Magazine article The New Yorker

Comic

Magazine article The New Yorker

Comic

Article excerpt

Comic

Arianna Margulis

Last summer, reposted images of a girl-about-town, drawn in Sharpie, began proliferating on Instagram. Invariably, the girl is wide-eyed and frantic--because of an unreturned text, a hankering for vodka, or an imminent bad choice. ("Me debating who I should go home with," reads the caption of one cartoon, an ex-boyfriend in one thought bubble, a slice of pizza in another.) The drawings appear daily on the Instagram account But Like Maybe, a "Cathy" for our device-driven times. One imagines its creator, Arianna Margulis, sipping a pink drink on a flamingo floaty--this summer, she posted an image with her character doing just that. Ah, the good life of a young artist, a hundred and forty-five thousand Instagram followers and counting.

Life on dry land is kind of, like, different. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Margulis works as a shop assistant at an Upper East Side boutique, rearranging tableaux of three-thousand-dollar handbags. The store, Hayward House, is owned by Marin Hopper, the daughter of Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward, and Hopper's husband, the film producer John Goldstone. "Sometimes I'll be up here late, sitting on the floor, drawing, putting some bags out," Margulis said the other day at the store, which occupies two floors of a town house, where the owners live. A reedy thirtyish blonde, she wore a puffy green jacket with "But Like Maybe" scrawled on the back and a tan cowboy hat. "Then Marin will call me down to her apartment and be, like, 'Are you hungry? Can I feed you?' "

Hopper and Goldstone found out about their employee's side hustle only when their teen-age daughter came running in one day holding up her iPhone; she'd just figured out that Margulis was behind her favorite Instagram account.

"I was, like, 'What are you talking about?' " Goldstone said. He and Hopper took a closer look. "Then I was, like, 'This is fucking awesome. It's so hilarious and smart and unusual.' I told Arianna, 'You have this hidden talent!' " Hopper and Goldstone immediately decided that their shop's luxury wares might benefit from a bit of scribbly patina. They asked Margulis to doodle on reproductions of Dennis Hopper's black-and-white photographs--blue squiggles on a young Paul Newman, cartoony Hayward handbags draped around naked women--which they are considering selling next season. "As much as my father was very specific about how he liked his pictures printed and never cropped and da-da-da, I know that he would be excited to see her spirit and youth come through--like a young Banksy!" Hopper said. "We're thinking of continuing it as limited editions, or on T-shirts. …

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