For introverts, it's not often we come across someone who really gets us — how much we love our quiet time, our obsession with reading, the sheer exhaustion we feel after speaking with another human being for three consecutive minutes. Fret no more, friends, because Introvert Doodles understands you, and you'll relate to these drawings better than you've ever related to anything with a pulse. Bustle spoke more with the artist via email.
Introvert Doodles is the brainchild of Maureen "Marzi" Wilson. Marzi spent many years wondering why she wasn't like other people — things they loved didn't interest her. Parties were a drag. Crowds wore her out. She preferred spending time alone, which confused and worried some of the people who cared about her. But then one day, Marzi realized that although she wasn't a social butterfly, there was nothing wrong with her. She's just an introvert!
Marzi decided to start sharing her introversion with others — you know, alone, behind her computer, from the privacy of her own house. Since then, she's blessed us with cartoons, the Introvert Doodles book, and even The Introvert Activity Book. Marzi is helping people everywhere learn to embrace their introversion, and possibly help people who can't relate to understand introverts better — since we know that introverts are kind of tired of being misunderstood.
If you're an introvert, odds are you can relate to her doodles SO HARD. In helping introverts and extroverts communicate better, Marzi's touching doodles aim to clear the air on what it means to be an introvert. Marzi tells Bustle, "I think the biggest misconception about introverts is that we hate people. We aren't anti-social, we're just very selective about who we spend time with, when we want to socialize, and for how long. We're often perfectly content with solitude, but we also like to stay connected with a few close friends."
This isn't something we've been encouraged to be proud of, growing up. In fact, our culture has long viewed introverts as broken, lonely people; and even if you're not, that stereotype alone is enough to bring anyone down. I can certainly vouch for that, having wasted too many years trying to be a people person even though I never really was. Reserved introverts are not the undesirable version of the social butterfly extroverts; we're a different kind of people, plain and simple. "I hope that when other introverts read my comics, they think, 'Same!,'" says Marzi. "I want them to realize that there's nothing wrong with being introverted, and it often goes hand-in-hand with many gifts."
Marzi's not standing up only for introverts, either. She's giving a voice to all kinds of people. Through her #iwantyoutoknowseries, she works with contributors to make doodles that share insight into specific struggles that millions of people experience on the daily — like dealing with OCD (which, by the way, is not to be taken lightly).
Or grieving after losing a loved one, which can leave you 50 shades of screwed up in the head. Seriously — how challenging is it trying to understand what someone wants when they're going through a major life loss? It's an awkward conversation to have, but Marzi is here to shed light on it and make a really difficult time maybe just a little bit easier.
Or being deaf or hard of hearing. If we just learn to work together better, we can kind ways of communicating that work for both sides.
Marzi's artwork is about so much more than cute drawings and clever captions. She's truly giving a voice to marginalized and stigmatized groups of people, and in an accessible way that's easier to understand and digest. From a more practical level, she's cutting through the confusion that may be clouding your relationship with an introvert or someone living with OCD or hearing impairment. By including other people in her doodles — as she is for the #iwantyoutoknowseries — she's bringing her work to life with the thoughts and feelings of those who've lived it, and we all feel a little less alone because of it.
If you want more of Marzi and her introverted magic (of course you do), you can find Introvert Doodles and The Introvert Activity Book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or visit her website.