My Diabetes Art Day Submission

Happy #DArtDay!

People all over the world are making art today to celebrate Diabetes Art Day!  The concept (brought to life by the fabulous Lee Ann Thill) is so easy.  Just make a piece of art that reflects your feelings about diabetes.  No rules beyond that.

Check out DiabetesArtDay.com and look at the submissions of others.

Here is the art that I made (click it to enlarge it):

Mike Lawson's diabetes art day submission lee ann thill dartday

Diabetes Art Day 2014 is coming!

diabetes art day logo lee ann thill art therapyDiabetes Art Day is so close I can taste it!

I’m a huge fan of the work that Lee Ann Thill does.  She’s a diabetes advocate and art therapist that started Diabetes Art Day in 2010 to encourage people touched by diabetes to engage in creative visual expression to communicate their experience with diabetes, connect with others and to raise awareness.

Diabetes Art Day this year is February 3rd.  All you have to do is make a piece of art that reflects something about diabetes that you want to share.  Then submit it to DiabetesArtDay.com.

I have found the experience of creating diabetes-art to be very therapeutic.  In fact, in recent years I’ve been surprised at how emotional some of this has been for me.  A couple of years ago I made this video of my experience:

mike lawson diabetes art day art done with syringe for insulinIf you plan on taking part in Diabetes Art Day this year, you could also help out by taking this pre-survey which will help Lee Ann study the effects of Diabetes Art Day.

The survey is a PRE and POST survey…so you have to give your email address so there can be a follow-up.  But filling out the survey doesn’t mean a hard commitment to participating in the art day.  JUST DO IT!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

This is the one about relocating and a renewed love for my online community.

A Hand drawn picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area from Phoenix last fall.  And to be quite honest, Phoenix sucked.  Sorry Phoenix.  Everything here has flavor and color that I had been missing for the past five years while living in the desert.

I was talking to a friend in Phoenix a couple weeks after moving here and she asked, “Are you having culture shock?”

I told her that it’s more like “Culture. Shock!”  I’m more shocked that there is culture.  And I love it.

One of the negative things that came with selling all my furniture and packing up my car and moving was that I lost the ability to call up a friend and just run out to grab a cup of coffee or a beer. Wait…why do all of my social activities revolve around liquids?!?

A drawing of a human heart with a friend-sized holeThis is where social media filled in the friend-sized hole in my heart.

Because of the connections that I’ve made online with friends all over the country (including the friends that I made in Phoenix), this transition has been easier for me.  When I’m wondering what my friends Brian & Curtis are up to, I can just put in my earbuds and listen to their podcast.  When I want to know what Megan decided to wear on Halloween, I can see the pictures on Facebook.

And my network of friends has been good for me in more than just the keep-in-touch sort of away.  As I’ve explored my new world, I’ve tweeted and photographed the experience and have had people make restaurant and hiking suggestions.  I’ve met up people like Scott, Christina, Landileigh and Peter – people I’ve only known virtually and now live in the same area.

I’m not at the point where I can say that social networking can replace the friends that we make in the physical world, but they’ve certainly made a difficult transition easier.