We had the good fortune of connecting with Deanna Fligg and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deanna, what are you inspired by?
Mother Nature is a large part of my inspiration. While many others also draw inspiration from her, there is a deeper meaning and a connection between her and I that is hard to put into words at times; it is a very personal relationship. I have always said that she is poetic and her beauty has been guiding me for some time. My art journey has been through many challenges, mostly around my health, and Mother Nature (bees specifically) drove me towards a path of healing. At the same time though, I believe she was speaking to me and asking for help herself. Even though I am labeled a pollinator artist, focusing on ALL pollinators, all the elements of her keep me going. To the rain that falls on our skin and hydrates the soils, to the sun that shines through the clouds to offer warmth to grow, it all matters. My artwork has a message and I feel like I have to share her voice. We are not the only beings living on this planet and we must listen to all her emotions. I am just one person trying to make a difference and spread awareness on some of the smallest creatures but I hope that I leave this planet a little better than what it looks like now. She has been leading me down a road of passion, full of inspiration.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My niche is very specific: combining art with pollinator advocacy. I believe that this combination makes me stand out, but it is also what I am most proud of; staying true to my story and my values and not listening to others who have tried to change me. I continue to put myself out there and offer support for this planet, and even though you will always come across those who will try to put you down, I am still so excited to see how my art will evolve. I never really know how a piece will turn out, but I thrive on that feeling and love the endless possibilities with ways that I can put my artwork/advocacy out into the world while doing my part in protecting pollinators and the earth.

This road has been far from easy. In fact pain, trauma, and joy have all had major roles along the way. I had a 6 year art break after finishing my fine art post secondary schooling in 2006, and then became extremely ill in 2011 winding up in the hospital, which then led me back into the arts to bring forth some joy from a very dark place mentally. I chose a photograph of a bumblebee I took back in 2006, attempted to paint it, and things kind of took off from there but not smoothly. Since 2011 I have had major hiccups with my health and continue to struggle with many mysteries going on. I think that is one of the biggest lessons I have learned along the way, the fact that you come first! Your health is golden and if you don’t have it, life is certainly not a piece of cake. Some of these health battles I have yet to overcome and I have had to revamp my entire business model to work around them. What the world needs to know is that everyone has challenges to overcome or live with; these can be physical, emotional or mental. We may look like a “perfect healthy” figure on the outside but there are so many invisible struggles and chronic illnesses. A lot of society is “go, go, go” and “do, do, do”, but because of my health challenges, I see the little things in life now and try not to take them for granted. I will obviously continue to be creative as it is in my soul to but at a different pace while focusing on self-care, and life and work balance.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born in Calgary, AB, Canada, but when I was two years old my parents moved to Port Moody, BC, Canada; which was a small suburb of Vancouver, BC, Canada at the time. I consider this town, which has grown considerably in size from swamps to high-rises, my home town. There are days where I find myself extremely grateful to be living here in the Pacific Northwest. It really is one of the most beautiful places on earth full of lakes, mountains, parks and all four seasons. Port Moody, Burnaby, Coquitlam and now just recently, Langley, are all cities I have lived in and I find this question the most challenging as there are way too many amazing spots to list.

A week long trip would consist of a balance of adventure, exploring nature and relaxation. Let’s start the week off with a night in Victoria, BC, Canada. My grandparents and other family and friends live on Vancouver Island, and my childhood consisted of visits there all the time. These two days would be long but places to take in would be The Sticky Wicket Bar & Restaurant, the Victoria Bug Zoo, Market Square, The Bastion Square Public Market supporting local artisans, a walk around the city at night (magical in my opinion), Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and lastly exploring Sidney by the Sea.

Back in the lower mainland, parks to refresh the mind would be Buntzen Lake, Rocky Point Park (and Ice Cream/Sorbet of course), and Stanley Park. Super cool tourist hot spots like Science World, Bloedel Conservatory and the VanDusen Botanical Gardens are all quite nifty. Obviously, a visit to the Honeybee Centre in Surrey is a must see; they have actually stocked some of my work in the past and are great for pollinator education!

In terms of eating though, I actually have multiple food allergies and I don’t really have the opportunities like others to explore restaurants fully. While I love cooking in, I do enjoy the occasional time dining out. BC’s own White Spot, and Poseidon (Greek, Langley) come to mind.

I believe everything I have listed would be too much for one week but they all were worth mentioning as many of them have been a staple in my life growing up.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Life has its ups and downs and you definitely learn who to keep by your side and who to let go of. My family and close friends have been incredibly supportive through my journey of art and health but I am going to dedicate my shoutout to my spouse, Josh. He has been my rock; the saying “Through sickness and in health” could not be any truer. I have had a strange health journey since 2011 but things took a big turn in early 2019 which changed my business practices. Everyone wants to find their “person” in life, and definitely one who can be brutally honest when something looks bad. He has encouraged me to quit jobs, follow my dreams and has put my health first on countless occasions. I honestly believe I am where I am at in everyday life because of him. His love, guidance and support are everything and I am thrilled he is a part of my story.

Website: www.deannafligg.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/deannafliggart

Facebook: www.facebook.com/deannafliggart

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