ing-Sum Law

First Post, Worst Post?

27 Jan 2020

Back in August of last year, I drew a basic illustration depicting the menstrual cycle. It has since become a main feature on all of my web presence.

Menstrual Cycle

In high school, I loved illustration and design. But because of some combination of lack of time, supplies, and drive, that hobby has since been neglected. Every few months I feel a renewed desire to get back into it, but it has yet to stick.

The aformentioned illustration was my attempt at learning some digital illustration. Digital illustration has the distinct advantages of requiring neither consumable supplies nor physical storage space. Perfect for a student living in a studio apartment. As an additional perk, digital illustration is easier to share online. Yet everytime I try, it falls by the wayside while I focus on my academics.

Several months and multiple attempts at getting back into drawing later, I was listening to After Hours from Harvard Business Review. In the episode released January 15th, Felix gave a glowing recommendation for the illustrations of Federica Fragapane.

Truly an excellent recommendation. I was both blown away and inspired by the density of information combined with the easy beauty of Federica’s creations. Below, I’ve included a graphic of hers describing the menstrual cycle. It is somehow both intricate and clear at the same time. And of course, beautiful.

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A post shared by Federica Fragapane (@federicafragapane) on

After having spent a whole bunch of time flipping through (and fan-girling over) Federica’s work, I fell down a rabbit hole reading about data visualization. It’s incredible the number of resources and tools available out there for dynamic communication of quantitative concepts. I am particularly taken with d3.js and the idea of creating interactive, web visuals. With this inspiration, I plan to get back into digital illustration and hopefully combine it with a new skill in using d3.js. And to make it official, I’m writing it down:

Goal: Create at least one interactive visual aid explaining data from my academic work using the d3.js JavaScript library

Some subgoals:

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