Hola! Today is Diabetes Art Day, time again to tap into our best artsy skills to show the world what it's really like to live with diabetes.
Did you forget?
Don't worry: There's still time to break out the colored pencils, crayons, scissors, paint and glue to get all creative! While you're working on your own contribution, there's plenty of D-Art popping up around the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) to offer a little inspiration should you need it.
This ever-growing web-based initiative is now in its 4th year, inviting the DOC to share our artistic expression about what it's like living with diabetes. Fellow DOC'er Lee Ann Thill dreamed up and organized the whole thing back in 2010, and since then has amassed an incredible gallery of art that portrays what many PWDs struggle to express in words. Take a peek at those past masterpieces from 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Now, D-Art Day 2013 comes just five months after our last artistic D-Art dance in September (Lee Ann changed the timing to during the school year, hopefully allowing more D-parents and kiddos to get involved.)
As always, we're pleased to participate, not only with our own contributions that we'll be showing off on Twitter and Facebook later today, but also with a special chance for you to win an incredible one-of-a-kind piece of D-Art that we commissioned especially for this occasion -- plus I will personally make a $100 donation (estimated value of the piece) in the winner's name to help pay for sending a child to the Camp Until a Cure in Indiana!
Read on to learn more about the above piece, the artist, and the giveaway.
This piece was created especially for DiabetesMine by one of the talented pinstripers (specialty, thin brushstroke painters) featured at the upcoming 500 World of Wheels Auto Show taking place Feb. 8-10 in my town of Indianapolis.
It's made on an 12" by 18'' piece of plexiglass, and the artist, Bob Keeney, says he spent hours creating the piece over a day-and-a-half and it took about 6-8 hours for the paint to dry.
Don't you just want it to hang on your wall?!
Diabetes in Pinstripes
How did we come to get this unique piece of dedicated D-Art?
It's all thanks to the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana, a diabetes charity close to my heart and home for which I volunteer my time and energy. This non-profit org is based in Central Indiana about a half-hour from where we live, and I've been honored to be on the board of directors for a few years now. The cornerstone of what we do is run our own D-Camp, called Camp Until A Cure, in Noblesville (on the northside of Indy not too far from the Roche Diagnostics headquarters), and every year one of our biggest fundraisers happens at the big 500 World of Wheels Auto Show here in Indy.
Just like the past few years, we'll be doing a fundraiser there with a talented group of 15-20 pinstripers. The guys have been at the show for many years, and this is the 10th year of doing the fundraiser to benefit diabetes (!). They spend three days and nights painting on everything from scrap metal to bowling pins, model cars, shirts, wallets... You name it, they've probably painted on it!
Then the pieces are all sold or auctioned off, with all the profit going to the DYFI to help pay for kids to go to D-Camp. A couple of years ago, one of the pinstripers painted blue flames on my glucose meter to give it a little pizazz and make it less bland and medical-looking! I'm planning to get either my latest meter or insulin pump pinstriped at this year's event, along with meeting American Pickers reality show co-star Danielle Colby-Cushman who will be there, too!
As I was contemplating D-Art Day ideas, this upcoming pinstriping event came to mind. I wondered what I'd be able to create if I had the talent of any one of these pinstripers -- and that's when it hit me! I'm no pinstriper, but why not ask them to help out?
So I sent an email, detailing how I've been feeling about my own diabetes lately and what a piece of D-art might look like if it came from my own head:
Something universal for people with diabetes is that we're always thinking about blood sugar numbers, carbohydrate amounts, insulin doses and a whole bunch of numbers and calculations. It's all a balancing act, and these constant concerns can jump into all aspects of our lives, sometimes very unexpectedly. Our diabetes can take us on a rollercoaster of emotions -- metaphorically drawing blood like the drops from our tired fingertips, or inspiring us to be better people and help raise awareness for the larger Diabetes Community.
Along with the email, I forwarded a handful of D-images that could be used or incorporated into an art piece — the Blue Circle, the DOC symbol created by fellow PWD Mike Durbin, the DSMA (Diabetes Social Media Advocacy) logo, red drop of blood dripping from a fingertip, and an insulin syringe with wings that could be on fire (homage to my recent multiple daily injections that sometimes burned and bruised).
One of Indy's legendary pinstripers, Bob Keeney, responded saying he'd be interested in creating a piece for D-Art Day using the ideas and images I had forwarded along. We just love what he came up with!
Meeting Up with "Bikini" Bob
Bob and I met up for coffee about 10 days ago, and when he unveiled his creation, I was simply blown away! Not only by the artwork itself... the story he told about creating it was pretty awesome as well.
He wanted the red blood drop and color inside the Blue Circle to "jump out" from the inside (like how I'd described my feelings about diabetes), so after making the circle with a drawing compass, he put aluminum foil on his fingertips and blotted the blue inside the circle lines.
By this time, Bob says he had paint all over himself.
He thought about adding more images or words, like the insulin syringe or possibly DSMA in some form, but didn't want to overly-complicate the painting and make it too busy. We talked about sending the same D-message and images to the other pinstripers who will be in Indy this weekend, to get their creative takes.
As we chatted at a local Steak & Shake, Bob shared that he's living with "pre-diabetes" and has started eating and living healthier, which includes cutting down his beloved ice cream sundaes to once a month.
I was delighted to hear that Bob is interested in expanding his efforts to raise more diabetes awareness through pinstriping. How that happens is yet to be determined, but it's pretty clear that we've lit a fire inside him!
That's pretty exciting, considering his more than six decades of experience doing this kind of unique painting. The 73-year-old has been painting since he was 12 and has been on the pinstriping scene for over six decades, striping cars as a teenager in his parents' driveway and eventually opening his own shop on the city's southside that's included everything from classic cars to Indy 500 race cars. He's created hundreds of striped art pieces in his years and travels to events all across the Midwest and into Canada, so Bob is a guy who's pretty well-known in the striping world... he's actually known as "Bikini," thanks to his name being Bob Keeney. He also points out that the Yellow Polka Dot Bikini song in the 60s helped give him the nickname, so he tags his artwork with a little polka dot before his Bikini nickname.
Already, he's working on a personal piece for me that may involve a flaming insulin syringe transforming into a bird -- another creative expression of how I'd mentioned to him that injecting insulin for the past couple months has actually burned and bruised my skin some. I can't wait to see my piece this coming weekend, along with any other artistic D-pinstriping that may be in store.
The piece above for our giveaway will be on display at the DYFI pinstriping fundraiser this weekend at the 500 World of Wheels Auto Show in Indianapolis. As noted, I will make a personal $100 donation (what Bob estimates the piece might go for if auctioned off) in the winner's name to the DYFI at the show, and that money will help pay for sending a child to the Camp Until a Cure.
And now, here's your chance to be a part of this D-Art Day project that Bob created specifically for D-Art Day 2013!
A DMineART Giveaway
Like our book giveaways here at the 'Mine, just post a comment below for a chance to win! (Please note that with international shipping costs, this contest is only open to those in the United States).
1. Include the codeword "DMineART" somewhere in the comment (beginning, end, in parenthesis, in bold, whatever). That will let us know that you would like to be entered in the giveaway. You can still leave a comment without entering, but if you want to be considered to win the contest, please remember to include "DMineART."
2. You have until Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at 5 p.m. PST to enter. A valid email address is required to win.
3. The winner will be chosen later that evening of Feb. 8 using Random.org.
4. The winner will be announced on Facebook and Twitter during the day on Saturday, as the pinstriping event is happening. We'll also update this post with the winner's name. We'll also let everyone know via social media about the total amount raised at the event, and will share some pictures of Bikini Bob with your personalized D-Art Day creation before it heads your way!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed, and we're happy to announce that Random.org chose Katie Martin as the winner! Congrats, Katie! We can't wait to have this D-Art personalized for you, and I'll be making that $100 donation to the DYFI in your name!
(NOTE: Today we'd also like to acknowledge the winner of winner of last week's Book Giveaway. Congrats, Paula Fairchild, we'll get you that copy of Riva Greenberg's latest book pronto!)