Tag Archives: diabetes art

A Diabetes Art Showing

My sister and fellow type 1 diabetic, Ana, had her first art showing recently on campus of her school, James Madison University.

The theme she chose was diabetes so I really wanted to share pictures of it with you all.

One of Ana’s professors expressed worry that this theme of diabetes somehow limited Ana’s potential to perhaps show her range. I would like to respectfully disagree. Diabetes is a 24/7 condition that affects every single cell in our bodies, has no cure, and has mental, social, emotional repercussions. Diabetes has no limits and neither does art.  Art is expressed in many forms and has the potential to teach, inspire, and move us deeply.  I have diabetes and know my sister but was still very surprised and moved from this collection and I know that many people without diabetes were really impacted and informed by this art work.

Ana was extraordinarily brave to open herself up in this way and allow us a chance to learn from and relate to her as a person living with diabetes. What is it they say?  That in showing our vulnerabilities we reveal our strength and courage?  Well, I agree and I’m really proud to call her my sister.

Enjoy :)

 

536055_421620284561774_590477262_n

 

Her showing starts with a setting for visitors including her business cards and a jar of strips which gives a visual for just how many of these things we go through and how many finger pricks we endure.

541243_421619827895153_32323810_n

 

This one is called “ketoacidosis”. Ana has only visited the hospital once in almost 19 years with type 1 diabetes and it was for ketoacidosis as a teenager. It came up fast and seemingly out of nowhere and scared the heck out of us. She recalls that she didn’t really know what ketoacidosis was nor did she realize how dangerous it could be.

422720_421619674561835_1699259675_n

 

Here, Ana says this represents the time between her hospital visit for ketoacidosis and the time she began these paintings.  So activities and events are shown below and collectively demonstrate what is her very “Normal Life”, as the painting is called.

431178_421619687895167_1232166635_n

 

This one stumped me until Ana explained it.  It’s the third in this series of four paintings and is called “Attack”.  During the time of Ana’s “normal life” she read up on ketoacidosis to understand it better.  She read about how serious it was and then went days waking up in the middle of the night with what sounds like anxiety attacks.  She says she felt her heart beating strongly (which is why it’s enlarged in the painting) and felt she was being choked and sick to her stomach with fear at the realization of what diabetes could cause to happen.

381211_421619701228499_1386053586_n

 

Ana ends with a piece called “Thank You” which represents the support and love from family and friends.

282254_421619754561827_1588874621_n

 

“Insulin is Not a Cure”

281840_421619774561825_1678815620_n

 

This one is called “I Can See It Happening” and represents Ana’s fear of diabetes complications, namely, blindness.  This is a strong fear for her because of how she loves to paint and make art and is a generally visually oriented person.  But the squeezing out tears is also indicative of the many frustrations from living with diabetes.

66161_421619787895157_1804266866_n

 

I don’t remember this but days after Ana’s type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 3, she caught the flu!  Here are two framed sheets of notebook paper where our dad charted out Ana’s blood sugars trying to understand  type 1 diabetes and help take care of a young daughter with the flu all at the same time.  She was still in the honeymoon period at this point.

423664_421620234561779_1197899416_n

381364_421620251228444_1831292019_n

A wall of thoughts and feelings about diabetes…

308134_421620304561772_205837575_n

Ana asked people with and without diabetes a few questions and framed the questions and the responses she received.  Here are a few:

395220_421619997895136_1605582001_n

530514_421620004561802_616757655_n

 

Ana’s answers to those questions:

223164_421619977895138_1637808117_n

 

Our friend Jennifer Brannock’s response:

10299_421620191228450_1194701301_n

 

Our mom’s response:

408449_421619914561811_1323939758_n

 

Our Dad’s:

196555_421619951228474_1058018646_n

 

Our 12 year old brother:

196483_421620204561782_678391208_n

 

From Ana’s boyfriend (ironically, also my husband’s youngest brother):

384184_421619941228475_1771161061_n

 

Here is one girl’s heartbreaking response (let’s leave her some encouraging comments!)

406510_421620271228442_1148861565_n

 

From Patty Keller:

483217_421620064561796_450949375_n

76506_421620077895128_1598495178_n

 

More people from the DOC responded:

426331_421620264561776_1219884850_n

 

Don’t we know about ketones and strips…

527164_421620044561798_935883219_n

 

The beta cell is quite lovely:

534367_421619964561806_652800321_n

and in color:

548109_421620147895121_1549055056_n

 

I remember taking this picture one summer. Ana and our other sister Sara were in the basement roller blading to music. Our mom called down the stairs, “Ana! Check!” Ana dutifully shoved off her skates and ran upstairs to check. I thought about how our reality was so strange, yet so normal and I took a picture of her while checking her blood sugar. I didn’t tell her to “say cheese”, she did that all on her own. After this photo she went back to roller blading and I was secretly inspired by her ability to carry diabetes so gracefully.  Even though the hardship of diabetes is present, I think this picture reflects the potential we all have as people with or without diabetes.

In other words, we do what we need to do, smile…and carry on with life.

482952_421620021228467_1602368148_n

 

558166_421619841228485_1664660381_n

 

Thank you so much for viewing/reading this post.  It’s the next best thing to having had you all over to the art show in person.

We’re eager to hear what you think in the comments :)

 

XOXO, Sysy and Ana Morales

Interview about Bonding with My Sister Over Type 1 Diabetes

DSC09316

Painting is called “Thank You” by Ana Morales

 

I had a chance to meet Sanofi’s Laura Kolodjeski in Washington D.C. last month and not only did we so easily hit it off as friends, Laura also interviewed me about what it was like for my family to have two type 1 diabetes diagnosis in the family.  You all know how I can go on and on and so here is Part 1 of that interview.  It’s pretty candid considering how comfortable I was speaking to Laura.  I hope you all enjoy.

Thanks, Laura!

Diabetes Blog Week, My Fantasy Diabetes Device

553757_328756187181518_254597271264077_965209_186735316_n

Click here for the Fantasy Diabetes Device – Thursday 5/17 Link List.
Today let’s tackle an idea inspired by
Bennet of Your Diabetes May Vary.  Tell us what your Fantasy Diabetes Device would be?  Think of your dream blood glucose checker, delivery system for insulin or other meds, magic carb counter, etc etc etc.  The sky is the limit – what would you love to see?

7148526067_3afe1e2bf4_o

The sky is the limit?

My fantasy diabetes device would take over doing what my pancreas used to do and do it just as well.

That’s it.

And ya’ll thought I couldn’t write a short post! Winking smile

Your Used Strips are Needed for Art Project!

375213_257577647632706_254597271264077_771463_1338040304_n

Happy Monday, everyone!

As you all probably know by now, the illustrator of the site is my type 1 sister, Ana.  She also writes posts from time to time but mostly she is super busy at James Madison University studying studio art and art education and taking an insane number of credits.

Ana needs our help for a diabetes related art project for school.  She determines that she needs thousands of strips for this project.  We are asking for donations of your used strips (don’t worry she’ll be working with gloves!)

Please, please, please start saving your strips and mail them to her by March 1st.  Please include the amount of time that it took you to use the number of strips you are sending (a week, a month, etc).

This will be SO appreciated and can’t be done without your help.  When you’re ready to mail email me at sysy@thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com and I’ll send you her mailing address.

Once Ana receives your strips we’ll be entering you into a running for a special prize that one lucky winner will get mailed to them :D

Thanks so much in advance!  Hopefully Ana will get enough donations and will be able to do the project.  I’ll be sure to post it when she’s done!

****Update****

Ana’s project idea for this has been cancelled because we’ve realized that used strips are bio hazardous waste and it’s not a good idea to ask others to mail it in.  In fact, mailing it in certain states is considered illegal SO Ana will be choosing another diabetes related idea for her art project, we’ll keep you posted on what it is!  Thank you to everyone who was so kind and willing to help out! :D

XOXO

Have No Fear…

It’s Fabulous Friday and I just want to send out this reminder to everyone through my sister, Ana’s art:

374724_257589577631513_254597271264077_771486_753901379_n

“Have no fear of perfection…you’ll never reach it.” -SD

Well that takes a load off! lol

Have a great weekend!

Diabetes in Art

This semester, I’m taking Intermediate Painting and I love it. It’s nice to have time already set aside to just paint whatever I want. Anyway, I usually paint with acrylics, but I decided to use oils this semester, which I have almost no experience with. I immediately fell in love with them and now I’m not sure if I can ever go back to acrylics! One of the reasons I love this class so much is because we’re free to paint whatever we want, as long as we have at least six paintings done by the end of the semester. However, our paintings need to have a theme that links them all together to some extent. I didn’t have to really think about what I wanted to do, because I already decided over the summer. Ever since Diabetes Art Day last year, I realized that I enjoy using diabetes as a subject for my art work. It’s really relieving and sometimes even empowering. Lately, I’ve been feeling really determined to make paintings that are reflections of my life with Type 1. I explained to my professor that over the past year, I’ve felt dissatisfied with a lot of my painting ideas because I didn’t think they were meaningful enough to create a painting around. I wanted my paintings to get a little deeper and be a little more thought-provoking, so I thought, hey, diabetes is a huge part of my life, and it’s definitely a deep topic because it’s so personal. I know it will be tough, but I decided to do it.

One of the things I’m a little worried about is that I won’t effectively get the message across. I’d really like viewers to have a good idea of what I was feeling when I painted a certain piece. Because it’s so intimate and personal, it’s kind of hard to lay out my thoughts and fears on canvas so openly, knowing that people are going to look at it and critique it. I’ve already been mentally preparing to detach myself from my work, otherwise I know I’ll be offended on the inside if someone doesn’t get it or like it. At the beginning of the semester, I had a discussion with my professor about how direct the paintings should be. We agreed that they should be pretty subtle. I don’t want someone to look at one of the paintings and be like oh, it’s about diabetes. I want them to spend time thinking about what it could mean, and then once they figure out or learn what it’s about, they can reflect on the subject and see what a seemingly simple thing can mean to a diabetic. Individually, it will probably be hard to tell that the painting is about diabetes, but as a whole series, it will be a little clearer once some connections can be made between all the pieces.

Another reason I decided to do this series is that I knew it would help increase diabetes awareness. While I’m working in class, my classmates ask me about what I’m working on, and I explain to them how I want to create reflections of my life with diabetes. Two days ago, one student told me about how his dad also has diabetes and he could see how my painting worked with the theme. Once I finish all the paintings, I really hope to have them displayed in a show somewhere so more people can see them. I will also share them with all of you on here :] So far I’ve finished one piece and have started a second and you can see parts of them here:

If you have any ideas or suggestions for my future paintings, please share!! I would love to hear what you guys think :]

Get Ready for Diabetes Art Day

diabetesartday

Last year marked the first Diabetes Art Day-a seriously fun initiative started and lead by Lee Ann Thill.  This September 1st the second Diabetes Art Day will take place.  You can get all the details (because YOU can participate!) over at Diabetes Art Day.

Don’t forget to LIKE the facebook page to stay updated and informed.  Let’s use art and creativity as a way of getting diabetes the attention it deserves!

This isn’t just for artists, it’s for everyone.  Creativity is often a cathartic and impactful way of releasing a message about something.  Try it and don’t feel that you’re not talented enough.  Yours truly is not an artist but I’ll be happily participating anyway.  Hopefully my type 1 sister Ana, who is at James Madison University studying art will grace this blog with her art once again.

Diabetes Art Day

By Ana Morales
By Ana Morales

 

Diabetes Art Day is today, September 1st, 2010.  It was put together just weeks ago by artist therapist and diabetes blogger Lee Ann Thill.  It is a way to create some excitement in the Diabetes Community and also attract attention towards our cause.  The more attention we get, the more help we’ll receive.  I am happy to play a small part in this :)

I thought it was fitting that my artist sister and fellow type 1 diabetic, Ana Morales, showcase something on The Girl’s Guide today.

About this piece, Ana says “I made this piece on one of those days when I felt a little upset about having diabetes and like it was holding me back from doing what I want. Doing something I love (painting and drawing) based on something so personal and often hard to deal with helped me overcome those bad feelings. I wanted to express that we diabetics aren’t alone when we feel afraid and sad about our situation. During those times we have to remember to remain positive and work hard to stay in control.”

Well said, sistah!  If you want to see more of her art you can visit her art website:  More Art Please

And to see more diabetes art you can check out Diabetes Art Day 2010

Copyright © 2017. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.