In 2018, I learned about Dear Data, a data visualization project between two friends who tracked their personal data for a week at a time and then drew out that data in a way that invited the reader to slow down and appreciate the art alongside the quantitative information. I was immediately enamored with the concept and joined the global Dear Data community to find a pen pal. They and I exchanged postcards for a few months in 2018 before putting things on hiatus for a variety of reasons.

Recently, I re-picked up my copy of Dear Data and began drawing postcards again, sending them to friends and family who love snail mail as much as I do. Here’s an example of my most recent, where I tracked laughter over a 10-day period (May 10 – 20, 2021) and visualized the result as a cacophony of fireworks:

Each firework represents one laugh. I tracked who I was laughing with and whether the laugh was a short one, a belly laugh, or a fake laugh. Good news: no fake laughs!

This piece is more art than function. Size of fireworks does not hold significance and there’s no temporal dimension either. Think of it as a sploosh of laughter wrapped up together.

Wishing you all love and laugher!