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 31 Archive: Langston Hughes Neda Semnani charts the life of a merchant sailor turned Harlem literary colossus. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Andrea Codrington Lippke Design journalist and Kinfolk contributing editor Andrea Codrington Lippke on the most and least beneficial of her personal habits. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Jenny Odell The acclaimed author in search of lost time. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Amalie Smith The Danish arts writer finding clarity between the lines. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Ryan Heffington Meet the man bringing choreography, community and queer joy to the desert.