Diabetes Art Day 2014: Life Sentence

Life Sentence
Life Sentence

The insanely talented Lee Ann Thill, author of The Butter Compartment, T1 warrior, and all around cool individual, created Diabetes Art Day five years ago. (Happy Fifth Anniversary!) If you have a moment today, take a breath and let your feelings about diabetes flow onto a page…or a canvas… or in an image.

Art is soul moving. If I was independently wealthy, I would spend my days wandering galleries over the world, seeking out the rawness and the gentleness of the human condition. Alas, I must reside myself to hitting museums when I’m in a particular city (damn you, San Francisco and your SFMOMA siren sounds…) and taking brief, but deep, inhales as I discover a work online and devour it with my eyes.

Art is freeing. When I paint, my focus is not on what’s going on around me, but in myself and how I feel. Time is suspended as I mix the colors and choose where to place the acrylic. I’m a hack, but at least I find some peace when I immerse myself in the moment.

Art is not always pretty. And here’s where we get to Diabetes Art Day.

My piece this year as a submission is how I feel sometimes about this disease. It’s not uplifting or even representative of the type of art I normally throw onto a canvas. But it’s real. For me. The minute I finished the piece and took the image of it to upload, I felt like I could let something in me… fade. Then I let The Kid rip it up and use markers to create her own work of art. A tiny corner of it remains, pinned to the refrigerator with circles and scribbles on it that makes it look much happier than what I was feeling.

Create your art today, whether it’s for Diabetes Art Day – or for getting out on paper what your heart needs to say. If you need inspiration, view the galleries from the past years of Diabetes Art Day.

If you do make something for Diabetes Art Day, please go to the website and upload it. (You don’t have to put your name on it!) I’d love to see what other people are thinking about…


  1. What a powerful piece. And I love that you let your daughter rip it up but kept a corner of it. It reminds me of what we need to do with the dark diabetes feelings that have to crop up – take notice of them, rip them up, but keep a piece in the corner of our minds to motivate us to keep fighting and keep connecting to others.

  2. Sublime…. It expresses the terrible truth about living with diabetes. We’re stuck. There’s no escape. It’s with us for every passing hour. The only respite is when we close our eyes and go to sleep forevermore.

  3. Very real, and often how I feel. But I echo what Karen said, about letting your daughter make something of her own from that. Totally dig that. One thing that has been nice through all the years in “this prison” of diabetes, is that now they let us have more time out in the yard and there’s a library and we have “cell-makes” and… OK, I’m done with the metaphors. On to more art (and coffee)! Thanks for sharing this, Christel!

  4. Pretty powerful stuff. I think we all feel like that sometimes. Glad your daughter got to make something fun of it though.

  5. This is beautiful, Christel. Letting go of something is a grand grand part of creation. I am happy that you shared this with all of us. I would have had a great time watching Lancet attempt to rip up a drawing. Maybe later today? haha. Hugs!

  6. This is superb. So powerful.

  7. I really like what you did with this! And then what you did with it afterwards…No one needs that kind of reminder. (Plus, you made The Kid happy, and recycling paper is good for the environment.)

  8. love the story of tearing it up and your kid drawing on it. love d art day!

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