazing food.
1. Cholita Linda: I love tacos, especially fish tacos, and these are my favorite. The tacos are served in an awesome casual space with bright colors and cool, Mexican antiques.
2. Toast: A great place to grab a glass of wine (see below!) but I really love their food too. They make a fantastic white bean spread, amazing meatballs and a flourless chocolate cake that is to die for.
3. Geta Sushi: A total hole in the wall of a space, but the sushi is awesome and super reasonable.
4. Boot and Shoe Service: One of many great places for some gourmet pizza. The others are all good too 🙂
5. Mua: A huge warehouse space with bumping music and crazy art…and awesome food. The cheese-less Mac and Cheese is insane. 


1. Toast: Like I mentioned, the food is great, but is also a fantastic place to have a glass of rosé on a warm afternoon or pinot on a cool evening. They have a dog-friendly patio with umbrellas for warm days and heaters and blankets for cooler ones.
2. Bica Coffee: My personal favorite coffee shop. Perfectly hipster and the lattes are divine.
3. Blue Bottle Coffee: Their production facility is in Oakland, which is cool to see, plus their coffee is delish. I’m looking forward to doing a tasting or tour here sometime soon.
4. Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon: Also known as “Jack London’s Rendezvous,” this place is full of history. Right on the water with a beautiful view of the boats of Jack London Square, this use to be the first and last place to get a drink before going to dry Alameda. The inside is amazing, with a crazy slanted floor thanks for the 1906 earthquake and gas lighting. Check it out for the history, have a beer and enjoy the view.


1. College and Piedmont Avenue Shopping: There are tons of adorable shops on these two streets where you’ll find perfect gifts, decor, and things you didn’t know you needed. I love Nathan and Co., Maison d’Etra, Bella Vita, Atomic Garden and Neighbor, among others.
2. Lake Merritt: An icon of Oakland and a great place to walk your dog, people watch, or even take a gondola ride!
3. Jack London Square: One of my favorite place to go on a nice day. There are tons of food and drink options, almost all of which are dog friendly. They also have tons of great craft fairs and famers markets throughout the year.
4. Knowland Park: A new discovery, this park has incredible views of Oakland and all the way out to San Francisco. Another great place for a hike with the pup.

These spots aren’t technically in Oakland, but thanks to Oakland’s central location in the Bay Area, we get to take advantage of the beautiful surrounding areas too.
1. Point Isabel Dog Park: Actually in Richmond, but a spectacular dog park with miles of off leash space, an adorable cafe, and sweeping city views.
2. Alameda Antique Faire: Fantastic and HUGE antique faire that takes place the first Sunday of each month. You’re guaranteed to find something awesome.
3. Pippa and Co.: The cutest party supply shop you ever did see. Oh, and (shameless plug!) I teach watercolor classes there.