Illustration commission: Heart Failure series

A screenshot of the opening art of a story, showing an illustration of a pair of hands stitching a heart with medical instruments nearby

Charlie Ornstein at ProPublica and Mike Hixenbaugh at the Houston Chronicle spent 2018 reporting on the heart transplant program at St. Luke’s, a hospital in Houston with a renowned reputation, and why the program’s complications rates were so high.

We brought Pep Montserrat onboard to illustrate the first few stories, augmenting the art the Houston Chronicle shot and shared with us. We wanted to allude to the systemwide problems in addition to showing people who had been affected by the problems. Illustration helped us do that. We loved Pep’s approach to the subject matter, his mix of literal and figurative heart shapes and the texture he added.

See the series.