Olivia de Reclat is an artist and illustrator whose works have appeared frequently in The New Yorker and other publications. She has over 140 thousand followers on Instagram, so she’s pretty well-known, but one of her most famous works is probably one of her simplest, too.
In a piece called “Closeness Lines,” de Reclat uses just a few simple lines and the places they connect to demonstrate what a number of human relationships are like, from the one between parents and a child, to a one night stand, to a college friend. The image made its way to Reddit’s Damnthatsinteresting, posted by user u/naturebeatsnurture.
It’s been upvoted over 95 thousand times and received all sorts of rewards from commenters, who were touched by the message. Real human relationships are super messy, of course, but the way de Reclat expresses how closeness waxes and wanes obviously touched a nerve:
It’s hard to say which relationship lines are the most gut-wrenching. There’s the way a kid loops away from their parents, then returns to them in later life, and continues on without them. There’s the way two best friends draw away from each other as they age.
There’s the dog that stays so close along your line, but only for a little while. My favorite might be the therapist, who is so important to anyone seeing them, but only for brief moments in time, over and over again.
It’s all so recognizable. Redditors loved the picture, obviously, and were surprised by how complicated it really was. As TheBigWon wrote, “I did not think a couple of squiggly lines would get me this emotional today.”
Others commented with their favorites, what they pics made them think of, and what kind of relationships they’re hoping to experience:
A good drawing really is worth a thousand words.