Mary Ann Badavi
Mary Ann is a UX designer, content expert and noodle lover based in Washington D.C.

MAB does DT

Finding inspiration

Here are three women artists who inspire me on a daily basis and in my own work.

Hannah Beachler, production designer for Moonlight, Creed, Black Panther, and more. I heard her speak at a conference about considering the entire world around the films she designs for, rather than just the characters in the films. For Black Panther, she not only conceived of the sets where scenes were set in the film, she created an entire encyclopedia about how the people of Wakanda live their lives, eat the food, and raise their children. I’m inspired by her considering the entire ecosystem of the world she creates, not just the ones you see in front of you.


Mona Chalabi, data journalist and illustrator. Her data illustrations make me think about things in a different way, from wage disparity between white people and minorities to female hairiness by race. She isn’t afraid to depict things that make people uncomfortable, and she believes in simplicity in her work. She hand-draws her illustrations because she believes that keeps a human element to the data.

“For me, it’s important to show a human made this,” she says. “With computer-generated graphs, it can seem like this completely neutral, perfectly objective thing that made the chart. And that’s not true. It’s a human who makes objective decisions about which rows and which columns in the data set to show you.”

I really appreciate her outlook on data, her work in making it more accessible for everyone, and her ability to show difficult topics simply and powerfully.


Malika Favre, digital artist. Favre creates illustrations for several international publications, including The New Yorker and National Geographic. I really gravitate towards her style of bright colors and geometric shapes. She often centers women in her art, including in this favorite of mine below. I hope to eventually be able to use Adobe Illustrator half as well as she does.

Mary Ann Badavi