Tag: type 1

22 Years

It’s that time again. The official day that I sit and reflect on my life as a person with diabetes. I say ‘official’ because this is something I think about daily (no special anniversary needed). It has now been 22 years since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. To avoid sounding redundant, I’ll skip the details about the struggle of attempting to manage some kind of control over my body. Instead, I’ll share some exciting things that I’m doing right now and have been doing that relate to art and diabetes.

Diaversary 2016 Collage

  1. Children’s Book. Writing a children’s book has been a dream of mine since I was a kid myself. I’ve always loved reading and drawing and writing and thought “why not create a book of my own?” It’s taken a while to get to this point (I have many unfinished stories), but it’s real this time and I’m determined to publish it within the next year. The reason I’m mentioning the book in this post is because the book I’m writing/illustrating is meant for kids who are growing up with diabetes. I don’t want to share too much information yet, but I’ve been working on this since September and still have a lot of work left. I’m SO excited to share it soon. You can see peeks if you follow me on Instagram @anamoralesart.
  2. Thesis Work. For my MFA I have to complete a written thesis as well as create work for a thesis exhibition this summer in Chicago. Both are influenced by my experiences living with diabetes and the work that I’ve made about diabetes over the past six years. My goal is to document both processes over the next several months and share them here and on other social media platforms. I’m making plans for the steps I will take post-graduation, and that includes sharing my work broadly and figuring out how I can bring it into non-art spaces as well.
  3. Diabetes Study. This doesn’t directly relate to my art practice, except that it’s kind of like research. I’m currently participating in a 16 week study conducted by The Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Science at The University of Virginia. The purpose of the study is to test an Internet-based program for use with women with Type 1 diabetes who plan on one day becoming pregnant. The goal of the program is to help these women learn how to regulate their blood glucose levels for pregnancy. It is almost like taking a refresher course on how to manage my numbers, plus I’m learning lots of new information and making a greater effort to notice symptoms of high and low blood sugar.
  4. Education. While I don’t have much time to do anything else, I’ve still been thinking about what the next step is for me. In addition to being an artist, I am also an educator and I think there is great value in using visual art to spread information that encourages empathy. I am interested in any opportunity to bridge the gaps between people who are suffering in isolation and between doctors and patients. I want to talk to students, doctors, patients, parents, and partners about the power of art in the realm of medicine. Last month, my work was part of a display by Art in CME at the 41st Annual ACEhp Conference (Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions) and I hope to participate in more things like this in the future.

Stay tuned for updates and more documentation of my progress. Thanks for reading! xoxo

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World Diabetes Day 2015

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and today is World Diabetes Day. If you’ve been here before you know that diabetes is a huge part of my life and I’ve spent the last several years making work about it. Sometimes I make art to shed light on what it’s like to live with diabetes and sometimes I make art as a way of coping with the disease. Sometimes it’s both.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to explain how I feel when it comes to my diabetes. I am fortunate enough to have access to the medication, supplies, and care that I need, and I am capable of administering my own medication every day. I’ve achieved many of my goals, I’m at a healthy weight, I do most of the things I want to do, I have a supportive family, and I’m marrying someone who is willing to deal with and support me through all the things that suck about diabetes. And that’s just it. Living with diabetes sucks. My body seems to be getting more sensitive to pain as I get older. Sometimes my insulin doesn’t work. My fingertips are also more sensitive, especially my right pointer finger. Rubbing any slightly rough material is really uncomfortable. My feet are almost always cold. Sometimes I have to eat glucose tablets at the gym because I calculated something wrong. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and realize I woke up because my blood sugar level is plummeting and then I have to eat glucose tablets while I lay sweating in bed trying to stay awake until I feel better. I could go on (and on and on…).

I’m pretty good at staying positive and I’m thankful for that particular personality trait. Making art about diabetes has been such a rewarding creative outlet and I truly believe it changed my life. I continue to feel called to make this work and I hope I can do great things with it (I have plans!).

Anyway, I hope that you spend time this month (even just a few minutes!) learning about the various types of diabetes and what it means to live with this disease. Learn what the symptoms are and share this information with your loved ones. I was three years old when I was diagnosed and I couldn’t describe what I was feeling, but my dad was observant and noticed my symptoms. My oldest sister was diagnosed later the same year and she was able to describe what I was going through to my parents because she was going through the same things. Now that I’m older, I am now incredibly grateful for that.

There are many blogs and other resources that cover this topic. Here are some great websites and articles to get you started:

International Diabetes Federation

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes

A Cartoonist Laughs at Diabetes, and Her Book Will Make You Laugh Too

T1 Diabetes is Complicated…Even for Doctors

Don’t Judge People with Type 2 Diabetes

In Praise of Diabetes Unawareness

Type 1 Diabetes Finally Explained

The Invisibility of Type 1 Diabetes

Thank you so much for reading. Stay tuned for a peek into the things I’ve been making this fall! xoxo

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Warming Up

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During my second summer in Chicago, I spent the first few creative moments in my new studio drawing fingers. I drew them in continuous lines, as severed tips, with my eyes closed, with my head laying on the table, from right to left and left to right, slowly, quickly, and with a variety of pens.

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These playful drawings set the tone for the rest of the work I created this summer. More to come soon!

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Where Does It Hurt?

My final paper/project for my Writing as Art class last semester… I was going to make some edits before sharing it, but I decided to post it the way it was submitted first. I’m very attached to this work and will continue to develop it over the next few months. Creating this project was both challenging and incredibly rewarding. The thought of sharing it publicly gives me a lot of anxiety, but I am interested to see how others receive it. Please feel free to leave comments! xoxo

Download the PDF version

WDIH? Cover WDIH? 1-2

 

 

 

WDIH 3-4

 

 

WDIH? 5-6

 

 

WDIH? 7-8

 

 

WDIH? 9-10

 

 

WDIH? 11-12

 

 

WDIH? 13-14

 

 

WDIH? 15-16

 

 

WDIH? 17-18

 

 

WDIH? 19-20

 

 

WDIH? 21-22

 

WDIH? Bibliography

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Peeks at the Process of Yes II

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For the past few weeks I’ve been working on this painting in conjunction with a collection of writing for a grad school project. I am planning to share the project before the end of May, but for now here are some peeks at the process:

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Check back soon for more updates! xoxo

 

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WIP: Yes II

yes II (process 1)

I’m working large again! Last summer I created a large mixed media painting in Chicago and it was kind of a turning point for me so I wanted to try out a similar process. This time around I’m playing with different images/symbols/icons and I’m trying to remain open to text. Here are some photos from the process:

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yes II (process 3)

yes II (process 7)

yes II (process 4)

yes II (process 5)

yes II (process 6)

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned for more progress. xoxo

 

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The Gallery U: Weeks 1-7

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Every week I will share links to my posts on The Gallery U website. If you don’t already know, The Gallery U is a recently launched website featuring the artwork of college students across the US. I am one of 18 interns who will be posting new work every week along with a brief description. If you visit the site, you will notice a small heart icon on each post. The intern with the most clicks at the end of 15 weeks will be featured in V23, a New York-based blog which showcases the music, creative writing, photography, and art of young adults. If you like what you see, please help me increase my chances of winning by clicking that heart! xoxo

Week 1: Self Portrait

Week 2: Untitled (Madame Insulin in Red)

Week 3: Insulin is Not a Cure

Week 4: Ebb and Flow

Week 5: MI Framed

Week 6: Yes.

Week 7: Too Sweet

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Exploring Pattern

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I’ve been making work about diabetes for a few years now and I’ve explored several different materials and approaches along the way. During this time, I’ve encountered several challenges. Aside from dealing with the occasional emotional obstacles, I’ve struggled to guide this body of work in one direction and instead have branched off what feels like endlessly. It’s a complicated feeling because I do want to explore this subject as thoroughly as I can, but doing so also leads me to feel like I’m starting lots of different things and not spending enough time on any of them because I keep moving on to something else. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.

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