Not long into my interview with data journalist Mona Chalabi, I find myself telling her all about my first heartbreak. It’s not what you’d expect from a conversation with someone who spends their time interpreting facts and figures, but Chalabi’s interest in drawing out personal stories has become the defining aspect of her work with data. It informs her hand-drawn aesthetic, which combines illustration with data visualization to inject humanity and emotion into statistics.1 Chalabi first gained popularity on Instagram while she worked a journalism day job; her colorful data visualizations have since been published in The New York Times and The New Yorker as well as The Guardian US, where she now works as a data editor. She has also created documentaries—one of which, Vagina Dispatches, was nominated for an Emmy—and has appeared as a guest on satirical panel shows. Born in London, Chalabi lived in Paris and Jordan before moving to This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.