Alia Wilhelm and Anna White launched Nearness in April 2020 to gather the various responses to the changes brought on by COVID-19. As regular contributors at Rookie Mag back in the day, we felt like an online community was something we both needed during this turbulent time. 


We wanted to create a community where we could share and seek inspiration from each other’s experiences, a space that encouraged self-reflection, open conversations about mental health, and a rare and real opportunity to slow down and process what was happening around us. Something akin to group art therapy. 

Nearness exists as a web platform and Instagram account, and will eventually come out as a print publication, too. We aim to include work from people all over the world, in the form of shared playlists, illustrations, personal essays, movie lists, printable collage kits and comics. You can contact us at


Illustration by Elly Malone · Logo by Julian Tennyson